On Wednesday the first trailer and a trio of new images were released from the film "Maleficent," giving the clearest idea yet of what the anticipated Angelina Jolie movie will feel like.
The film, a live-action prequel to the animated classic "Sleeping Beauty," reorients the movie to the title villainess and explores her back story.
"I know who you are," declares young Elle Fanning in the role of Princess Aurora, who will become the sleeping beauty character. "You've been watching over me my whole life." Jolie's face is obscured in shadows. Fanning says, "Don't be afraid." Jolie purrs back, "I am not afraid," but, when asked to reveal herself, replies, "Then you'll be afraid."
The film is the directing debut for Robert Stromberg, a two-time Oscar winner as an art director. In the trailer's concluding shots, a digitized thicket of thorny branches emerges from the ground, solidifying the dark, goth-y feel of the trailer. In a manner similar to how architect-turned-filmmaker Joseph Kosinski handled "Tron: Legacy," Stromberg looks to be aiming to play to his strengths even while taking the reins of a big-budget star vehicle.
As for Jolie, she's offered her own rationale for playing the character. "Since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always my favorite," the actress said at the D23 promotional event this past summer. "I was terrified of her, but I was also drawn to her. I wanted to know more about her. She had this elegance and grace, yet she was wonderfully, deliciously cruel."
"Maleficent" is set to open May 30, 2014.