For those Disney fans who think that many of the live-action adaptations of their classic animated film canon are rather slavishly similar to the originals that it begs the question why they bothered to remake, there are other films with only the loose ties to the movies they came from. The Tim Burton-directed “Alice in Wonderland” films with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter is one example. The 2014 dark fantasy “Maleficent,” based on 1959’s “Sleeping Beauty” and starring Angelina Jolie, is another. It now has a sequel, subtitled “Mistress of Evil,” due later this year. And after an initial teaser last May, a longer trailer has come this week.
Entertainment Weekly tells us that Disney has brought out another advance preview of “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” to show the circumstances in the continuing story between the titular dark fairy and her shadowy protection over the princess-turned queen that she once put into an enchanted sleep. Whereas the 2014 movie was a subversive adaptation of the animated film and its fairy tale source, the sequel looks to expand the setting from the personal atmosphere of its predecessor to a medieval fantasy epic that is like a kids-rated “Game of Thrones.”
This second trailer for “Mistress of Evil” treads a few themes from the initial teaser. Maleficent (Jolie) is the protector and maternal figure of Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) who rules both her kingdom and the Moors, the realm of enchanted creatures where Maleficent hails from. She also has help from her love interest Phillip (Harris Dickinson taking over for Brenton Thwaites), Prince of a neighboring human kingdom, and they are betrothed to marry despite Maleficent’s reservations. Unfortunately Phillip’s parents, especially Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) have touched some raw nerves by questioning the fairy’s nature. And when Aurora sides with her fiancée and future in-laws, there is no recourse but war.
A tagline in the trailer reads “Go beyond the fairy tale,” and the sequel certainly does. In an effort to forcibly take back Aurora from Phillip’s kingdom Maleficent mobilizes the fairies of the Moors to march in conflict. This reinforces Ingrith’s public opinion of Aurora’s guardian, and their kingdom lookss perfectly ready to fight back with plenty of iron weaponry – fatal to magical creatures – on hand. One scene even shows a flying Maleficent being pierced by iron arrows and falling from the air, though of course she must survive that.
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” also stars Robert Lindsay, Ed Skrein, Sam Riley and Chiwetel Ejiofor in a surprise appearance as a new fairy similar to Maleficent, and who rescues her from her fall and injury. He ominously states that the fairies, which cared for men, must now care for themselves. Ejiofor also voices Scar in the “Lion King” remake this July, while “Mistress of Evil premieres this coming October 18.
Image courtesy of E! Online