Sneak Peek new images from director Robert Stromberg's upcoming live-action Disney fantasy feature "Maleficent", starring Angelina Jolie, opening July 2, 2014:
The "Maleficent" screenplay is by Linda Woolverton ("Alice In Wonderland") who tailored the screenplay to accomodate Jolie:
"A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, 'Maleficent' has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day an invading army threatens the harmony of the land.
"Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone.
"Bent on revenge, she faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant 'Aurora'.
"As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom.
"—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well..."
In Disney's original "Sleeping Beauty" animated feature, 'Maleficent', (aka 'evil-doer') is the self-proclaimed "Mistress of All Evil".
She 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 rogue's gallery of 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".