EntertainmentAngelina Jolie confirms return for 'Maleficent 3' as production begins

Angelina Jolie confirms return for 'Maleficent 3' as production begins

Angelina Jolie in the movie "Maleficent" from 2014.
Angelina Jolie in the movie "Maleficent" from 2014.
Images source: © Disney, Press materials | Frank Connor
2:58 AM EST, December 7, 2023

We have fantastic news for the fans of "Maleficent". The making of the third part in the series has been confirmed after initial rumors! Here's what we know about the upcoming venture.

Speculations about Maleficent's adventures continuing started circulating last year and were cited by 'The DisInsider' site. Back then, talks were that Jaume Collet-Serra, the Spain-born director, would likely direct the forthcoming installment. The biggest star of the series, Angelina Jolie, has now clarified these rumors.

Unveiling "Maleficent 3"

In a conversation with the Wall Street Journal, Jolie disclosed that she has sealed the deal to rejoin the franchise. The fate of the rest of the stars remains unknown; previous installments included Elle Fanning and, with the second part, Michelle Pfeiffer joined the ensemble.

The original film was the first full-length feature film directed by set designer Robert Stromberg. Stromberg is a two-time Oscar awardee for his prolific work, bagging the awards for "Alice in Wonderland" and "Avatar". The second part was handled by the Norwegian director Joachim Rønning, who had previously directed "Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge".

If the speculations turn out to be true, the third installment of the saga could be directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Collet-Serra is recognized for his films with Liam Neeson: "Unknown", "Non-stop", "Run All Night", and "The Commuter". He was the director of the movie "Jungle Cruise" featuring Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson in 2021, and last year he contributed to the DC universe with "Black Adam", starring "The Rock".

Delving into the "Maleficent" series

"Maleficent" drew inspiration from Disney's "Sleeping Beauty". The main character was depicted as beautiful and kind until war marred her youth and she defended her homeland fiercely. The first part's cast included Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton, and Sam Riley.

The sequel picked up a few years after the first part's events. We already know why the Disney character turned evil and why she cursed the princess. "Maleficent 2" centers on the relationships between characters. Aurora decides to tie the knot and move into her future husband's castle. Besides Jolie, Fanning, and Riley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Harris Dickinson, and Chiwetel Ejiofor also made appearances.

The fantasy family cinema yielded substantial profits. The first movie, made with a budget of $180 million, grossed nearly $760 million, but the sequel earned just $490 million, despite having a budget $5 million higher. The series did not receive rave reviews from critics.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the original movie scored only 54 percent on the "freshness" indicator, meaning a little over half the reviewers approved it, and the sequel did even worse, scoring 39 percent. Despite these scores, Disney believes there is still potential in this storyline.

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