Maleficent is a 2014 American dark fantasy movie directed by Robert Stromberg from a screenplay by Linda Woolverton, and starring Angelina Jolie as Maleficent with Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville in supporting roles.
1. The movie is loosely inspired by Charles Perrault’s original fairy tale and Walt Disney’s 1959 animated movie Sleeping Beauty.
2. Maleficent portrays the story from the perspective of the eponymous antagonist, depicting her conflicted relationship with the princess and king of a corrupt kingdom.
3. The movie was a commercial success, having grossed over $758 million worldwide, becoming the fourth highest grossing movie of 2014 and the highest grossing movie starring Angelina Jolie.
4. Maleficent received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design at the 87th Academy Awards.
5. Angelina Jolie worked very closely with the costume and make-up designers to develop Maleficent’s menacing look. Disney executives objected, hoping to take advantage of Jolie’s beauty in marketing the movie, but the actress insisted that the character maintain the scarier look of the animated incarnation from Sleeping Beauty.
6. Maleficent’s magic changes color. When she is good, her magic is gold and when she is evil, her magic is green.
7. Angelina Jolie herself picked Lana Del Ray to sing Sleeping Beauty’s “Once Upon a Dream” for the end credits.
8. Angelina Jolie did the stunts herself using harnesses for her flight and battle scenes.
9. Angelina Jolie based her character’s speech and accent in homage of the original Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent voice actor Eleanor Audley. Her laughter in the movie was also based on the best variation she tried in front of her children and chosen by them.
10. Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, who portrays Princess Aurora as a young girl, is the daughter of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
11. Angelina Jolie admitted that she still has the pair of horns at home.
12. The board game played by the three fairies is an actual game called nine-men’s morris, which dates from ancient times and was very popular in medieval England.
13. All the actors and actresses in Maleficent were partly chosen to be in the movie based on their uncanny resemblances to their respective character counterparts in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
14. Vivienne Jolie-Pitt was chosen to play young Aurora because the director knew that she would not be frightened by Maleficent because she knew it was her mother.
15. In order to give the fairies a proper feeling of featherweight and agility, the three actresses who performed the fairies, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton and Juno Temple, spent three weeks filming motion capture, while being guided by artists of Cirque du Soleil.
16. For Maleficent’s horns, Angelina Jolie wore several headpieces with different weights. One headpiece was so heavy that Angelina would have neck pains right after and therefore wasn’t appropriate for some of her scenes, such as her fight scene, battle scene and horse-riding scene.
17. The movie had the largest budget ever for a first time director, Robert Stromberg, surpassing another Disney movie, TRON: Legacy.
18. Diaval’s make up, in human form, consisted of crow’s feet on his face and body; to reflect his true, avian nature.
19. Maleficent is Angelina Jolie’s first live action movie role since The Tourist.
20. Peter Capaldi was cast as Maleficent’s uncle but his role was cut from the final version.
21. Maleficent is a fairy but notably resembles more of a harpy, the hybrid, winged creature from the Greek and Roman mythologies with the parts of a woman and a bird.
22. Emma Thompson and Judi Dench were considered for the roles of the fairies.
23. Maleficent’s prosthetics and make up were inspired by singer Lady Gaga, particularly on her “Born This Way” album cover.
24. Jude Law was considered to play King Stefan before Sharlto Copley was cast.
25. Although meant to be slightly older, Brenton Thwaites is actually 9 years older than his co-star Elle Fanning.
26. Miranda Richardson was cast as Queen Ulla, but her role ended up being cut.
27. Two of the respective actresses playing Young Maleficent and Young Princess Aurora, Isobelle Molloy and Eleanor Worthington-Cox, both played the title role in the London production of “Matilda: the Musical.”