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)

In Disney’s original Sleeping Beauty, the divide between good and evil was a pretty clear-cut one. Aurora and her beloved Prince Phillip were good, kind people, and Maleficent was a horrible being who cursed an innocent baby to death. But the studio’s upcoming Maleficent suggests that the “real” story may not be so simplistic.

In the Robert Stromberg-directed film, Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie) starts out every bit as pure and sweet as any Disney princess, until the destruction of her forest kingdom causes her to turn bitter and hateful. The newest promo contrasts the Mistress of All Evil we know from Sleeping Beauty against the complicated woman that Maleficent shows her to be. Watch it after the jump.

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Maleficent

In the original Sleeping Beauty, there’s little debate that Maleficent is one nasty fairy. She curses a child to death; she kidnaps a prince; she refers to herself as “the Mistress of All Evil,” for crying out loud.

But Disney’s upcoming Maleficent aims to muddy that perception a bit. In this live-action retelling, Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie) starts out as a perfectly sweet gal before tragedy hardens her heart. The first trailer for this dazzling fantasy has just hit the web, and you can watch it after the jump.

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angelina-jolie-maleficent-1

Over a half-century since Disney released their animated classic Sleeping Beauty, the Mouse House is finally ready to hear out the bad guy’s side of the story. Directed by Robert Stromberg, Maleficent stars Angelina Jolie as the titular villainess — one of the most iconic in the Disney canon.

The first trailer hits tomorrow at 9 AM EST, but until then we have a brand-new poster to feast our eyes on. Check it out after the jump.

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maleficent-logo-2

Saving Mr. Banks helmer John Lee Hancock is going to help rescue another iconic Disney character. Hancock has been brought in to assist first-time director Robert Stromberg in shooting new scenes for Maleficent, intended to strengthen the opening of the film.

While it’s not uncommon for big-budget studio productions like this one to go in for reshoots, it is a bit unusual for a studio to bring in another director to help film new material. Hit the jump for the latest updates on the project.

Update: The header image is now the new logo for Malificent which was found via a Spanish blog.

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In October 2011, I got to visit the wonderful world of Oz and watch director Sam Raimi direct his preboot (prequel/reboot) of the classic L. Frank Baum book series. I learned much on the set of Oz: The Great and Powerful. Most fascinating to me was some of the things Disney had to do satisfy legal concerns over possibly violating copyrighted imagery from the classic 1939 film adaptation, owned by Warner Bros.

And while trailers for the film focus on wholly computer-generated worlds and characters, you might be shocked to learn the lengths that Sam Raimi went through to shoot a lot of the film practically. For example, it was interesting to see Raimi inventing new practical solutions to help the supporting actors create and react to live performances for characters who would eventually be created in CG — and I’m not talking about performance capture.

After the jump you can watch a video blog we recorded talking about the visit, followed by many more things I learned while on the set.

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