In this report for Letterboxd News, the stars of the new Disney sequel detail their experience making the fantasy extravaganza.
“You have to know what you’re willing to fight for or die for.” Angelina Jolie goes head-to-head with Michelle Pfeiffer in the Maleficent sequel, Mistress of Evil. The megastars talk to Letterboxd about their new Disney blockbuster, their favorite villains, and learning to let go of your children.
We haven’t done specific data on this, but it’s no secret that, from Tinkerbell and Wendy to Mother Gothel and Rapunzel, Disney in particular excels at pitting women against each other and messing with concepts of motherhood. Times change, however, and in 2014, with Angelina Jolie in the title role, the studio’s live-action blockbuster Maleficent revisited the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, taking a refreshing spin on the villain from Disney’s 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty.
It worked: Maleficent became Jolie’s highest-grossing film, and holds a particular kind of appeal for the Letterboxd members who love it. For Rookie Bear, it is “…a journey from girlhood to motherhood and maturity, and in many respects, is exactly the film I would have liked Sleeping Beauty to be.” Aly C agrees: “I love that so many distinctly feminine themes are layered into this story, from non-traditional motherhood to recovering from sexual assault. It’s so smart; [writer] Linda Woolverton is a genius, and that must be part of why Angelina was so enthusiastically behind this project (besides looking absolutely iconic). I hope the sequel stays on this same path.”
Pedro Paixão is a little more succinct: “I have a weakness for bad bitches in leather.” He’s gonna love the follow-up, which sees dark fairy Maleficent (Jolie) drawn out of the moors, a verdant land in which fantasy creatures flourish, by the impending nuptials between surrogate daughter Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty herself, played by Elle Fanning) and her beloved Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson, replacing the original’s Brenton Thwaites).