Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is an American epic dark fantasy film released on October 18, 2019. As the official sequel to Maleficent, Angelina Jolie returns to portray the titular role of the same name, along with Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora.
A fantasy adventure that picks up several years after Maleficent, in which audiences learned of the events that hardened the heart of Disney's most notorious villain and drove her to curse a baby Princess Aurora, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen, as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.
In the five years since King Stefan's death, Aurora has reigned as Queen of the Moors and Maleficent as its protector. Despite her service, the neighboring kingdom of Ulstead, home to Prince Phillip, deems Maleficent a villain. Diaval, Maleficent's raven and confidant, overhears Phillip proposing to Aurora. When he relays this to Maleficent, she advises Aurora against the union, though Aurora insists she will be proven wrong.
Phillip's parents, King John and Queen Ingrith, host an intimate dinner. Maleficent maintains her composure after Ingrith tauntingly mentions the sleeping curse once placed on Aurora, and recalls King Stefan's death. She openly claims Maleficent killed two human fairy poachers last seen near the Moors. When Ingrith dismisses Maleficent's maternal bond with Aurora, Maleficent reacts angrily and seemingly curses King John, who suddenly falls into a deep slumber. Maleficent proclaims she did not curse him, though Aurora disbelieves her. Phillip urges his mother to try and awaken the King with a kiss. The Queen resists, and her weak attempt fails because she does not love King John. The Queen's servant, Gerda, shoots Maleficent with an iron bullet as she flees the castle.
Wounded, Maleficent falls into the ocean and is rescued by a mysterious winged creature. She awakens in an underground cavern where fairies like herself have been in hiding. Among them is Conall, their peaceful leader who saved Maleficent, and Borra, a warlike fairy who favors open conflict with humans. Maleficent is among the last creatures known as Dark Fae, powerful fairies forced into hiding and driven to near extinction by human oppression. She is also the last descendant from the Phoenix, an ancient and powerful Dark Fae ancestor. Because Maleficent's magic is so powerful, Conall and Borra believe she is instrumental in ending the conflict with humans, either by peace or war.
Meanwhile, Aurora grows disillusioned with being an Ulstead noblewoman but is happy that the Moor denizens are invited to the royal wedding. Aurora discovers that Queen Ingrith hates all Moor fairy folk, bitterly resenting their prosperity during a time when her kingdom had suffered. She also blames them for her brother's death. The Queen secretly plots to eradicate all fairies and woodland beings using iron weapons and a lethal crimson powder developed by Lickspittle, a de-winged pixie. Aurora also learns that it was Queen Ingrith who cursed King John, using Maleficent's old cursed spindle. When the Moor folk arrive, they are trapped inside the chapel. At Queen Ingrith's command, Gerda unleashes the deadly crimson powder. The fairy Flittle selflessly sacrifices herself to save everyone, while fairies Knotgrass and Thistlewit cause Gerda to fall to her death.
The Dark Fae launch an assault on Ulstead but soldiers begin massacring them until Maleficent, channeling the Phoenix power, joins the battle. She nearly kills Queen Ingrith but Aurora appeals to Maleficent's humanity to spare her, and declares that only Maleficent is her mother. The Queen fires her crossbow. Maleficent saves Aurora, but is struck by the arrow, dissolving into ashes. As Aurora's tears fall on the ashes, Maleficent is reborn as a Phoenix.
Prince Phillip forges peace between the fairies and humans and the Ulstead soldiers stand down. Maleficent reverts to her fairy form and gives Aurora and Phillip her blessing. Upon receiving it from Lickspittle, Maleficent destroys the spindle and its curse, awakening King John from his slumber. As punishment for her crimes, the Queen is transformed into a goat.
After Aurora and Phillip are wed, Maleficent leaves with the other Dark Fae. She promises to return when there is a christening.
- Angelina Jolie as Maleficent
- Elle Fanning as Aurora
- Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Conall
- Sam Riley as Diaval
- Ed Skrein as Borra
- Harris Dickinson as Prince Phillip
- Imelda Staunton as Knotgrass
- Juno Temple as Thistlewit
- Lesley Manville as Flittle
- Robert Lindsay as King John
- Warwick Davis as Lickspittle
- Jenn Murray as Gerda
- David Gysai as Percival
- Judith Shekoni as Shrike
- Kae Alexander as Ini
- Miyavi as Udo
- Emma Maclennan as Pinto/Button
- Aline Mowat as Narrator
- Main article: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (soundtrack)
On May 22, 2019, it was revealed that film's score would be composed by Geoff Zanelli, replacing James Newton Howard from the previous film. The film marks Zanelli and Rønning's second collaboration, after Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Zanelli said that "the storytelling in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is fantastic", for which he said that "writing [the film's] score is a dream come true". On September 20, 2019, the song "You Can't Stop the Girl" by Bebe Rexha, from the film's soundtrack, was released as a single.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was originally scheduled for theatrical release on May 29, 2020, until it was moved up to October 18, 2019. The teaser trailer was released on May 13, 2019, and the official trailer was released on July 8.
- Main article: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (video)
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 40% based on 235 reviews, with a weighted average of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "While it's far from cursed, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil too rarely supports its impressive cast and visuals with enough magical storytelling to justify its existence." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average of 43 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil received an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling nomination at the 92nd Academy Awards, losing its win to Jay Roach's Bombshell.
Trailers and Clips
- This is the last live-action Walt Disney Pictures movie released before the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This is the second sequel to a Disney live-action adaptation of an animated film after 102 Dalmatians.
- Harris Dickinson took over the role of Prince Phillip from Brenton Thwaites due to the latter's scheduling conflicts with the web series Titans.
- Angelina Jolie and Chiwetel Ejiofor previously collaborated in the 2010 film Salt.
- This is Chiwetel Ejiofor's second role in a Disney live-action adaptation in the same year of 2019, following his voice role as Scar in the live-action remake of The Lion King.
- The title Mistress of Evil was used for some foreign language versions of the first Maleficent film.
- This is the second sequel to a Disney live-action adaptation of an animated film to not have its music score composed by the same composer as its predecessor (James Newton Howard scored the previous film while Geoff Zanelli takes over for this film) after 102 Dalmatians (which was scored by David Newman).
- This film was released on the same day as Searchlight Pictures' Jojo Rabbit. Ironically, Disney is the current owner of both 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures.
- Both Imelda Staunton and Warwick Davis previously worked in the Harry Potter franchise as Dolores Umbridge, Filius Flitwick and Griphook respectively.
- Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Angelina Jolie all have roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Ejiofor plays Baron Mordo, Pfeiffer portrays Janet van Dyne, and later Jolie has been cast as Thena in Eternals.
- This is the last Disney live-action theatrical film to use the 1967 MPAA logo.
- This was the first time Aurora's live-action counterpart was seen in her signature pink dress.
- Following the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, this was the last live-action Walt Disney Pictures film to have a theatrical release domestically until 2021's Cruella (another live-action adaptation of a Disney animated classic).