The actor, who played scorned magic-wielder Karl Mordo in the Marvel Studios blockbuster, is said to be eyeing an unknown role who is a “romantic foil” to the titular dark fairy (Angelina Jolie).
Most recently, Disney recruited Ant-Man and the Wasp star Michelle Pfeiffer to star as Queen Ingris, joining cast mates Harris Dickinson (replacing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' Brenton Thwaites as Prince Phillip), and Deadpool's Ed Skrein in an unknown villain role.
Joachim Rønning, one half of the Dead Men Tell No Tales directing team, directs from a script by Jez Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow, Disney’s upcoming Cruella) and Micah Fitzerman-Blue (Transparent).
The Oscar-nominated Ejiofor is expected to reprise his role in Marvel Studios' yet-to-be-announced Doctor Strange sequel, and will take part in another Disney live-action re-imagining when he lends his voice to the villainous Scar in director Jon Favreau's The Lion King.
Among the earliest of Disney’s animation to live-action translations, which have proved yet another moneymaking jewel in the Mouse House crown with massive earners The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, the Jolie-led Maleficent proved a powerhouse hit in 2014: the darker spin on Walt Disney's 1959 fairy tale Sleeping Beauty brought in over $758 million worldwide, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of that year and Jolie's biggest earner.
“I am now the breadwinner for the family, so it’s time,” director-slash-actor Jolie said last September of her return to acting following her split from husband Brad Pitt in 2016.
Of the Maleficent sequel, Jolie said only the script was then in development and called the follow-up “a really strong sequel.”2comments
It is currently not known what the focus of Maleficent 2 will be or how long it picks up after the end of the first movie, which saw the vengeful Maleficent form an unlikely bond with sweet-faced princess Aurora (Elle Fanning).
Maleficent 2 will begin production this year. The film has no announced release date.