Joachim Rønning to Direct Angelina Jolie in Maleficent 2

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Joachim Rønning to Direct Angelina Jolie in Maleficent 2

Joachim Rønning to direct Angelina Jolie in Maleficent 2

Deadline is reporting that Walt Disney Pictures‘ Maleficent sequel has finally scored a director in Joachim Rønning, one half of the Norwegian directing duo (alongside Espen Sandberg) that made this past summer’s blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which earned nearly $800 million worldwide. He is also being eyed to helm a potential sixth Pirates movie.

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Despite rumors that she will star in Universal’s Bride of Frankenstein, Angeline Jolie is committed to make the Maleficent sequel the next film on her dance card, with filming expected to start in the first quarter of 2018.

“I am now the breadwinner for the family, so it’s time,” she said previously. “We have been working on the script and this is going to be a really strong sequel.”

Released in May of 2014, Maleficent earned an impressive $758.5 million worldwide on a budget of $180 million. The film was directed by Robert Stromberg and tells the previously-untold story of the iconic villain from Disney’s 1959 animated classic, Sleeping Beauty. A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal, an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom, and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

The original action adventure also stars Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville.