Angelina Jolie arrives in Anaheim to unveil ‘Maleficent’ at D23

Aug. 10, 2013 | 1:30 p.m.

"Maleficent" star Angelina Jolie, left, and Disney Live Action Production President Sean Bailey onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Richard Harbaugh / D23 Expo)

"Maleficent" star Angelina Jolie onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Richard Harbaugh / D23 Expo)

"Maleficent" star Angelina Jolie onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Todd Wawrychuk / D23 Expo)

"Maleficent" star Angelina Jolie onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Todd Wawrychuk / D23 Expo)

"Maleficent" star Angelina Jolie, left, and Disney Live Action Production President Sean Bailey onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Todd Wawrychuk / D23 Expo)

"Maleficent" star Angelina Jolie onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Todd Wawrychuk / D23 Expo)

"Maleficent" star Angelina Jolie onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Richard Harbaugh / D23 Expo)

"Maleficent" star Angelina Jolie onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Richard Harbaugh / D23 Expo)

"Maleficent" star Angelina Jolie onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Richard Harbaugh / D23 Expo)

"Maleficent" star Angelina Jolie onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Richard Harbaugh / D23 Expo)

“Maleficent” star Angelina Jolie arrived at D23 on Saturday morning, and like the evil sorceress she’s playing in the live-action retelling of the 1959 animated classic “Sleeping Beauty,” she knows how to make an entrance.

Clad in a black sweater and black pants, the actress received a standing ovation from the audience, and she described her elation at starring in the film, saying that as a child she had an affinity for Maleficent.

“Since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always my favorite,” Jolie said. “I was terrified of her, but I was also drawn to her. I wanted to know more about her. She had this elegance and grace, yet she was wonderfully, deliciously cruel.”

Unfolding at the Anaheim Convention Center, the weekend-long D23 kicked off Friday with programming focused around Disney’s upcoming animated ventures. Saturday’s presentation emphasized news from the live-action side of the slate, with titles including Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland” and the upcoming sequel “Muppets Most Wanted” being touted from the stage, in addition to Marvel projects, “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Angelina Jolie in the title role of upcoming film "Maleficent," the villian from the 1959 classic "Sleeping Beauty." (Disney Enterprises)

Angelina Jolie in the title role of upcoming film “Maleficent,” the villian from the 1959 Disney classic “Sleeping Beauty.” (Disney Enterprises)

Sean Bailey, president of Walt Disney Studios’ motion picture production, said the new film would explain the events that turned the character to the path of evil, offering “a powerful new perspective on a well-loved Disney story.”

A new teaser for the film was screened, adapting the integral scene from the animated movie in which Maleficent arrives and curses the baby Aurora. (Interestingly, in this version, she makes a point of saying that Aurora will fall into a death-like sleep and will be awakened by love’s first kiss — in the animated classic, of course, Maleficent says the infant girl will die and it’s the three fairies who introduce the first-love loophole).

The film’s cast also includes Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville. “Maleficent” is directed by Robert Stromberg, who won an art direction Oscar for Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Linda Woolverton wrote the screenplay.

The villain counts one very famous filmmaker among her fans, Guillermo del Toro: “Let me tell you how much of a fan I am,” Del Toro told Hero Complex back in 2011. “I have a collection of over two or three dozen Maleficent figures, some of them four or five feet tall. I own about 10 pieces of conceptual art from ‘Sleeping Beauty’ that include the dragon and a lot more pieces that are just from ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ It’s one of my three favorite Disney films.”

Maleficent from "Sleeping Beauty." (Disney)

Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty.” (Disney)

“Maleficent” will open July 2, 2014, but it wasn’t the only fairy tale movie to get a D23 mention.

“Cinderella” director Kenneth Branagh appeared in a video clip to talk about his live-action take on the children’s story due to reach theaters in 2015.

“We will be faithful to the original fairy tale,” Branagh promised, saying that audiences will see Cinderella as a young girl who becomes a princess, but also she will grow into a kind and strong heroine who stays true to herself.

Lily James will play Cinderella, with “Game of Thrones” star Richard Madden playing the prince and Cate Blanchett starring as the wicked stepmother. Helena Bonham Carter will appear as Cinderella’s fairy godmother.

