Matt Chapman and Ian Sandwell from Digital Spy might agree that when Maleficent first came out in her own live action movie it was evident that we were seeing something other than the classic villain that had been created for Sleeping Beauty so long ago, as back then she was a force of nature that might have stamped out Prince Phillip without a second thought if not for the good fairies. Plus, the three fairies that supposedly raised Aurora in the animated version were little more than bumblers that knew next to nothing about humans, being that they were fairy creatures that had rarely, if ever, been around them. Maleficent was given a story that made a lot of us look different at the horned witch for once, though what we saw was a pure spirit that had been turned wicked by a horrible and damaging experience with a human she’d trusted. When she lost her wings it was enough to think that she had every justification for being evil and completely against the race of humanity. But despite her turn to the darker side of her nature Maleficent still remained a tragic character that through no fault of her own was turned to darkness. That seems to be about to change.
So far we don’t know a whole lot more than the trailer is telling, but what’s impressive is that Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, wasn’t even slated to be released until 2020 to begin with, but Disney decided to step up the date and bring it to fans this coming October. The movie was shot between May and August of 2018 and has been sitting there waiting to be unveiled since, so it seems that it might have been time to unveil it and let people think about what might be about to happen. So far it would seem that Aurora has found love and wants to marry, but with her less than stellar past with the humans, Maleficent isn’t about to allow such a thing to happen. Unfortunately for her Aurora is a grown woman and isn’t about to take no for an answer. So begins the feud as Maleficent denies the marriage, seeking to keep Aurora safe even while she angers the young woman with her stubborn refusal to see that anyone can change. The twist however might be that humans aren’t really ready to change.
Michelle Pfieffer joins the cast this time around and already it seems as though there’s something more to her character than is easily seen. In each look she gives and every moment she’s on screen one can only think that she’s up to no good, as though she’s measuring Maleficent up in a way that speaks of mischief yet to come. It’s obvious that Maleficent is wise not to trust Pfeiffer’s character, but at the same time it seems to mean denying Aurora what she wants most in life. From the trailer it’s evident that Maleficent is ready to launch a full-scale assault on the castle that is seen as the staging ground, but ultimately falls short. There’s no doubt that something is up with Pfeiffer’s character, something that might have keyed her in to the fact that Maleficent is weak against iron, and can be wounded and possibly killed.
Even more surprising however as Petrana Radulovic from Polygon would point out is the revelation at the end of the trailer that shows the fact that Maleficent isn’t alone, that there are more like her. This is inherently terrifying since it could indicate that the war between the fairy realm and humans is about to escalate in a big way that can’t possibly be measured as of yet. Or it could mean that Maleficent will once again become the heroine and attempt to stop the feuding by attempting to bridge the gap between them. At this point nothing would be too shocking since turning one of the most evil villains in Disney’s history into a positive character was a stroke that many didn’t see coming. Watching Maleficent as a heroine of her own story was something that shattered a lot of illusions that had been allowed to cement themselves in the consciousness of the audience way back when, but many people still happened to enjoy the switch since it put a new spin on an old story and didn’t sacrifice that much in the process. Where the movie will go from the trailer however will be debated until October no doubt, as many people will want to know just where Maleficent’s race has been and why they don’t see fit to war with the humans any longer. There’s no doubt a very good reason, but given her level of rage at humanity it almost seems likely that she’ll return for one of two reasons, to continue the battle, or to usher in a new peace.
Whatever happens, it would seem that Pfeiffer is going to be a key component in Maleficent’s continued development.