Whether we like it or not, there is an impressive slew of live-action Disney remakes coming in our future like Mulan (2019), Dumbo (2019), Aladdin (2019), Christopher Robin (2018)), and the questionably live-action The Lion King (2019) to name a few (it will indeed be a miracle if four of those previously mentioned movies all release in the same year of 2019). It seemed odd when Maleficent 2 was announced among these upcoming films; many people thought that this was going to be one of those sequel announcements that was riding the coat tails of the first film's success and just wouldn't end up happening. But it appears that Maleficent 2 is still happening according to Deadline, Joachim Rønning, the co-director of this last summer's fifth Pirates movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), is in talks to be helming Angelina Jolie's sequel.
Is there enough story for Maleficent 2 to tell?
Maleficent (2014) was met with mostly mixed and lukewarm reviews, and while this writer personally enjoyed the film very much for what it was, it does still seem odd to be making a sequel to this particular movie. Where would you take the story next? Maleficent focused not just on the villain's origins but it also played out the Sleeping Beauty tale with a few twists and turns. While an argument can be made that most movie sequels are unnecessary to begin with, many of them at least have places to go; Maleficent just doesn't strike me that way, but we'll see what Joachim Rønning brings to the project, who from his last swashbuckler obviously has the experience of working on a film in the Disney world with a Disney perspective. Regardless of what you thought of the first Maleficent, you can't deny that Angelina Jolie's performance was a treat, one of the roles she clearly was always meant to play.
As previously stated, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg combined forces to direct Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and while that may have also been met with mixed reactions and reviews, the film in general was still a financial success, so it makes sense that Disney would snag one of these filmmakers for a future project. Maleficent 2 still has no release date at the time, but a goal of 2018 is in mind, and Angelina Jolie is confirmed for her delightfully wicked reprise.