Brow Beat

Angelina Jolie Channels Evil for Disney’s Dark Sleeping Beauty Update

The live-action fairy-tale trend shows no signs of abating. The last couple of years have brought us not one but two Snow Whites, a Jack (with beanstalk), a bloody Red Riding Hood, and two fairy-tale TV shows. Kenneth Branagh is directing a Disney-produced update of Cinderella for 2015. And next year brings Maleficent, centered around the iconic villain from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, played by Angelina Jolie in her first film in three years.

The teaser is here, and the tone is unsurprisingly dark: Late at night in the woods, Maleficent hides in shadows as Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) coaxes her to come into the light. Images of Aurora’s childhood whisk by as she explains in voiceover that she knows the witch has been spying on her since she was born. The booming soundtrack swells as Maleficent wreaks magical havoc on the landscape.

Matching the menace of the original animated villain, voiced wonderfully by Eleanor Audley, is no small task, but Jolie has a better chance than most. Color me cautiously optimistic.