Angelina Jolie has officially confirmed that she intends to star in the Maleficent sequel. With how focused the media has been on Angelina Jolie’s personal life for the last year or two, perhaps it was a deliberate decision on her part to minimize her appearances in the public eye lately. Since starring in 2014’s Maleficent, the actress hasn’t had a major live-action role. She did lend her voice to Kung Fu Panda 3 to reprise her role as Master Tigress, but animated films can make it very easy to forget who is behind the character we see on screen.
That’s not to say Jolie has been sitting around idle in that time. In recent years the star has been transitioning from being in front of the camera to being the woman behind it. Jolie has been the director of such films as In the Land of Blood and Honey and Unbroken. Her latest film, an adaptation of Loung Ung’s memoir, First They Killed My Father, will actually be debuting on Netflix in mid-September.
It is actually while discussing her newest directorial effort in Deadline that Jolie revealed that her hiatus from appearing on screen is coming to an end. As Jolie discussed the significance of Ung’s memoir to her, and how Netflix has changed film making by allowing foreign films like hers to find a wider audience, she concluded the talk by announcing that plans for Maleficent 2 are already in the works. The original Maleficent was Jolie’s highest grossing film to date, and also helped kick off the trend of doing live-action adaptations of animated films, so doing a sequel certainly makes sense.
Maleficent offered an alternate depiction of the classic Disney villain from Sleeping Beauty, offering a backstory to the antagonist that revealed she isn’t as bad as the world thought. This new take on the character reimagined her as a fairy who was betrayed by humans and had her wings stolen, making her bitter against the world of man. Though she initially sought revenge by cursing Aurora, Maleficent eventually grew to care for the girl in a maternal way. Seeing the good in humans, Maleficent redeemed herself by saving Aurora.
There are no details on what the story will be like in the sequel, or which characters might be returning to feature alongside the misunderstood villain. But Jolie herself said, “We have been working on the script and this is going to be a really strong sequel.” Jolie’s performance as Maleficent in the original film was one of the most commonly praised aspects of the movie, so we’ll see how the follow-up fares now that Disney’s live-action adaptations of their films have become more prevalent.
It also sounds as if this may not be the only role Angelina has her eye on. She mentioned it was time to go back to acting for a while, and there was even speculation she would be doing the Bride of Frankenstein, so Jolie might have more in mind than just a one and done return to the big screen.