The Maleficent movie trailer, with Angelina Jolie and Lana Del Rey, debuted at the 56th annual Grammy Awards Sunday, Jan. 26. Jolie plays the classic Disney sorceress with what looks like the perfect edge and twist to the classic character. Lana Del Rey, a current pop sensation, is featured singing an updated version of the 1959 animated Disney classic “Once Upon A Dream.” Del Rey’s score gives the trailer a haunting and dreamy backdrop to the upcoming remake. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog, the new version of “Once Upon A Dream” by Del Rey is said to be available for limited download from Google Play.
The film tells the classic Disney story of “Sleeping Beauty,” but this time it is told through the eyes of Maleficent, the evil sorceress. Through this villainous perspective, the audience sees what really drives this sorceress to place the curse upon Princess Aurora.
This new version – “Maleficent” – is directed by Robert Stromberg, and the film is Stromberg’s directorial debut. In past films, Stromberg has worked with visual effects on the set of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”, production designer on the set of “Oz the Great and Powerful”, and he has won two Academy Awards for art direction for his work on “Alice in Wonderland” and “Avatar”. It is no wonder this trailer offers quite the artistic style that is also true to the classic tale’s unworldly vibe.
Along with Oscar winner Jolie, “Maleficent” also stars Elle Fanning as the young Princess Aurora and in the movie trailer, along with Angelina Jolie and Lana Del Rey, there is a brief shot of Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, daughter of Jolie and Brad Pitt. She is said to play a younger version of Princess Aurora; in the scene in which we see her, she appears as a young girl, running through a field in the first 30 seconds of the trailer.
Although the trailer shows us a new side of the classic tale, it also uses many of the aspects selective to the original story, such as Stromberg’s use of the green mist that surrounds Maleficent, signifying her magical powers. The trailer opens with Maleficent stepping into the court of King Stefan, Princess Aurora’s father; a look of instant shock and fear hits the man as he witnesses the tall, pale figure approach his throne. Only her horns are seen in the beginning moments of the trailer, until a full shot of Jolie is revealed with the opening statement of “Well, well.” The trailer also gives the audience a glimpse of Jolie placing the sleeping spell over Aurora, the spindle that puts the Princess to sleep and – eventually – the rising up of the army of thorny dragon-like roots and creatures to fight in the battle against King Stefan’s knights.
According to US Weekly, Jolie told Entertainment Weekly in 2012 that the script was intended to be a great one and she was highly anticipating it. She also stated that her kids were equally thrilled about it and she’d already had her horns fitted for the screenplay.
This recently released trailer gives a lasting impression through the eerie and luminous portrayal of Maleficent and sets the mood for this revenge tale. In the trailer with Jolie and Del Rey, the ending credits show the malevolent depiction of this classic tale will hit theaters May 20. As the preview states, “You know the tale; now find out the truth.”
By Sarah Widger