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Sharlto Copley Negotiating for Disney’s ‘Maleficent’

Since coming into the spotlight, Sharlto Copley has been very selective with his projects. Mostly known for his debut performance in Neill Blomkamp’s science fiction film District 9, the actor now negotiates for what might be his biggest role yet in Disney’s Maleficent.

Disney’s 1959 take on Sleeping Beauty predictably focuses on the cursed Princess Aurora and demonizes Maleficent, the fairy that cursed her. However, Maleficent will see the Mouse House giving its own classic a revisionist examination, accounting for why Princess Aurora was cursed and how its titular villainess came to be so evil. Angelina Jolie will play Maleficent, and if negotiations go as planned, Copley will star in the film as King Stefan, the father of Princess Aurora.

Deadline Hollywood says Stefan serves as the film’s primary male character, so we can expect him to be far more important to the narrative of this film than he was in Disney’s original incarnation of the fairy tale, but with that comes the question of how Prince Phillip fits into all this. Elle Fanning, who starred in last year’s nostalgic sci-fi hit Super 8, will play Princess Aurora.

Oscar-winning art director Robert Stromberg will direct this reinterpreted fantasy, making this his first time at the helm of a motion picture. Maleficent is currently slated to hit theaters on March 14, 2014.

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