Maleficent, the Angelina Jolie-starring revisionist Disney fairytale that’s set to pull a Wicked on Sleeping Beauty, is shooting right now.
And joining Jolie in the cast is a considerable amount of Brit talent, including Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton, Peter Capaldi and one Mr Sam Riley.
We caught up with the On The Road actor for the latest issue of Total Film magazine (out now), and as well as chatting about adapting Jack Kerouac’s Beat generation classic, Riley also spilled on being cast alongside Jolie (Angie, to some)…
Tell us about Maleficent…
“I’ve been calling it ‘Male-li-fic-cent’ but I keep getting corrected by my dialect coach because of course I’m not doing my own voice in this picture as well!
“That was another thing I sort of fell into because I wasn’t working for a while and I couldn’t find anything I like before they said ‘Do you want to audition for a Disney film?’
“And I thought that I couldn’t just sit and wait in Berlin for job roles, so I auditioned for it and then I heard that I wasn’t really Disney material which I could fully understand. About two weeks after I heard that she’d seen the tape and I was back in the running so I guess I owe her a pint.
Do you mean Angelina Jolie?
“Oh yeah, my mate Angie.”
You don’t call her that do you?
“I didn’t at first. I heard she doesn’t mind and I kept hearing everyone on set called her Angie and I thought I could never get away with that so I called her Angelina. Or avoided her name altogether. But I did get a quiet moment and she did say she doesn’t mind being called Angie. But Maleficent looks great. A role where I don’t die and I don’t smoke. I love it.”
On The Road opens on 12 October 2012, with Maleficent expected to arrive in 2014.
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.