According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney has zeroed in on its choice for a Maleficent 2 director and its a name familiar to the House of Mouse: Joachim Ronning. Alongside Espen Sandberg, Ronning directed this year’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales for the studio. While the fifth Pirates outing disappointed domestically, it still managed to haul in almost $800 million worldwide.
Long story short, Disney is happy and wants to continue their working relationship with the man. It’s unknown at the this as to whether or not Espen Sandberg will join him as co-director, as done before on Pirates and Kon-Tiki. Angelina Jolie will once again star, with Joe Roth returning as producer.
The current script has been penned by longtime Disney writer Linda Woolverton (The Lion King), with Jez Butterworth (Spectre) in charge of the current rewrite. An official production start date has not yet been set, but an early 2018 shoot seems likely. This, of course, would line the film up for a 2019 theatrical release.
I wasn’t over the moon for the first Maleficent. It felt a bit too compromised to love, but I also found it to be far more creative and interesting than a lot of the similar live action reboots that the studio has made since (i.e. Beauty and the Beast, the Alice duology). Here’s hoping this one skews more towards the Cinderella and Pete’s Dragon end of the pool, as they represent the best of these films to date.
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