Disney has zeroed in on a director for the studio’s sequel to the 2014 hit movie Maleficent. Looks like the gig will go to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales helmer Joachim Rønning, who is in talks for Maleficent 2, Deadline reports.
If Rønning does sign on the dotted line, the fairy tale tentpole movie will keep him in the fold at Disney for a good while longer, as the director is also tapped for the sixth Pirates film.
Maleficent 2 will see the return of Angelina Jolie in the role of the Sleeping Beauty villain. The 2014 live-action remake of the studio’s 1959 animated film was directed by Robert Stromberg and was seen through the eyes of Maleficent. Jolie confirmed her involvement with Maleficent 2 to Deadline during the Telluride Film Festival earlier last month. “We have been working on the script, and this is going to be a really strong sequel,” the Oscar-winning actress said.
The sequel's script is being written by two Writers Guild of America award-winning writers: Jez Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow, Spectre) and Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Maleficent).
Maleficent ended up making $758.5 million worldwide, despite lukewarm reviews from critics, and helped launch Disney’s live-action remake craze of their animated films (Maleficent was followed by Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Pete’s Dragon, and Beauty and the Beast, with more remakes in the works).
Maleficent 2 is slated to kick off filming in the first quarter of 2018. Is Joachim Rønning the right man for the job?