So is Disney’s ‘Maleficent’ with Angelina Jolie Essentially a Prequel to the 1959 Animated Feature?


Maleficent Release Date AnnouncedA batch of new release dates were announced and revised today beginning with the just-received word that Disney will release their deconstruction of the “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale Maleficent on March 14, 2014. Angelina Jolie is set to play the title role in the live-action feature as “it explores the origins of the evil fairy Maleficent and what led her to curse Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) in Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty.

Reading closely, the language in that synopsis seems to suggest Disney is eying Maleficent as a prequel to their 1959 animated classic. I can’t help but wonder if they will find some way to incorporate some 2-D animation or if director Robert Stromberg will at least plan on exploring a similar color palette to the original. The idea alone makes the film more intriguing… to me at least. Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Alice in Wonderland) wrote the script.

Millenium (via WSJ) is planning on releasing their new thriller Red Lights on July 13. Directed by Rodrigo Cortes (Buried) the film had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival to mixed reactions largely due to what people say is an out-of-nowhere ending. The film stars Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy and Elizabeth Olsen and you can watch a teaser for it right here.

Ender's Game Release DateNext we learn (via ComingSoon) Summit has moved their adaptation of adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game from March 2013 to November 1, 2013. The film is in production right now with Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) directing a cast that includes a pair of veterans from Martin Scorsese’s Hugo in Asa Butterfield and Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld‘s first major role since starring in the Coen brothers’ True Grit, and more impressive names including Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis and Nonso Anozie.

The pic I included here comes from the site’s production blog.

And finally, Paramount is moving their latest Sacha Baron Cohen feature The Dictator from May 11 to Wednesday, May 16 so as to avoid competition with the latest Johnny Depp and Tim Burton teaming, Dark Shadows.

Personally The Dictator didn’t interest me in the slightest until I saw a TV spot recently featuring Cohen as the title character in a helicopter talking about fireworks at the Statue of Liberty, confusing a pair of passengers thinking he was planning a terrorist activity. I found it hilarious and am far more interested in seeing the film than I ever was.