2014’s Maleficent was Disney’s first attempt in their now long-term quest to adapt their classic animated films in a live-action environment, and having reeled in $758.5 million at the global box office, one would think a sequel would have arrived promptly.
Naturally, it was put into development immediately, but a combination of star Angelina Jolie’s busy schedule and Disney’s production of other big-name titles such as Cinderella and The Jungle Book pushed Maleficent 2 to the background. It now looks to be moving forward once again.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales co-director Joachim Rønning is set to sign on to be the director. Despite Rønning and co-director Espen Sandberg’s Pirates film only grossing $172 million domestically, it more than made up for it worldwide, eventually pulling in $794.6 million, which Disney clearly considers to be a success.
Rønning will take over from first time director Robert Stromberg, with Linda Woolverton returning to write the script alongside Jez Butterworth (Spectre, Black Mass). Filming is expected to begin in early 2018, and will mark the first time Jolie has acted since her own directorial effort, 2015’s By The Sea.
With Disney also greenlighting sequels to these new live-action versions of their animated classics, their slate is going to be very full for the foreseeable future. Hopefully the quality can back up the amount of money and effort going into the films. Expect Maleficent 2 to arrive somewhere around 2020.