With cameras set to roll this summer, “Maleficent” is moving fast, and after adding Sharlto Copley last week, it has bolstered the cast with some more, mostly British names.
THR reports that Imelda Staunton (“Vera Drake,” “Alice In Wonderland“), Miranda Richardson (legend, you should already know), Sam Riley (“Control,” “On The Road“), Lesley Manville (“Another Year“) and Kenneth Cranham (“Made In Dagenham,” “Valkyrie“) have all come aboard the Angelina Jolie fairy tale vehicle. The live-action film will explore the origins of the evil fairy Maleficent and what led her to curse Princess Aurora in Disney’s animated classic “Sleeping Beauty.” And though her name seems to have appearing/disappearing in reports from the trades on the movie, it looks like Elle Fanning is on board, so there you go. So yes, it’s another revisionist fairy tale movie, but this cast isn’t one to sneeze at.
Mike Leigh veterans Staunton and Manville will pair up to play pixies Knotgrass and Flittle, who care for Aurora. Richardson will play Maleficent’s aunt Queen Ella, who doesn’t particularly care for her niece, while the boys Cranham and Riley will play, respectively, a human king who plots to conquer the fairy kingdom and Diaval, a raven who can change into human form, and is Maleficent’s right hand man. So yeah, sounds like this one will be epic in scope and have a shitload of special effects.
That’s probably why we’re not going to see the movie until March 14, 2014. But that will give plenty of time to first time director/Oscar winning production designer Robert Stromberg to get it right.