“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” will hit theaters on Oct. 18, 2019, Walt Disney Studios announced on Wednesday. The fantasy adventure is moving its release date up by seven months. It had previously been slated to debut on May 29, 2020.
The new date pits “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” against an untitled film from horror-maker Blumhouse. It will also have to contend with the second weekends of “The Adams Family,” the adaptation of Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” “Zombieland 2,” and “Gemini Man,” a futuristic thriller that unites Will Smith and Ang Lee.
If it had opened on its original date in May, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” would have been facing off against the sophomore weekends of “Fast & Furious 9” and “The Spongebob Movie.”
In the film, Angelina Jolie reprises her role as the villainous enchantress Maleficent. The cast also includes Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville, who appeared in the first installment, as well as franchise newcomers Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Skrein, Harris Dickinson, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Joachim Rønning (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”) directs from a screenplay by Linda Woolverton, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, and Noah Harpster.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is directed by Joachim Rønning, who is best known for co-directing Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. He also co-directed Kon-Tiki. He replaces Robert Stromberg who helmed the first movie. The picture has a screenplay by Linda Woolverton, who in addition to writing the first movie also scripted Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, and Alice Through the Looking Glass for the studio. Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster also worked on the story.
With the title reveal and release date shift, Disney also released the first official poster for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. There’s not much to it, but if there’s people out there who are obsessed with Angelina Jolie’s shoulder, then they should be satisfied.
The sequel commenced production on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, with Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning reprising their leading roles. It also sees Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville as the fairies Knotgrass, Thistlewit, and Diaval. Notably, Harris Dickinson (The Darkest Minds, Trust) replaces Brenton Thwaites in the role of Prince Phillip. But far more eye-catchingly the film adds to its cast Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith. Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Doctor Strange) and Ed Skrein (Deadpool, Game of Thrones) have also been cast in unspecified roles.