Angelina Jolie in talks to play villain in Tim Burton’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ reboot


Oh, I so hope this happens! The Los Angeles Times reports that Angelina Jolie is in serious talks to play one of the most famous, most wicked, most terrifying Disney villainesses of all time! Apparently, with the enormous financial and critical success of Tim Burton’s live-action Alice in Wonderland, Disney is looking to cash in again, this time giving Tim Burton the Sleeping Beauty property. But in a typical Burton twist, the idea is to make the live-action film as told mainly through the perspective of Sleeping Beauty’s villainess, Maleficent. And who should play Maleficent? Sources tell the LAT that Angelina is “keen” on the film as Tim Burton is trying to figure which project to do next:


With “Maleficent,” the postmodern take on “Sleeping Beauty,” gaining momentum at Disney, there’s also a star who could be surging with it: Angelina Jolie.

Earlier this week, the news broke that Disney had hired its longtime collaborator Linda Woolverton (“Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King”) to work on the screenplay for the live-action take on the 50-year-old hit. (Maleficent is the evil fairy godmother in the Disney film; this story would be told, “Wicked”-like, from her perspective.)

Both Tim Burton and Angelina Jolie had last spring been rumored to join the project, which Disney has been kicking around for a while as a way to mine its library, among other things. Burton’s involvement remains unclear as he contemplates several projects. But sources say that, as of the last few weeks, Jolie is keen on the film and would like to sign on to play the titular villain.

There’s no deal (or, for that matter, script) yet. And it’s unclear if Jolie’s involvement would be conditional on Burton moving forward with it too. But it’s nonetheless notable that Jolie — who has no new movie after shooting the international thriller “The Tourist” — is actively engaging with the material and could, according to sources, very well star in the film when all is said and done.

A Disney spokesman this week said the company would not comment on anything “Maleficent”-related. Jolie manager Geyer Kosinski could not be reached for comment Thursday.

A quick primer on Maleficent: The wicked fairy godmother is the character who casts the original spell on Sleeping Beauty (a.k.a. Princess Aurora, quoth Wikipedia) that the young girl will prick herself on a splinter and die; Maleficent is an archrival of sorts to the good fairy godmother, who casts a counter-spell that says the girl will sleep for a century and then be awakened by the kiss of a prince. The original versions of the fairy tale don’t name Maleficent; the character was named and shaped by Disney for its 1959 film, and would of course be deepened and amplified for this one.

What would Jolie’s involvement mean for the property and her career? Telling a classic story from another perspective would certainly fit with the trend of putting a new spin on the standby classics. And casting Jolie in it would certainly broaden the audience for a Disney fairy tale (read: bring men in to theaters).

Of course the choice to make a villain the main character instead of a secondary one could impact Disney’s ability to bring in younger audiences. And the studio would need to contend with far less pre-awareness for a single, lesser-known character than it did for a timeless classic such as “Alice in Wonderland.” But there are also plenty of reasons that Disney, whose new production chief Sean Bailey is said to hold the project close to his heart, would push “Maleficent” forward.

With “Alice in Wonderland” a monster hit, it’s hardly a secret that Disney is looking to reprise more classic material. That’s especially true for a movie that, like “Alice,” centers on the battle between two opposing sovereigns.

As for Jolie, she’s not really done much kid-centric over the course of her career, “Beowulf” perhaps excepted — and that’s not exactly full-on kiddie material. The idea of taking on a role that’s both live-action and actor-friendly, but still whimsical and delicate, could mark a refreshing change of pace after her recent action-movie kick that has her in “Tourist” and Phillip Noyce’s international thriller, “Salt.” Sometimes the desire is there. It just needs to be … awakened.

[From The LA Times]

Yeah, don’t get me started on the LAT forgetting that Angelina did voice work on both Shark Tale and Kung Fu Panda (and she’s signed on to do voice work for Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom). But the gist of the project seems on target – and if it does happen with Jolie and Burton confirmed, it will probably be another year (at least) until the production starts, or until they have any kind of shooting script.

Sleeping Beauty has always been one of my favorites of the Disney-princess films – if you go back and watch it as an adult, it’s kind of strange to think that you were so in love with it though – it’s very dark (courtesy of Maleficent, a really creepy spindle, a fire-breathing dragon and lots of Freudian “thorn” imagery) and it’s one of the scarier Disney-princess movies. Maleficent is a terrifying villainess, and I would love to see Angelina tackle that kind of cartoon-ish evil character.



Images of Maleficent courtesy of Google Images. Angelina in Venice on March 16, 2010, and in Paris on February 25 & 26, 2010. Credit: WENN.

