Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 at 10:00 am
Honestly, this took a lot longer than expected, but it’s better late than never. Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie as the titular character, was one of last summer’s biggest blockbusters. It wasn’t the first Disney live-action adaptation of an animated classic the studio has released, but its huge success has helped launch a slate of live-action adaptations of animated movies that includes this year’s Cinderella, next year’s The Jungle Book, and upcoming films like Beauty and The Beast, Pete’s Dragon, Mulan, Dumbo, Winnie The Pooh, and much more.
Of course the $758 million worldwide box office gross was more than enough reason for Disney to put a Maleficent 2 into development, but not much has changed since the film’s release. Now we are getting word that Disney is in fact developing a sequel, but some of the key members of the creative team might not be returning. More on the story below.
According to The Wrap, Robert Stromberg, director of the first movie, will likely not return. No word yet on who the studio may be looking at as a possible replacement. Joe Roth will come back to serve as a producer on the sequel.
The sequel is also contingent on Jolie’s return. She currently does not have a deal set in place requiring her to return for a sequel. Though Jolie has starred in a string of summer blockbusters, she rarely returns for a sequel, almost ensuring that the film doesn’t become a franchise. Now Tomb Raider and the Kung Fu Panda films are clearly an exception, but for films like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Wanted, and Salt, they received no sequels. The report cites her experience working on Tomb Raider as the reason why she may be so reluctant to do a sequel for any live-action movie she stars in. So Disney’s offer would need to be a pretty spectacular one in order for her to reprise her role.
The report adds that Linda Woolverton is in talks to return as the screenplay writer for the sequel. How a sequel could work should be interesting to see. Maleficent was a reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty animated classic, with the film focusing on the title character’s journey to becoming the sorceress while getting the audience to sympathize to her loss of innocence.
Jolie is currently working on her latest directorial effort By The Sea. Disney and Marvel are also rumored to be circling her to possibly star and direct Captain Marvel.