Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
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, 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.
|Maleficent: Mistress of Evil|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joachim Rønning|
|Music by||Geoff Zanelli|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios|
|Box office||$491.7 million|
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 over $491 million worldwide. 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. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Makeup and Hairstyling at the 92nd Academy Awards.
In the five years since King Stefan's death,[N 1] Aurora has reigned as Queen of the Moors and Maleficent as its guardian and protector. Despite her service, the neighboring kingdom of Ulstead, home to Prince Phillip, deems Maleficent a villain, 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. When he has relayed this to Maleficent, she advises against the union, but Aurora insists she will be proven wrong.
Phillip's parents host an intimate dinner, having invited Aurora, Maleficent and Diaval. Maleficent maintains 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 nobody 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.
When Ingrith dismisses Maleficent's maternal bond with Aurora and claims that the marriage will make Ingrith her real mother, Maleficent reacts by angrily unleashing a burst of magical energy. John suddenly falls to the floor unconscious, and Ingrith cries out that Maleficent has cursed him. Maleficent denies cursing him, but Aurora disbelieves her. 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 – a fact made obvious by her whispered words in John's ear: "You wanted peace, now Rest In Peace forever."
As Maleficent flees the castle, Ingrith's right-hand, 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, and killed the poachers near the Moors. Maleficent is among the last creatures known as Dark Phoenix 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, the magical denizens of the Moors are invited to the royal wedding, but Aurora grows disillusioned with being an Ulstead noblewoman. Later, Conall sacrifices himself to save Maleficent again during a human attack on the Dark Fae, 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. When Ingrith learns that Aurora knows, she 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 organ. The fairy Flittle selflessly sacrifices herself to save everyone as a last resort by clogging the organ, rendering the organ unplayable, while her friends Knotgrass and Thistlewit cause Gerda to fall to her death. The Dark Fae 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 by the arrow, dissolving into ashes. Devastated, Aurora grieves for Maleficent, but after Aurora's tears fall on the ashes, Maleficent is reborn as a Phoenix.
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 slumber. As she flees, Ingrith is stopped and captured by Borra and the other Dark Fae. 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 wed, Maleficent returns to the Moors with the other Dark Fae, teaching the young fairies to fly. She promises to return when there is a "christening" for Aurora and Philip's future child.
- Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, a Dark Fey and the former ruler of the Moors; Aurora’s adoptive mother
- Elle Fanning as Aurora, the current ruler of the Moors; Maleficent’s adoptive daughter; Prince Philip’s wife
- Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith, the power-hungry Queen of Ulstead, John’s wife and Philip’s mother.
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Conall, a Dark Fey that rescues Maleficent.
- Sam Riley as Diaval, a raven that is given human form by Maleficent.
- Ed Skrein as Borra, a Dark Fey that leads the attack on Ulstead.
- Harris Dickinson as Prince Phillip, the Prince of Ulstead and Aurora's lover turned husband.
- Imelda Staunton as the voice and motion-capture of Knotgrass, a red fairy.
- Juno Temple as the voice and motion-capture of Thistlewit, a green fairy.
- Lesley Manville as the voice and motion-capture of Flittle, a blue fairy.
- Robert Lindsay as King John, the King of Ulstead.
- Warwick Davis as Lickspittle, a de-winged pixie who reluctantly works for Queen Ingrith.
- Jenn Murray as Gerda, a woman who is loyal to Queen Ingrith.
- David Gyasi as Percival, the captain of the guards who works for the Ulstead Royal Family.
- Judith Shekoni as Shrike, a Jungle Fey.
- Miyavi as Udo, a Tundra Fey.
- Kae Alexander as Ini, a Desert Fey.
- Aline Mowat as the Narrator.
- Emma Maclennon as the voice and motion-capture of Pinto, a hedgehog-like creature.
- Maclennon also provides the voice and motion-capture of Button.
- John Carew as Jungle Warrior Fey
- Freddie Wise as Young Peasant
On June 3, 2014, following the release of the first film, Angelina Jolie hinted that a sequel to Maleficent was a possibility. 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. Although Jolie's return to the sequel was not yet certain, the script was intended to be written with her in mind. In addition, Joe Roth was reported to return as producer of the film. On April 25, 2016, Disney officially confirmed Jolie's return as the title character. On August 29, 2017, it was reported that Jez Butterworth would rewrite Woolverton's script while Roth was confirmed as returning as producer. In September 2017, Jolie stated that they "have been working on the script and this is going to be a really strong sequel." 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.
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. Michelle Pfeiffer was also added as character described as a queen, later clarified to be an evil queen named Queen Ingrith.
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. 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. In June 2018, Judith Shekoni joined the cast.
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.
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. The film marks Zanelli and Rønning's second collaboration, after Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. 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". 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.
The first teaser trailer for the film was released on May 13, 2019. On July 8, 2019, the official trailer for the film was released, in which Ejiofor's character was revealed. 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. On September 10, Disney released a black and white sneak peek detailing the makeup process to transform Angelina Jolie into Maleficent.
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. 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.
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. 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. The lower-than-expected opening was blamed on the five years between installments, mixed critical reviews and competition from fellow releases. 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.
The film was released in India and declared as below average in Chennai Box Office.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported the film holds an approval rating of 40% based on 246 reviews, with an average rating of 5.09/10. 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." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 43 out of 100 based on 40 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". 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".
|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|||
|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||Won|
|Costume Designers Guild Awards||January 28, 2020||Best Costume Design in Fantasy Film||Ellen Mirojnick||Won|||
|Gran Premio Internazionale del Doppiaggio||February 10, 2020||Best Female Voice||Michelle Pfeiffer||Won|
|Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild||January 11, 2020||Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling||Audrey stern||Nominated|
- As depicted in the 2014 film Maleficent.
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