Screenwriter Linda Woolverton ("Alice In Wonderland") tailored the "Maleficent" screenplay, specifically for Jolie to star as the 'evil fairy queen'.
In the original "Sleeping Beauty"story, 'Maleficent', (aka 'evil-doer') is the self-proclaimed "Mistress of All Evil" who curses the infant 'Princess Aurora' to "prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die" before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, after not being invited to the baby's christening.
Often viewed as the most powerful and sinister of Disney's occult villains, Maleficent is an interpretation of the 'wicked fairy godmother' from the original "Sleeping Beauty" fairy tale, appearing as a tall, slender, pale green skinned woman with a narrow face and prominent chin.
She also has yellow eyes and a horned headdress, symbolic of her dark magic, clad in a black and purple robe with bat wing-like edges.
Being an evil fairy, Maleficent can perform powerful spells, carrying a staff with a glowing green orb to transmit bolts of lightning. She is also capable of shape shifting at will into numerous forms, including a floating hypnotic light resembling a 'will-o'-the-wisp' and a massive, black and purple dragon.
Her minions are a legion of goblins and troll-like creatures, while frequently accompanied by her pet raven 'Diablo'.
Maleficent also appears as a major character/antagonist in the "Kingdom Hearts" video game series and a recurring character on the Disney TV series "House of Mouse".