Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Maleficent Mistress of Evil (Official Film Poster).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoachim Rønning
Written by
Based on
Produced by
CinematographyHenry Braham
Edited by
Music byGeoff Zanelli
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • October 18, 2019 (2019-10-18)[2]
Running time
119 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$185 million[4]
Box office$491.7 million[3]

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a 2019 American fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Pictures, directed by Joachim Rønning, and written by Linda Woolverton, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, and Noah Harpster. It is a sequel to the 2014 film Maleficent,[1] with Angelina Jolie returning to portray the title role. Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville also return to their previous roles, with Harris Dickinson replacing Brenton Thwaites from the first film and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ed Skrein, and Michelle Pfeiffer joining the cast as new characters. Set five years after Maleficent, the film sees the eponymous character face the neighboring kingdom's manipulated perception of herself as a villain, in addition to a subplot of the rise of an endangered, powerful fairy race known as the Dark Fey.

After the release of the first film in May 2014, Jolie stated a sequel was possible. The project was officially announced the following June, and Jolie signed on in April 2016. Rønning, who co-directed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) for Disney, was hired to direct the film in October 2017, and the rest of the cast was added or confirmed in May 2018, with filming beginning that month at Pinewood Studios in England, lasting through August.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was released in the United States on October 18, 2019. It grossed over $491 million worldwide, although it needed to make around $500 million in order to make a profit when factoring in total budget, marketing and distribution costs.[5] The film received mixed reviews from critics, with criticism aimed at the "muddled plot and overly artificial visuals", but praise for the performances of Jolie, Fanning, and Pfeiffer.[6] The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Makeup and Hairstyling at the 92nd Academy Awards. A third film is currently in development.


In the five years since King Stefan's death,[N 1] Aurora has reigned as Queen of the Moors, with Maleficent as its guardian and protector. Despite her service, the neighboring kingdom of Ulstead, home to Prince Phillip, deems Maleficent a villainess for her role in Aurora's story, and while Phillip's father, King John, wishes for peace, his mother, Queen Ingrith, has been secretly preparing for war; in the hidden areas of the castle, workers make weapons and ammunition out of iron, deadly to all fairies. Diaval, Maleficent's raven and confidante, overhears Phillip proposing to Aurora, and tells Maleficent. While she advises against the union, Aurora vows to prove her wrong.

Phillip's parents host an intimate dinner, having invited Aurora, Maleficent, and Diaval. Maleficent struggles to maintain her composure as Ingrith taunts her throughout the evening by repeating the inaccurate story that has made the humans believe her to be evil: the story of Maleficent's sleeping curse on Aurora is only half the truth, because no one has ever been told the whole truth about her loving Aurora and sacrificing herself to lift the curse. Ingrith alludes to Stefan's death as murder, and openly claims Maleficent killed two human fairy poachers last seen near the Moors. Maleficent responds with equal iciness that humans have been kidnapping fairies, and hints that she believes the order to do it comes from the King or Queen.

Ingrith provokes Maleficent by dismissing her maternal bond with Aurora and claims that the marriage will make Ingrith her real mother, to which Maleficent reacts by angrily unleashing a burst of magical energy. John suddenly faints, and Ingrith accuses Maleficent of cursing him, which Maleficent denies to a disbelieving Aurora. Maleficent is prompted to flee without Aurora by the arrival of armed guards. Phillip urges his mother to try and awaken John with a kiss. Ingrith demurs, and her weak attempt fails because she does not love her husband – especially for their differing views on peace and war.

As Maleficent flees the castle, Ingrith's right-hand woman, Gerda, shoots Maleficent with an iron bullet. Wounded, Maleficent falls into the ocean, only to be rescued by a mysterious winged creature. She awakens in a cavern where fairies like herself have been in hiding. Among them is Conall, their peaceful leader who saved Maleficent, and Borra, a warlike fairy who favors open conflict with humans, who killed the poachers near the Moors. Maleficent is among the last creatures known as the Dark Fey, powerful fairies forced into hiding and nearly driven extinct by human oppression. She is also the last direct descendant from the Phoenix, an ancient and powerful Dark Fey ancestor in which their entire race originated from. She needs to pass through certain stages in order to harbor her full potential. When she brought up a human, she cleared the initial stages and Conall insists on forgiving Aurora in order to gain her final phoenix stage, but Maleficent disagrees. Because Maleficent's magic is so powerful, Conall and Borra believe she is instrumental in ending the conflict with humans, either by peace or war.

Meanwhile, the magical denizens of the Moors are invited to the royal wedding, but Aurora grows disillusioned with being an Ulstead noblewoman, especially as her suspicions of Ingrith rise. Later, some humans enter the Moors to gather Tomb-Bloom flowers (flowers that are doused with the essence of the Moor's deceased) to use as weapons against the Fey. Sensing this, Maleficent and the Dark Fey go to the Moors to protect the flowers, but they are ambushed, and Conall is killed, prompting Borra to declare war on the humans. Aurora discovers that Ingrith cursed John using Maleficent's old cursed spindle, as she hates all Moor fairy folk. She confronts Ingrith, who reveals that she bitterly resents the Moors' prosperity during a time when her kingdom suffered, and also blames them for her brother's death; she plots to eradicate all fairies and woodland beings using the iron weapons as well as a lethal crimson powder developed by Lickspittle, a de-winged pixie. When the Moor folk arrive, they are trapped inside the castle chapel.

