Just as Maleficent II starts production, it has been confirmed that Robert Lindsay (Wimbledon) is joining the cast, and that Chiwetel Ejiofor is definitely attached. The 12 Years a Slave was previously in talks.
Maleficent II cameras are rolling at the UK Pinewood studios with Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning reprising their roles as the dark fairy Maleficent and Princess Aurora. The characters were based off those in the animated Sleeping Beauty classic.
Also starring and previously announced are Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith, Ed Skrein and Harris Dickinson as Prince Phillip. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales director Joachim Rønning is helming off a script by Linda Woolverton and Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster. Producers are Joe Roth and Jolie.
Additional cast members returning from the 2014 film include: Sam Riley as Diaval; Imelda Staunton as the pixie Knotgrass; Juno Temple as the pixie Thistlewit; and Lesley Manville as the pixie Flittle.
The sequel picks up several years after Maleficent. That film followed the events that drove Maleficent to curse baby Princess Aurora. Maleficent II continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen, as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.
The first Maleficent opened on May 30 four years ago and amassed more than $750M at the WW B.O. No release date is specifically announced for Maleficent II yet, but Disney has several holds on its release schedule for live-action fare including Nov. 8, 2019; Feb. 14, 2020; May 29, 2020; Oct. 9, 2020 and Dec. 25, 2020 in the next two years.