It appears that the marketing for the Sleeping Beauty villainess’ film has awakened.
Walt Disney Pictures has just released the first trailer for Maleficent, the upcoming live-action film adaptation of the titular antagonist from the aforementioned classic 1959 animated Disney film. Although not spelled out in the teaser, the story centers around the iconic baddie, played by Angelina Jolie, as it reveals how she became the sinister sorceress we all know. Helmed by first-timer Robert Stromberg, the film also stars Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copely, Juno Temple, Miranda Richardson, Imelda Staunton, and Peter Capaldi, and will be released May 30th of next year. You can check out the trailer below:
While Sleeping Beauty was one of my favorite Disney films growing up, I’ve been indifferent about this project ever since it was announced. Aside from the amusing callbacks to elements from its source material (the crow, the spindle and the thorned branches), this teaser not only failed to pique my interest significantly, but it’s made me worried for Disney’s financial well-being when it comes to budget. The visual effects shown in here looked great, but maybe a little too great. My fears were halfway realized when I went to Wikipedia and read up on the budget of this film: a whopping $200 million.
If anyone has kept up with Disney’s tentpole blockbusters outside of their work with Marvel, it’s been proven that their forays into adapting older properties have thus far shown to be unsuccessful at the box office. We thought they had learned with John Carter, but it was only a year later with The Lone Ranger that they had another bomb on their hands, and both films combined had lost them hundreds of millions of dollars due to lack of profits. On top of that, they both received mostly less-than-stellar reviews. Now, with their tackling of the character of Maleficent, the elements are there for this to follow a similar path. But to be fair, unlike the relatively obscure and aged licenses of John Carter of Mars and The Lone Ranger, this is homegrown from one of Disney’s most popular animated films (and antagonists) and could garner a much wider audience who are craving for nostalgia. So really, it could go either way. All I’m saying is that the teaser, while decent-looking enough, shows warning signs of Disney making the same mistake a third time.
What do you guys think? Does the trailer excite you or make you go “meh?” Do you have similar concerns about how much money Disney is putting into their films? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!