MALEFICENT featurette

From some angles, the fact that Maleficent retraces a familiar path is the whole point. The Sleeping Beauty villainness has remained popular over the decades, and Disney’s counting on that to turn her movie into a hit. At the same time, though, the studio would like to stress that Maleficent isn’t just more of the same-old same-old.

A new Maleficent featurette plays up what’s fresh about this take on the tale. It’s not a retelling but a “reinvention” of the story, according to screenwriter Linda Woolverton — but one that “respect[s] the classic,” star Angelina Jolie reassures us. Basically, as star Elle Fanning puts it, it’s “the classic story of Sleeping Beauty plus so much more. Watch the video and check out some new photos after the jump.

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Maleficent Japanese trailer

The movie may be called Maleficent, but it’s really a spin on the classic Sleeping Beauty fable. And the new Maleficent Japanese trailer is all about Sleeping Beauty — both the character and the 1959 Disney movie about her.

The promo establishes its connection to the earlier film right away, showing us clips of the animated film. Then, with the help of some new footage, it emphasizes the weird bond that develops between Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and the child she’s doomed (played by Elle Fanning as a teen). Watch it after the jump.

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Maleficent trailer

It was only yesterday that we got our first look at Angelina Jolie‘s glorious wings, but if the new Maleficent trailer is any indication they play a key role in the movie. She’s doing all sorts of things with them in the promo — flying, fending off enemies, unfurling them for dramatic effect, and, most intriguingly, mourning their loss.

Not that she’s any less intimidating without them. The video also shows Maleficent at her most vengeful, putting a curse on a cute little baby and shoving the well-meaning fairies into a box. Watch the latest Maleficent trailer after the jump.

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Maleficent header

As if her massive horns and cut-glass cheekbones weren’t intimidating enough, Angelina Jolie‘s Maleficent has revealed yet another bizarre feature: wings. Her big, dramatic flappers have just been unveiled for the first time in a new image, banner, and trailer for Maleficent.

As cool as the wings look, though, they don’t necessarily sound that fun to wear. In the accompanying interview, Jolie compared the experience of flying around on set with the wings to that of being “a puppet.” Hit the jump to watch Jolie take flight in her magnificent Maleficent wings.

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Maleficent - Angelina Jolie (1)

With about two and a half months to go until the release, Disney has released two more Maleficent posters — one for the U.S. and one for the overseas market. Both feature Angelina Jolie‘s fairy tale villainess and her piercing gaze, but only one takes pains to point out that this is also a Sleeping Beauty movie. Compare and contrast the two after the jump.

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Maleficent header

The live-action fairy tale craze continues this summer with Maleficent, an origin tale of sorts for one of Disney’s most famous villains. And although star Angelina Jolie laughs that it’s “really funny when people say you’d be obvious for a great villain,” these new Maleficent images prove that she is indeed the perfect choice to play the Mistress of All Evil.

Also featured in this latest batch is Aurora a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty, in two different forms: as a teenager played by Elle Fanning, and as a small child played by Jolie’s daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. Check out all the photos plus a Maleficent EW cover after the jump.

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Gravity

Gravity was one of the unqualified successes of 2013, earning universal acclaim, awards season love, and approximately a gazillion dollars at the box office. But the road to the theater wasn’t exactly easy. One of the tricky aspects was the casting. In 2010, Gravity was practically a revolving door of movie stars.

Two that were attached to star for some time were Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr. Eventually, both dropped out and were replaced by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. In a new interview, director Alfonso Cuaron explains why, exactly, the original casting failed to work out. Hit the jump to read his comments.

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unbroken-image-1

Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini, an American Olympian who competed in 1936, and a World War II veteran who survived a plane crash at sea during the war only to be picked up by the Japanese Navy and interred in a POW camp.

Angelina Jolie directs the film as her follow-up to In the Land of Blood and Honey, but it’s a few of the other names in the crew roster that might get your attention: Roger Deakins (No Country For Old Men, Skyfall, Prisoners) shot the film, and Joel and Ethan Coen did some work on the script. (Just how much we don’t know, but their involvement is a good bullet point in Universal’s sales pitch if nothing else.)

Here is an unusual “trailer,” written and cut specifically for an Olympic audience, with narration by Tom Brokaw and vintage photos and footage of Zamperini cut into the footage from Jolie’s film along with a recent interview with Zamperini. Read More »

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