At Ingrith's command, Gerda unleashes the deadly crimson powder by playing the chapel's Pipe organ. Flittle selflessly saves everyone as a last resort by flying right inside the organ's central flue pipe where she dies and transforms into a bunch of blue flowers, rendering the entire thing unplayable. Gerda attempts to remove it but Knotgrass and Thistlewhit,in a fit of rage causes her to slip and fall to her death. The Dark Fey launch an assault on Ulstead but the palace soldiers begin massacring them until Maleficent, channeling her Phoenix power, joins the battle. She nearly kills Ingrith but Aurora appeals to Maleficent's humanity to spare her, and declares that Maleficent is her only mother. With Maleficent distracted, Ingrith fires her crossbow. Maleficent saves Aurora, but is struck from behind by the arrow and she dissolves into ashes. Devastated, Aurora grieves for Maleficent, but after Aurora's tears fall on the ashes, a revived Maleficent attains her phoenix stage.

Horrified and infuriated, Ingrith throws Aurora off the tower to kill her, prompting Maleficent to rescue her again. Phillip forges peace between the fairies and humans and the Ulstead soldiers stand down. Maleficent reverts to her fairy form and finally gives Aurora and Phillip her blessing, realizing they belong together. Lickspittle decides to stop following Ingrith's orders and gives Maleficent the spindle used to curse John and, previously, Aurora. Maleficent destroys the spindle and its curse, awakening John from his sleep. As she flees, Ingrith is stopped and captured by Borra and the other Dark Fey. As punishment for her crimes, she is transformed into a goat by Maleficent until she can accept the peace between the two people.

After Aurora and Philip marry, Maleficent returns to the Moors with the other Dark Fey, teaching the young fairies to fly. She promises to return for the christening of Aurora and Philip's future child.




On June 3, 2014, following the release of the first film, Angelina Jolie hinted that a sequel to Maleficent was a possibility.[14] On June 15, 2015, Walt Disney Pictures announced that the sequel was in the works and that Linda Woolverton would return to write the screenplay for the film.[15] Although Jolie's return to the sequel was not yet certain, the script was intended to be written with her in mind.[15] In addition, Joe Roth was reported to return as producer of the film.[15] On April 25, 2016, Disney officially confirmed Jolie's return as the title character.[16] On August 29, 2017, it was reported that Jez Butterworth would rewrite Woolverton's script while Roth was confirmed as returning as producer.[17] In September 2017, Jolie stated that they "have been working on the script and this is going to be a really strong sequel."[18] On October 3, 2017, Deadline reported that the film would be directed by Joachim Rønning and it would start filming in the first quarter of 2018.[19]


In April 2018, Ed Skrein was cast in the film to play a dark fae, with Elle Fanning returning to play Princess Aurora from the previous film.[20] Michelle Pfeiffer was also added as character described as a queen,[21] later clarified to be an evil queen[22] named Queen Ingrith.[23]

In May 2018, it was announced that Harris Dickinson would replace Brenton Thwaites in the role of Prince Phillip, due to scheduling conflicts with the latter actor.[24] Later it was also confirmed that Jenn Murray, David Gyasi, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Robert Lindsay had also joined the cast. Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville were also confirmed to reprise their roles from the prior film.[25][26][27] In June 2018, Judith Shekoni joined the cast.[28]


Principal photography began on May 29, 2018, at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England.[27][29] Filming wrapped on August 24, 2018.[30][31]

Visual effects[edit]

The visual effects were provided by The Moving Picture Company and Mill Film, supervised by Jessica Norman, Damien Stumpf, Brian Litson, Ferran Domenech, and Laurent Gillet, with Gary Brozenich serving as the Overall Supervisor.[32]


On May 22, 2019, it was revealed that the film's score would be composed by Geoff Zanelli, replacing James Newton Howard from the previous film.[33] The film marks Zanelli and Rønning's second collaboration, after Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.[33] Zanelli said that "the storytelling in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is fantastic", for which he said that "writing [the film's] score is a dream come true".[33] On September 20, 2019, the song "You Can't Stop the Girl" by Bebe Rexha, from the film's soundtrack, was released as a single.[34]

Track listing[edit]

All music is composed by Geoff Zanelli (tracks 1–22).