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52 Responses to “Angelina Jolie in talks to play villain in Tim Burton’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ reboot”

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  1. teri says:

    I’d love to see her play this character if she’s really interested. But so many people attach her name to so many movies to get them attention when she’s not interested at all. Her kids would really enjoy it also.

  2. Pont Neuf says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! One of the few interesting Disney characters cannot be ruined by the queen of the “half close your eyes, quiver your lips as if having and orgasm and then pout” school of acting.

    First of all, Maleficent was elegant and sophisticated, with a strong personality. Angelina looks like your average model; beautiful, but uninteresting. She does not have the talent to pull this off… Actually, she can’t act to save her life.

    The only actress who has the personality of an evil witch is Sharon Stone. Judging by her latest photos, she wouldn’t even need make up!

    Now, seriously, Helena Bonham-Carter would do wonders with that role… Why not give it to her?

  3. elay says:

    Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is a finalcial hit BUT not a critical success: only 52% on rottentomatoes.

  4. Cheyenne says:

    I can totally see her in this part. I think she’d be great in it.

  5. Malorie says:

    Yes, yes, puh-leassseee! Let that happen, Angelina as Maleficent!

    And Jennifer as Sleeping Beauty? :S

  6. SammyHammy says:

    I LOVED Sleeping Beauty as a child-it was always my favorite. I hope this happens…I think it would be great!

  7. Izzards Chick says:

    does anyone else find it weird that she’s “keen” on this in the last few weeks…isnt Johnny Depp Tim Burtons “muse” and all of a sudden Angelina wants to hang around with Tim Burton? hhmmmmmmm

  8. Dorothy says:

    I don’t believe it, Tim Burton always gives the best part to his partner Helena Bonham-Carter.

  9. Other Laura says:

    Um, did you happen to watch Shark Tale? Her voicing was so one-dimensional. And why do people continue to pretend she was a big part of Kung-Fu Panda?

    She had at most 12 actual/real lines. If she was such a big part, then Lucy Lui ALSO made over 500 million dollars in the box office since her part was just as big as AJ’s character.

    And please, please, please. I cannot stand it when she does “accents.” Especially when she has to play the evil, seductive character. It hurts my ears. Don’t remind me of Beowulf or Alexander (shudder) Anyone notice, they both sounded the same??? Wonky accent and all?

    Honestly, Helena Bonham Carter has been in like every, single Burton film as of late. And I don’t see her playing another character EXCEPT Malaficent. Here’s to hoping.

  10. lucy2 says:

    I think this would be a great role for her – I’m so-so on her acting, but think this would be a good match. Though I agree Helena would be great, probably better.

    I just saw Alice and LOVED it. I don’t get the negative reviews.

  11. mslewis says:

    Not only is the LA Times wrong about the voice characters Angelina has played, they are also wrong about her not having any work beyond “The Tourist.” Angelina is signed to do the Patricia Cornwell movie that is waiting for a script so they can start filming in 2011.

    I don’t believe this story at all because is seems like anybody with a story idea brings up Angelina’s name so that they can get some attention. It’s as if they throw her name out there so people will talk and they can gauge how excited the public is about that particular movie. I’ll wait for a confirmation from Geyer Kosinski before I get excited about this.

  12. Cheyenne says:

    Malorie: Yes, yes, puh-leassseee! Let that happen, Angelina as Maleficent!

    And Jennifer as Sleeping Beauty? :S

    LOL! And Brad as the Prince.

  13. Xena says:

    This would be a great acting vehicle for Angelina but it will certainly reinforce the tabloid-created evil homewrecking temptress reputation. Or the “she’s playing herself” comments. I would be thrilled if she does do it, but I wouldn’t be sad if she doesn’t.

    As for Helena, I love her. But she’s being typecast. The Red Queen from Alice, Bellatrix from Harry Potter etc. I think she needs more variety.

  14. dread pirate cuervo says:

    The way I’ve always read this story, is that Maleficent IS the Fairest of Them All until Sleeping Beauty comes along. So Angelina would be great casting, beacuse you need someone beautiful. Then they can make Brad the prince & Diane Kruger Sleeping Beauty & it would fulfill some In Touch wet dream.

  15. lena says:

    sorry, but i think Tilda Swinton would be good in this part

  16. hatsumomo says:

    I would love to see it. But honestly lately I feel like Tim Burton is just selling out and putting stuff out there to make money. Seriously, Im the biggest fan, but I just didn’t like Alice. Its kinda hard to explain, like an itch you just cant place but its there. I think the biggest disappointment for me was its lack of dialog…or that whimsy-ness that makes up for a curiouser and curiouser film. but the special effects and scenery was top notch.

