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
Produced by
Written by
Based on
Starring
Music byGeoff Zanelli
CinematographyHenry Braham
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • October 18, 2019 (2019-10-18)[2]
Running time
118 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$157 - $185 million[4][5]
Box office$434.6 million[6]

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a 2019 American dark fantasy adventure 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.

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, and has grossed $434 million worldwide. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the performances of Jolie, Fanning and Pfeiffer, but criticism aimed at the "muddled plot and overly artificial visuals".[7]

Plot[edit]

In the five years since King Stefan's death,[N 1] Aurora has reigned as Queen of the Moors and Maleficent as its protector. Despite her service, the neighboring kingdom of Ulstead, home to Prince Phillip, deems Maleficent a villain. Diaval, Maleficent's raven and confidant, overhears Phillip proposing to Aurora. When he relays this to Maleficent, she advises Aurora against the union, though Aurora insists she will be proven wrong.

Phillip's parents, King John and Queen Ingrith, host an intimate dinner. Maleficent maintains her composure after Ingrith tauntingly mentions the sleeping curse once placed on Aurora, and recalls King Stefan's death. She openly claims Maleficent killed two human fairy poachers last seen near the Moors. When Ingrith dismisses Maleficent's maternal bond with Aurora, Maleficent reacts angrily and seemingly curses King John, who suddenly falls into a deep slumber. Maleficent proclaims she did not curse him, though Aurora disbelieves her. Phillip urges his mother to try and awaken the King with a kiss. The Queen resists, and her weak attempt fails because she does not love King John. As Maleficent flees the castle, the Queen's servant, Gerda, shoots Maleficent with an iron bullet.

Wounded, Maleficent falls into the ocean and is rescued by a mysterious winged creature. She awakens in an underground 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. Maleficent is among the last creatures known as Dark Fae, powerful fairies forced into hiding and nearly driven extinct by human oppression. She is also the last descendant from the Phoenix, an ancient and powerful Dark Fae ancestor. 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, Aurora grows disillusioned with being an Ulstead noblewoman but is happy that the Moor denizens are invited to the royal wedding. Aurora discovers that Queen Ingrith's hates all Moor fairy folk, bitterly resenting their prosperity during a time when her kingdom had suffered. She also blames them for her brother's death. The Queen secretly plots to eradicate all fairies and woodland beings using iron weapons and a lethal crimson powder developed by Lickspittle, a de-winged pixie. Aurora also learns that it was Queen Ingrith who cursed King John, using Maleficent's old cursed spindle. When the Moor folk arrive, they are trapped inside the chapel. At Queen Ingrith's command, Gerda unleashes the deadly crimson powder by playing the church organ. The fairy Flittle selflessly sacrifices herself to save everyone as a last resort by clogging the organ, rendering the organ unplayable, while fairies Knotgrass and Thistlewit cause Gerda to fall to her death.

The Dark Fae launch an assault on Ulstead but soldiers begin massacring them until Maleficent, channeling the Phoenix power, joins the battle. She nearly kills Queen Ingrith but Aurora appeals to Maleficent's humanity to spare her, and declares that only Maleficent is her mother. Maleficent distracted, the Queen fires her crossbow. Maleficent saves Aurora, but is struck by the arrow, dissolving into ashes. As Aurora's tears fall on the ashes, Maleficent is reborn as a Phoenix. Terrified, Queen Ingrith throws Aurora off the tower, prompting Maleficent to save her. On her way to escape, Queen Ingrith is stopped by Borra and the other Dark Faes.

Prince Phillip forges peace between the fairies and humans and the Ulstead soldiers stand down. Maleficent reverts to her fairy form and gives Aurora and Phillip her blessing. Upon receiving it from Lickspittle, Maleficent destroys the spindle and its curse, awakening King John from his slumber. As punishment for her crimes, Queen Ingrith is transformed into a goat.

