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Disney's Maleficent sequel gets its title, plus a new release date

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Unleashed in 2014, blockbusting fantasy Maleficent helped spearhead the current crop of live-action Disney remakes. (This month sees Tim Burton's Dumbo, and The Lion King reaches us in July.)

Angelina Jolie donned the horns and swished the cape in the role of the cackling Sleeping Beauty villain, taking us back to Maleficent's tragic origins and also shaping a more sympathetic side to the character.

In particular, the movie developed Maleficent's relationship with young princess Aurora (Elle Fanning), showing how the former's heart softened as came to embrace the latter as a surrogate daughter figure. The movie's A-list star power and lushly engrossing visuals helped steer it to box office grosses exceeding $700 million, and we're now getting a sequel.

The title of the Maleficent sequel has been revealed as Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and, in a somewhat unusual move, the release date has been brought forward by seven months. That means we're now getting the movie on 18th October 2019, as opposed to the originally scheduled date of May 2020. There's also a new poster teasing the film's Gothic aesthetic and Jolie's imposing look.

Angelina Jolie on Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil poster

The official synopsis is as follows: "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 II 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."

Supporting Jolie and a returning Elle Fanning is a bevy of A-list talent. Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays new character Queen Ingrith, and Chiwetel Ejiofor (in an undisclosed role) join familiar faces Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville. Other newcomers include Ed Skrein and Harris Dickinson, who replaces the original film's Brenton Thwaites in the role of the prince. Behind the camera is Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge film-maker Joachim Ronning.

Are you excited for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil? Remember, the movie is now coming out this October, so tweet us your responses @Cineworld.