    And besides, Im sure we all know Helena is prolly gonna be Maleficent. Its pretty much a given at this point in their entwining careers that she takes all the leading female roles, though I do think Angelina has a ‘quite viciousness’ about her that would come out in the role.

  17. bellaluna says:

    @ lena -
    Yes! Tilda Swinton would own this part!

  18. ligeia says:

    she’s got the ice queen look down, she would be perfect for the part!

  19. Melanie says:

    Angie is about to Jump the Shark she is so damned overexposed. I thought she was actually going to take time to raise her kids instead of turning out horrible preformances and staged photo ops. Oh well, those kids don’t look like fun to be around anyway. Let the nannys deal.

  20. maggie says:

    I think she would be fabulous in this role. It would be much more interesting than Alice in Wonderland. I had a hard time sitting through the whole thing and contemplated leaving about 1/2 hour in. The only thing that kept me in my seat was the fact that I paid $10. That was 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back. It was probably one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen even though Johnny Depp was in it.

  21. Me! says:

    I’m sick of these Tim Burton projects. I think that Susan Sarandon already “did” Maleficent with her role in “Enchanted”. I really felt that that was who she was channeling (and a bit of Ursula)…

  22. hatsumomo says:

    maggie, consider yourself lucky. I paid $28 bucks for my man and I to see it in 3-d!

  23. Kim says:

    Angie does one film a year working about 3 months. In 2009 She worked approx 3 months on Salt. This year she is working about 3-4 months on the Tourist + voice work on KFP 2.She made $20 million for Salt and The Tourist and her kids visit her on set according to the director and co star Liev on Salt.Don’t worry about her kids her kids are with her more than the average working mom who works 11 1/2 months a year by necessity or by choice.

  24. Lilias says:

    Tilda Swinton or Helena Bohnam Carter would do wonderfully in this role-Tilda even more because she has that long, elegant face that is so reminiscent of the style of animation that was used.

    Sleeping Beauty was my favorite Disney princess film. I felt she got one of the cutest Princes and the animation style was so unique and beautiful-painterly.

    Please God keep Angelina away from this. I don’t care if people are just using her name to garner interest-use her name, do not use her. Her wooden acting and weird voice would never, ever make this character shine in live-action.

    The reason why they never talk about her doing kiddie movies is that the two she has done were voice acting and she was only in them for about a half-hour COMBINED. Probably less than that. No one remembers that she was in either of those films.

    And I want to ring the neck of the LA Times writer who put this up: She pricks her finger on a SPINDLE, not a “splinter”. Splinter doesn’t even make sense.

    Funny bit of trivia: The Witch in the ballet of Sleeping Beauty is always played by a male dancer.

    Dread Pirate Cuervo: You’re thinking of Snow White.

  25. teri says:

    Melanie your always so negative anything Angelina. It’s no surprise yet again your on here bashing her. Oh well there’s others who truly love and adore her so carry on. If I recall reading she’s brought in over a billion dollars on three, yes 3 movies. Bad I think not, it’s just your hate for her blinding you.

  26. teri says:

    I must be a terrible parent because I work M-F 8am to 5:30pm. All year around with just one vacation a year. I’d take Angelina’s place with working for three months if that and having 9 months to spend with my kids. I should be flogged because I’m so terrible for neglecting being a mother.

  27. teri says:

    It would be tough to choose a sleeping beauty part since Angelina is gorgeous to begin with. Who would be a good match for the part and please don’t say jen, IMO she’s average and this isn’t about vs anymore going on six years.

  28. Melanie says:

    Teri, get off my hiney. I would much rather she let Brad work as he is a better actor.

  29. Majosha says:

    I totally agree that Tilda would be outstanding in this role.

    Accents and Angelina DO NOT work well together.

  30. skibunny says:

    “Acting” and Angelina do not work well together.
    She and her partner Brad are over-rated in my opinion.

  31. JuiceinLA says:

    OH PLEASE NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

    I don’t mean Stange, she’d make a great villian. I mean Please Tim Burton, Please don’t pair up with Disney again to ruin another of my childhood favorites!!!!

    Sorry, but Alice would have been so much better if you hadn’t let Disney fingers coat your script in sticky saccharine. If you can’t do it with the Tim Burton sensibility, perspective and genius we know and love, then please Don’t do it!

  32. dread pirate cuervo says:

    Lilias: my bad. Sleeping Beauty has the 3 fairy godmothers, then?

  33. Maritza says:

    Actually I think Angelina would be perfect as Maleficent.

  34. jane says:

    I think Angi would do a good job as Maleficent, & I like dreads idea of Diane for Sleeping Beauty. Don’t think much of billy goat for the prince though!