After Aurora and Philip are wed, Maleficent returns to the Moors with the other Dark Fae. She promises to return when there is a christening.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On June 3, 2014, following the release of the first film, Angelina Jolie hinted that a sequel to Maleficent was a possibility.[15] 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 of the film.[16] Although Jolie's return to the sequel was not yet certain, the script was intended to be written with her in mind.[16] In addition, Joe Roth was reported to return as producer of the film.[16] On April 25, 2016, Disney officially confirmed Jolie's return as the title character.[17] On August 29, 2017, it was reported that Jez Butterworth would rewrite Woolverton's script while Roth was confirmed as returning as producer.[18] In September 2017, Jolie stated that they "have been working on the script and this is going to be a really strong sequel."[19] 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.[20]

Casting[edit]

In April 2018, Ed Skrein was cast in the film to play a dark fey, with Elle Fanning returning to play Princess Aurora from the previous film.[21] Michelle Pfeiffer was also added as character described as a queen,[22] later clarified to be an evil queen[23] named Queen Ingrith.[24]

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.[25] 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.[26][27][28] In June 2018, Judith Shekoni joined the cast.[29]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on May 29, 2018, at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England.[28][30][31] Filming wrapped on August 24, 2018.[32][33]

Post-production[edit]

The visual effects were provided by 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.[34]

Music[edit]

On May 22, 2019, it was revealed that film's score would be composed by Geoff Zanelli, replacing James Newton Howard from the previous film.[35] The film marks Zanelli and Rønning's second collaboration, after Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.[35] 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".[35] 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.[36]

Release[edit]

The film was released on October 18, 2019, by Walt Disney Pictures,[2] moving up from its previously announced date of May 29, 2020.[37]

Marketing[edit]

The first teaser trailer for the film was released on May 13, 2019.[38] On July 8, 2019, the official trailer for the film was released, in which Ejiofor's character was revealed.[39] 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.[40] On September 10, Disney released a black and white sneak peek detailing the makeup process to transform Angelina Jolie into Maleficent.[41] The movie was released in India and declared as below average in Chennai Box Office.[42]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

As of November 13, 2019, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has grossed $100.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $334.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $434.6 million.[6] It was estimated that the film would need to gross $400–475 million worldwide in order to break-even, and around $500 million to turn a profit.[43][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][43] 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]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported the film holds an approval rating of 40% based on 235 reviews, with an average rating of 5.11/10. 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."[48] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 43 out of 100 based on 40 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[49] 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]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As depicted in the 2014 film Maleficent.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 6, 2019). "Angelina Jolie Sequel 'Maleficent 2' Moves Up To Fall 2019". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  3. ^ "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil". AMC Theatres. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 19, 2019). "'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil' No Magic With $37M+, 'Joker' Still Stealing 2nd Place From 'Zombieland 2' With $28M+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  5. ^ "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)". ZOOM. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
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  8. ^ Eweniyi, Olanrewaju (July 9, 2019). "Watch: First Look At Chiwetel Ejiofor In The Trailer For The 'Maleficent' Sequel". Konbini. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
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  14. ^ Punter, Jessica. "THE YOUNG BRITISH ACTORS TO WATCH IN 2019". Mr. Porter. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
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  25. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 2, 2018). "'Trust' Star Harris Dickinson to Play the Prince in Disney's 'Maleficent 2' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  26. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 17, 2018). "'Fantastic Beasts' Actress Jenn Murray Joins 'Maleficent 2' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  27. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (May 23, 2018). "David Gyasi Joins Disney's 'Maleficent' Sequel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
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  29. ^ Clarke, Stewart (June 11, 2018). "'Maleficent 2' Adds Judith Shekoni of 'Heroes Reborn' and 'Ice' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
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  32. ^ Rønning, Joachim (August 24, 2018). "That's a wrap on Maleficent 2 - and what a ride it's been! A big thank you to this amazing UK crew for spending the summer with me at Pinewood Studios - so close to Heathrow, yet so far away :) I hope you all get some well deserved time off before your next adventure ✨✨✨ #maleficent2 @disney". Instagram.com. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
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  40. ^ Jones, Justin (September 4, 2019). "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Featurette Takes You BTS With Angelina Jolie". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  41. ^ Stone, Sam (September 10, 2019). "Maleficent: Watch Angelina Jolie Turn Into Mistress of Evil in BTS Video". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  42. ^ "Chennai Box Office".
  43. ^ a b Rebecca Rubin (October 21, 2019). "Box Office: Why 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Fizzled". Variety. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  44. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 15, 2019). "'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil' To Seduce $165M-$175M Opening Around The World – Global Box Office Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  45. ^ "Domestic 2019 Weekend 42 October 18-20, 2019". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  46. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 28, 2019). "'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil' Tricks 'Joker' & Steals No. 1 With $19.37M After Dead Heat B.O. Battle". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  47. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 4, 2019). "How 'Terminator: Dark Fate' Conked Out With $27M+ & Why 'The Irishman' Is Not A Missed Strategic Opportunity – Box Office". Deadline. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
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  49. ^ "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 18, 2019.

External links[edit]