Deadpool’s Ed Skrein to play villain in Maleficent sequel
English actor and rapper Ed Skrein has been tapped to star in the upcoming sequel to Disney’s Maleficent as the villain character, Variety has learned.
The 35-year-old actor is well-known for his role as the antagonist Francis “Ajax” Freeman in 2016’s comic hit Deadpool and 2015’s action flop The Transporter Refueled, and recently made headlines when he was cast in the upcoming Hellboy reboot but dropped out after his casting was criticized as whitewashing and called for the studio to hire the proper ethnicity in the role.
Skrein will be joining returning stars Angelina Jolie in the titular role and Elle Fanning as Aurora, otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty. The film will be directed by Joachim R∅nning, who was behind the camera for the fifth installment in Disney’s theme park film franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The script is being written by Linda Woolverton, who penned the first film, with re-writes coming from Jez Butterworth, who helped co-write the sci-fi action hit Edge of Tomorrow and the 24th James Bond film, Spectre.
The villainous role in the upcoming Maleficent sequel is currently being kept under wraps, but shooting is expected to start sometime this spring.
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