  35. jane says:

    If anyone can pull off the evil, manipulating beauty queen, it should be Ange. Besides she already kinda looks like her: big head, skinny bod, eyebrows the same shape…the more I think about it, the more I see it.

  36. sandra says:

    there are others who truly love and adore her? i save my love and adoration for my children,not some movie star i do not even know. wow!

  37. moo says:

    After they’re done filming this movie, I hope Tim realizes she can’t act for shit and won’t waste his time. Or ours.

  38. Moops says:

    Well, at least it is a live-action version of the movie, instead of another animated one. La Jolie is seriously AWFUL doing voice-over work. She voiced femme fatale types in “Shark Tale” and “Kung Fu Panda” and was just abysmal. Not as bad as Halle Berry in “Robots,” but a close second. (Yes, I have kids, and am forced to watch all their movies…)

  39. Alexis says:

    ew…why. I’m down with fairy tale remakes…but I don’t like Burton’s style…so cheesy, too CGI, and at this point, a bit expected. His style is so concrete, it’s almost predictable.

  40. Lilias says:

    dread pirate cuervo: Yep, I don’t blame you for mixing them up though-both movies are ludicrously frightening for children and the witches’ design was very similar, down to the eyebrows and purple/black color story.

    And both Princesses end up sleeping for a long time until a prince comes and wakes them up with a kiss…wow, it is the same story. But one with Fairy Godmothers and the other with little miners :)

  41. Camille says:

    Oh god, I hope this isn’t true. I totally could see Tilda S playing the part though!

    And about AIW, I really enjoyed it, its not amongst my top 20 films, but I still really liked it and would definitely watch it again. It was a fun flick (and far, far better than other Johnny Depp films such as the last 2 Pirates ones for example- which were damn awful and boring).
    What more do people want from a popcorn BB these days lol(thats all it really was).

  42. sandy says:

    love angie, she is perfect for the role, she is beautiful and a great actress, she and her name puts people in the movie seats.

  43. Emily says:

    “I think that Susan Sarandon already “did” Maleficent with her role in “Enchanted”.”
    ITA. Although I do think Angelina would be good in this part. But I never liked Sleeping Beauty anyway, so it’s not like they’re ruining a childhood favourite for me. I like my Disney princesses to have, you know, personality, and not just lie there waiting to be saved by the prince like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White did. Jasmine FTW!

  44. Lia says:

    If it’s anything as good as his remake of Alice in Wonderland, I’m looking forward to it.

  45. Amy says:

    Angelina will probably do great in the role but as usual Tim Burton will be uncreative and give the role to Helena Bonham-Carter.

    He will also ruin Sleeping Beauty. I am not a fan of his movies. Just leave the Disney classic alone.

  46. mags says:

    i played maleficent in a preschool production of sleeping beauty…i don’t know if angie has anything on my “touch the spindle, TOUCH IT I SAY!” pshaww come on angie. let’s see whatcha got

  47. amanda says:

    there are so many more talented actresses that would KILL it as Maleficent…like Anjelica Houston, anyone? So sick of the St. Angie dick-riding. She’s not that talented. And she’s not that attractive, either.

  48. Boo says:

    Ugh. Will someone please just tell Tim Burton to stop trying direct? Someone just give him set design and let someone who actually knows how to make a movie interesting direct. Seriously, his movies are gorgeous and BORING. I love how beautiful the cartoon Sleeping Beauty is, and I think Burton could recapture that, but then I think of the horror of his script and direction, and I shudder to think of him ruining yet another of my favorite childhood films.

    Again, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice were both beautiful….just boring (and slightly creepy). Noooooooo!

  49. nana says:

    if this is true they have to make sure Sleeping beauty is really a beauty and she should stand out. Angelina is very striking and the movie might be remembered not as Sleeping Beauty but Maleficent.

    I think she will do this because she got children and surely her kids would love to watch their mom as kick ass villian and wearing black gown. Shiloh most esp would be thrilled, im sure she hates princess thingy.

  50. nana says:

    gosh.. Tim Burton is one great director and very creative. I love his bit comical dark movies and it matches his personality. sleepy hallow, batman and batman returns, charlie, edward s.hands, sweeney todd.. he can make thrilling movies and hes good esp portraying villains. i love surprises and various climax in the movies. cant wait for it. it could be around 2013 if Angie to join, heard lots of projects for her this coming years (sigh!)

  51. Praise St. Angie! says:

    to nana…

    “the movie might be remembered not as Sleeping Beauty but Maleficent.”

    from what I’ve read, the movie would be a “re-telling” of the original from Maleficent’s point of view, a la “Wicked”.

    so, your scenario might be just what they’re aiming for.