Exclusive: Angelina Jolie Returning For Maleficent 3, Now In Development

We've exclusively learned that Disney is developing Maleficent 3 for Angelina Jolie's return as the villain.

By Faith McKay | Published

angelina jolie maleficent 3

Angelina Jolie took on the role of the Disney villain, Maleficent, for a 2014 release. That first movie did quite well, earning over $750 million at the worldwide box office. It would have seemed that an immediate sequel was in order, but audiences didn’t get to see Maleficent: Mistress of Evil release until 2019. It’s unclear whether audiences had forgotten about this movie by that time, or whether there was a failure in the Disney marketing machine, but that movie pulled in $491 million at the worldwide box office, marking a steep drop. Industry experts claimed that the film would have needed $500 million to break even. While the movie match involved may have ruled out a final film for the villain, many fans have been waiting for the official word from the studio. Now, we have news on the fate of Maleficent 3.

One of our trusted and proven inside sources has now learned that Disney is actively developing Maleficent 3. We can expect to see Angelina Jolie on screen as the infamous villain again soon, though from what we’ve learned, it doesn’t sound like the studio has a firm timeline yet. Considering that they are now developing the project, and there was a five-year gap between the first and second films, it may not be until 2024 or even 2025 that we see the third film release. Still, fans can take comfort that the movie is actually happening, after nearly a two-year wait for news on the follow-up movie.

angelina jolie maleficent 3

One of the major issues a lot of people had with the second Angelina Jolie Disney movie was the story itself. The visuals from the first and second film were both praised. The story in Maleficent, written by Linda Woolverton, was praised. But the story in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, again written by Linda Woolverton, was often hit hard in critical reviews. The second script had more hands on it than the first, though, with Jez Butterworth said to have come in for a re-write at one point. So many hands on the script make it sound like Disney may have been nervous about following up their first hit and the creative process may have been hindered. It seems likely that Linda Woolverton will come back with a script for Maleficent 3, hopefully with a strong idea that pulls the third film together better this time.

Disney’s decision to move forward with development on Maleficent 3 with Angelina Jolie makes sense at this point in time. The second movie was released in 2019, with the time for decisions on a third movie falling right at the start of 2020, with productions going on lockdown. A delay in that decision-making process is understandable. This news also comes after the release of Emma Stone’s Cruella, another live-action villain film for the studio, which has already announced its planned sequel. Could it be a sign of more live-action villain movies on the way? It will be interesting to see how the story develops for the third movie, hopefully wrapping things up for the character.