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First Look at Angelina Jolie as 'Maleficent'; Disney Kicks Off Production

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood June 19, 2012 at 11:41AM

On June 13 Angelina Jolie became "Maleficent" as Disney's retelling of the "Sleeping Beauty" tale began principal photography...
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Jolie as 'Maleficent'
Jolie as 'Maleficent'

On June 13 Angelina Jolie became "Maleficent" as Disney's retelling of the "Sleeping Beauty" tale began principal photography. Jolie stars and produces alongside Joe Roth, Don Hahn, Matt Smith and Palek Patel. Robert Stromberg, the Oscar-winning production designer of "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland," is making his directorial debut with the cast that also includes Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville.

We can only hope that this origin myth-- that reveals the events that hardened Maleficent's heart so that she winds up cursing innocent baby Aurora--goes dark and avoids sugar-coating. However, recent Snow White retellings "Mirror Mirror" and "Snow White and the Huntsman," as well as "Red Riding Hood," have tended to favor commercial appeal over storytelling, even when the original fairy tales were far from Disney light. Even the great Disney animated features, including "Maleficent" writer Linda Woolverton's own "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast," steered to the dark and scary side.

Disney will release the film March 14, 2014, in 3-D.
 

This article is related to: IN THE WORKS, Angelina Jolie, Disney , Remake


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.