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
1."Mistress of Evil" 1:33
2."Poachers on the Moors" 4:24
3."What Is Going On Here?" 4:31
4."Ulstead" 2:39
5."Etiquette Lesson" 2:05
6."All He Wanted Was Peace" 4:50
7."We Have Her" 3:49
8."We're Dark Fey" 3:53
9."Pinto's Retcon Mission" 1:52
10."It Is Love That Will Heal You" 2:07
11."Origin Story" 2:30
12."You Don't Have To Change" 2:01
13."The Dance of the Fey" 2:11
14."Back to the Moors" 1:14
15."Our Fight Begins Now!" 1:45
16."Your Majesty, They're Coming from the Sea" 2:16
17."I've Made My Choice, You'll Have to Make Yours" 3:33
18."Protecting Our Kind" 2:42
19."Maleficent Returns" 5:09
20."The Phoenix" 4:41
21."Hello, Beastie!" 3:42
22."Time to Come Home" 5:49
23."You Can't Stop the Girl"Bebe Rexha2:38
Total length:1:11:57


Theatrical release[edit]

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was theatrically released on October 18, 2019 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures,[2] moving up from the film's previously announced date of May 29, 2020.[35]


The first teaser trailer for the film was released on May 13, 2019.[36] On July 8, 2019, the official trailer for the film was released, in which Ejiofor's character was revealed.[37] On September 4, 2019, Disney released a behind-the-scenes featurette in which the cast talk about the evolution of Maleficent's personality and some of the moral challenges each of the characters face in the story.[38] On September 10, Disney released a black and white sneak peek detailing the makeup process to transform Angelina Jolie into Maleficent.[39]


A tie-in novelization of the film was published by Disney Publishing Worldwide on October 8, 2019.[40]

Home media[edit]

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on Digital HD on December 31, 2019, followed by a 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD release on January 14, 2020.[41] Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was released on Disney+ on May 15, 2020.[42]


Box office[edit]

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has grossed $113.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $377.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $491.7 million.[43][3] It was estimated the film would need to gross $400–475 million worldwide in order to break-even, and around $500 million in order to turn a profit.[5][4]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Zombieland: Double Tap and was initially projected to gross $45–50 million from 3,790 theaters in its opening weekend.[44] However, after making $12.5 million on its first day (including $2.3 million from Thursday night previews), estimates were lowered to $38 million. It went on to debut to $36.9 million, finishing first at the box office but marking a 47% decline from the $69.4 million opening of the first film.[45] The lower-than-expected opening was blamed on the five years between installments, mixed critical reviews and competition from fellow releases.[4][5] In its second weekend, the film made $19.4 million, retaining the top spot at the box office, before falling to third place in its third weekend with $13.1 million.[46][47]

The film's release in India was declared as below average by Chennai Box Office.[48]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported the film holds an approval rating of 39% based on 256 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "While it's far from cursed, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil too rarely supports its impressive cast and visuals with enough magical storytelling to justify its existence."[49] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 43 out of 100 based on 40 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[50] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, the same score as the first film, while those at PostTrak gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and a 59% "definite recommend".[4]

Forbes film critic Scott Mendelson called it the "best 'live action Disney fairytale' flick since 'Pete's Dragon,' " a 1977 live-action Disney flick starring Mickey Rooney and featuring a 2-D animated dragon that got the remake treatment in 2016.

Los Angeles Times film critic Justin Chang calls the film (written by returning scribe Linda Woolverton and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood co-writers Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue) an “enjoyably deranged” continuation of the first movie thanks to Jolie’s commitment to the character’s grim quirks, though he ultimately notes the “flat dialogue, overblown battles, and cloying CGI critters” weigh down the film’s merits, while IndieWire‘s Eric Kohn adds that Jolie’s natural charm adds so much “delicious flamboyance to this striking villainess that she outshines the latest heavy-handed Disney refashioning” before quipping that “only the world’s biggest movie star could upstage her own movie with each fearsome scowl.”

Accolades, awards and nominations[edit]

List of awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Academy Awards February 9, 2020 Best Makeup and Hairstyling Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten and David White Nominated [51]
Art Directors Guild Awards February 1, 2020 Best Production Design in Fantasy Film Patrick Tatopoulos Nominated
British Film Designers Guild January 1, 2020 Best Production Design in Fantasy Film Patrick Tatopoulos & Dominic Capon Nominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards January 28, 2020 Best Costume Design in Fantasy Film Ellen Mirojnick Won [52]
Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild January 11, 2020 Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling Audrey Stern Nominated
Saturn Awards October 26, 2021 Best Fantasy Film Release Nominated [53]
Best Production Design Patrick Tatopoulos Won
Best Make-up Arjen Tuiten and David White Nominated


On July 2, 2021, It was announced that a threequel was in development, with Angelina Jolie being attached to the project. The first draft of the script is already written, reportedly by Linda Woolverton and Evan Spiliotopoulos.[54]

On September 9, 2021, Disney confirmed that the project is in the works, with Jolie expected to reprise her role.[55][56][57] In November, during an interview with D23 Inside Disney Podcast about Jolie's film, Eternals, she hinted her return as Maleficent in a third film.[58]


  1. ^ As depicted in the 2014 film Maleficent.


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External links[edit]