New 'Maleficent 2' Footage Debuts at CinemaCon

Fans were surprised last month when it was revealed that Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, the sequel to its 2014 Maleficent starring Angeline Jolie, was seeing its release date pushed up about six months to October 18 of this year. Now, first footage of the upcoming film is making its debut at CinemaCon, giving those in attendance their first look at the eagerly-anticipated film.

ComicBook.com was on hand for Disney's CinemaCon panel where the new footage from a behind-the-scenes featurette was screened. While the footage isn't expected to be released online, we have a description of what was shown to those in attendance and you can check it out for yourself below.

The footage featured Pfeiffer's character narrating a recap of the 2014 film's story while reminding viewers of Maleficent's original plan. Then, we move to the current film. Prince Phillip invites both Maleficent and Aurora to the castle where they meet Pfeiffer's Queen. Marriage is proposed between Aurora and Phillip. A central conflict is set up with Pfeiffer's Queen trying to be a mother figure to Aurora, something that angers Maleficent who has been the girl's adoptive mother for some time.

The featurette also included interviews with Jolie, Fanning, and Pfeiffer with Jolie specifically explaining the central question of the film.

"In the film, we pose the question: is Maleficent good enough to be Aurora's mother?" Jolie explained.

Fanning went a little further in her own interview, talking about the "divide" between Maleficent and Aurora.

"Aurora and Maleficent love each other so much," Fanning said. "But there is a divide between them. Maleficent is still a little wary of the humans, and Aurora is dealing with the burden of coming into this new life to be this cookie-cutter royal, which is not what Aurora is."

Jolie will reprise her role of the titular Maleficent in the sequel. The character was originally made famous in Disney's animated classic, Sleeping Beauty. Elle Fanning is also slated to return as Princess Aurora and the two franchise stars are to be joined by heavy-hitters Michelle Pfeiffer, Chiewetel Ejiofor, and Ed Skrien. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales director Joachim Ronning is directing Mistress of Evil, replacing Robert Stromberg, who directed the first movie. The film wrapped production last August.

Maleficent, which was released in 2014, was one of the first movies in this enormous wave of live-action Disney adaptations. The film earned a total of $241 million at the domestic box office, on its way to a worldwide total of $758 million. Maleficent helped usher in the modern era of Disney live-action re-imaginings: the first film followed Tim Burton’s $1 billion-plus-grosser Alice in Wonderland and the sequel comes on the heels of Cinderella ($543m), The Jungle Book ($966m), and the Emma Watson-led Beauty and the Beast ($1.26b).

The shift in release date for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil makes it the fourth live-action adaptation on Disney's slate this year. It joins the now-in-theaters Dumbo, as well as the upcoming Aladdin, and The Lion King films.

Are you looking forward to Maleficent: Mistress of Evil? What do you think of this footage description? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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