Maleficent 3 is happening, confirmed by the titular actress, Angelina Jolie, herself. According to World of Reel, the Girl, Interrupted star confirmed that the threequel to the Disney live-action remake of Sleeping Beauty is in the works.
If the upcoming film is anything like the first, it means a big paycheck for the House of Mouse is on the way since movies one and two made a combined $1.2 billion at the box office.
Timing Right For Maleficent 3
Disney released the first Maleficent movie in 2014 and followed the feature up with Maleficent: Mistress of Evil in 2019.
So, with five years between the first two films, we’re right on time for the release of Maleficent 3.
Both films star Angelina Jolie as the wicked titular dark fairy and Elle Fanning as Aurora, her adopted daughter.
New Spin On A Classic
Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent put a new spin on the classic 1959 animated feature Sleeping Beauty.
It tells the story of a powerful fairy who initially finds love with a human peasant, Stefan, who ultimately betrays her, causing the fairy to put a curse on Stefan’s daughter, Aurora, as revenge.
Over time, however, an unexpected maternal connection forms between Maleficent and the young princess that drives the plot of the first two movies, and, undoubtedly, Maleficent 3.
Themes Present In Maleficent
In the second film of the series, Angelina Jolie reprises her role as Elle Fanning’s Aurora is made queen.
Tensions escalate when Aurora’s betrothed, Prince Phillip, and his parents perceive Maleficent as a danger.
While the first film dove into themes of love, betrayal, and redemption, the second film twists through political machinations, self-sacrifice, and again redemption — a common theme that will likely also be present in Maleficent 3.
Elle Fanning Returning?
As of now, no information has been made public about Maleficent 3, and Angelina Jolie is the only cast member confirmed to be returning to the franchise.
Likely, Elle Fanning will also reprise her role as the Aurora. Harris Dickinson may return to reprise his role as Prince Phillip, especially since the last movie left off with a bit of a hint towards a future milestone in his and Aurora’s relationship.
However, Prince Phillip has already been recast once since Brenton Thwaites played him in the first movie.
Critical And Box Office Reception
The first Maleficent movie received mixed reviews from critics. While Angelina Jolie’s performance as the titular character was universally praised, the film’s overall execution received a more divided response.
Some reviewers commended the film’s thematic richness while others criticized the overuse of CGI and 3D effects; however, ultimately, the feature set the path that would eventually lead to Maleficent 3.
The sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, faced challenges at the box office, with an opening weekend that fell short of expectations, attributed to factors like the five-year gap between installments and mixed critical reviews.
The film’s global box office performance surpassed $491 million, yet some considered it necessary to gross around $500 million to turn a profit. Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent 3 will likely face similar problems since it will be more than five years between releases by the time the movie is done.
Next One, Best One?
Both of the previous films lauded Angelina Jolie’s performance as Maleficent with many critics claiming her dedication to the character’s quirks was the highlight of the films.
With Jolie returning to the titular role, critics will probably feel the same about Maleficient 3, although Disney likely hopes the threequel will do better at the office than the sequel did.