– Gina McIntyre | @LATherocomplex

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Comments


18 Responses to Angelina Jolie arrives in Anaheim to unveil ‘Maleficent’ at D23

  1. Don Shackelford says:

    The ego has landed. Again. Yawn.

  2. Californian says:

    Another darkening of a children's classic. : ( It's not just the violence and inhumanity in today's films that's the problem. It's the absence of uplifting, inspiring works. I hope this is not as bad as it looks, but I won't pay to see it in a theater. Will wait till it drains down to Netflix and/or Amazon.

    • Yup says:

      What you know as "children's" stories were always dark. Disney just made them lighter. Have you heard of the Grimm Brothers?

    • David says:

      Read your fairy tales! THEY WERE DARK TO BEGIN WITH!!!!!! Only Disney made them kind. Seriously. Go read a book. Fairy Tales were dark to begin with. Also. Just because it is dark and gritty does not make it inhumane. It's still can be uplifting. Harder the challenge…the bigger the gain.

    • mik says:

      im not sure if you know this but nearly ALL of the fairy tales are dark, gritty and down right evil basically. i welcome this change. treat the stories how they are made to be treated. good doesnt always win.

      • Rod says:

        You know, from what I have seen it looks less grim. The villian no longer tries to kill the child, which is a huge character flaw in my opinion.

    • followmal says:

      Bambi remains the "darkest" movie I've ever seen. Bambi's mother's death really shook me as a child.
      All fairy tales are dark…they always have been. Most of our stories include dark elements and light elements…there are both in life, so of course our stories reflect that.

  3. Sophie says:

    Wow. Does she do anything other than smile? It's like she's running for Beloved Celebrity of the year.

  4. NWMom says:

    I was one of the lucky kids who saw Sleeping Beauty in the movie theater – a thousand years ago! I am sure Angelina is a perfect Maleificent – I can't wait to see her. Don't imagine anyone else being able to pull that role off. That character is one of the few that I really remembered throughout my childhood and growing up. Oh, she was a wonderful villain! The mistress of all evil!!!!

  5. hopeso says:

    She is the best. Love Angelina and i can't wait to see the movie she is brilliant and the know the movie will be great. My Lady tops them all……Y'all Bow!!!!

  6. ArchiesBoy says:

    First an obsession with comic books. Now with fairy tales. American movies and society are devolving more rapidly than ever.

  7. Isaac says:

    Californian,

    Actually most of the fairy tales were very dark before Disney got a hold of them. For example, Sleeping Beauty birthed a two children while sleeping and the pain of child birth woke her up. It doesn't end there though. In the Pied Piper, the piper leads the children to a river to drown instead of a cave and in The Little Mermaid, Ariel is given the choice to kill the prince and live or turn to sea foam and die, Snow White is no fairy tale either, the Evil Queen (mother not step mother) originally wants Snow's liver and lungs which were to be her dinner and in the end the Queen is made to dance in red hot iron shoes until she die.Fairy tales were originally meant to teach a lesson and if you didn't learn head that lesson something bad would happen.

  8. Bri says:

    lol wow so much negativity in these comments.

  9. L. Torres says:

    At the end of the day. We all want a good story. Really looking forward on the twist which Disney will place on this iconic Grimm story.

  10. Vapor says:

    Wow people. So many claiming that the Brothers Grimm stories were dark, so it's okay. If you truly study the literature, you'd learn that the Grimm Brothers didn't write these stories. They actually sweetened old tales to make them more suitable for children so they could make money on books. They actually changed the stories from really dark to something more tolerable, and have had to rewrite some tales over and over (editions) because teachers kept saying that their stories were still not suitable. (For instance, what Isaac says about Sleeping Beauty is only partly true – in the original tale, she is raped. The story has come a long way since then.) The Brothers Grimm's livelihood was to take stories told among adults from various parts of the world and make them less dark to use as teaching aids for kids. Is Disney doing this? I don't think so.

    • Andrea says:

      If you study the literature you say Vapor? All you did was copy and paste text about the original fairy tales from the listverse.com article that was the first result when you searched for information about the original Sleeping Beauty. The version I'm familiar with has the princess sleeping for a 100 years and a prince finds her.

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