All too often when a studio shifts a release date for a big movie, it's to delay the film in question by several months which will likely include expensive reshoots. However, Disney has opted to move up the release onMaleficent: Mistress of Evil from its original May 29, 2020 launch, to October 19 this year. That sure is one colossal vote of confidence in the sequel to move it up the schedule by seven whole months.
Angelina Jolie returns as the titular horned fairy for the sequel to the 2014 blockbuster that explored the origins of Maleficent before Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Grossing an impressive $758 million worldwide upon its release, a sequel for Maleficent has been in development since 2015. It took several incarnations of the script and being promoted to fully fledged producer for Jolie to sign up to the project. Aside from Tomb Raider and voicing Master Tigress in the Kung Fu Panda films, Jolie has largely avoided franchises. Joachim Rønning (Pirates of the Carribean: Salazar's Revenge) takes on directing duties for the sequel with Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville returning from the first film. Harris Dickinson (Kingsman: The Great Game) takes over the role of Prince Philip owing to Brenton Thwaites' commitments to DC's Titans.
When Maleficent arrived in cinemas five years ago, Disney was only beginning to ramp up their reworking its animated classics into live-action movies. Disney has experimented with the likes of 101 Dalmatians and its sequel back in the 90s, but it was the $1 billion success of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland back in 2010 that got this live-action trend going.
Also starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Skrein and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil will be casting her spell over audiences on October 19.