As seems to happen a lot of the time when Hollywood heads for fantasy territory, they’re busy filling out the cast of Disney’s fairytale film Maleficent with British talent. Angelina Jolie may be playing the title role, but now THR reports that Brits Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Kenneth Cranham, Sam Riley, and Lesley Manville have all signed up for the flick.
The film puts a new spin on the relationship between evil fairy Maleficent and Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning), aka Sleeping Beauty. Imelda Staunton and Lesley Manville are playing Knotgrass and Flittle, two of the pixies who care for Aurora. Miranda Richardson is portraying Queen Ulla, Maleficent’s aunt who doesn’t like her evil niece. Sam Riley will be Diaval, Maleficent’s trusted right hand, who can transform himself between a raven and a human. Kenneth Cranham is playing the human king, the father of Aurora who tries to conquer the fairy kingdom.
Robert Stromberg is directing from a screenplay by Linda Woolverton. Production is due to begin this summer, with a March 14, 2014 release date already set.