Two iconic female screen presences will return to the multiplex after an extended absence in "Maleficent," Disney's retelling of "Sleeping Beauty": star Angelina Jolie, and the title character she portrays.
In a new featurette about the film, which opens May 30, Jolie and her fellow cast and crew say the tale will answer questions about the past and future of Maleficent, the sorceress who cursed Princess Aurora into a death-like slumber in the 1959 animated musical version of the classic fairy tale.
"We all know the story of 'Sleeping Beauty,' so we know Maleficent, we know what happened at that christening," Jolie says in the video, which you can watch above. "But we've never known what happened before."
Screenwriter Linda Woolverton adds that the film also "takes us past that moment [of the curse] from Maleficent's point of view. It's a re-invention, not just a retelling of the same story."
"Maleficent" could also answer some questions about Jolie's standing as a movie star — namely, do audiences still want to see her in big, showy roles in tentpole studio pictures?
Jolie's most recent acting role was in 2011 and she wasn't even on screen, in the animated movie "Kung Fu Panda 2," which made $165 million domestically and $500 million internationally. The last time she actually appeared on screen was opposite Johnny Depp in 2010's "The Tourist," which came and went without much fanfare.
"Maleficent" could serve as a barometer of Jolie's box-office pull at a time when the 38-year-old actress is also making her second foray into directing.
Jolie's directorial debut, the independent 2011 Bosnian war drama "In the Land of Blood and Honey," was neither a critical nor a box-office hit, but her follow-up will have a considerably higher profile.
Universal Pictures tapped Jolie to helm the long-gestating biographical drama "Unbroken," about Olympic runner and World War II POW Louis Zamperini. The film, an awards-season hopeful, is set for release Christmas Day.
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