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Trivia / Maleficent

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  • Approval of God: Well, approval of Dante, maybe. Mary Costa, the voice of Aurora in the original, really liked the film, and especially praised Angelina Jolie's performance.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Why Angelina Jolie signed up for the role when she heard of the project, even though she was initially skeptical of whether or not they could make a feasible story. Same goes for Elle Fanning; she grew up watching Disney Princess movies and dressing up like them, so of course playing one (who also just happened to be one of her favorite princesses) in an actual film appealed to her.
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  • Dawson Casting: Inverted. Aurora is 15 and turns 16, while Elle Fanning was 14 during filming. Compare that to the original film, where Aurora looked like she was in her 20s and was voiced by the just-under-30 Mary Costa.
  • Deleted Role: There was an actual Queen of the Fairies, Ulla, Maleficent's aunt, who cursed her with her horns to mark that she was a nuisance (her big wings were often disruptive), and King Kinloch, who ruled by her side. Miranda Richardson and Peter Capaldi were cast as these characters, respectively. Maleficent's father was also a minor character. These scenes were filmed but they were sadly cut.
  • Deleted Scene: There were several scenes that were cut for time, including:
    • Diaval being the one to suggest Maleficent revoke the curse;
    • Stefan getting the idea to murder Maleficent from King Henry, who tells him that a true king needs to sacrifice even his loved ones to gain the crown;
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    • and the pixies defecting from the Moors, rather than simply coming to the christening "to foster peace and goodwill."
  • Doing It for the Art:
    • Elle Fanning re-watched the original animated movie to pick up Aurora's character tics, particularly scenes where Aurora walked through the woods.
    • Angelina Jolie also carefully watched the original film to get Eleanor Audley's speech patterns and accent right.
    • Sam Riley also studied ravens in order to get a feel for Diaval's character.
  • Fake Brit:
    • Americans Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning as Maleficent and Aurora respectively. The former's accent is near-flawless, while the latter is passable.
    • Australian Brenton Thwaites as Prince Philip.
  • Fake Irish: The English Sam Riley uses an Irish accent to play Diaval.
  • Fake Scot: Sharlto Copley, who is South-African, puts on a Scottish accent to play King Stefan.
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  • The Other Marty: India Eisley was originally cast as Young Maleficent, but she was replaced with Ella Purnell after Disney executives expressed displeasure with her performance.
  • Playing Against Type: Imelda Staunton, best known for playing the absolutely horrible Dolores Umbridge, is here a sweet fairy (though a rather incompetent, sometimes dangerously so, one, at least as far as being a human mother) who opposes evil.
  • Promoted Fangirls: Maleficent was Angelina Jolie's favorite Disney character growing up; meanwhile, Elle Fanning loved Aurora since she was a young girl. Both got their chance to play them with this film.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • The girl who plays the young Aurora is played by Jolie's daughter. This had to be invoked since she was the only child that didn't get scared when she saw Angelina in costume.
    • Two of her other children are nobles in the Christening scene at the beginning.
  • Recycled Script: A lot of the dialogue in the Christening scene was actually lifted from the animated film that Disney made years ago, with some of it being repurposed and additional dialogue inserted. The description of what happens afterwards also has this.
  • Sleeper Hit: The film was expected to be a Box Office Bomb for Disney and despite mixed reviews, it wound being a financial hit, grossing over $700 million worldwide. In fact, it domestically outgrossed films such as Godzilla, Amazing Spiderman 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, 22 Jump Street, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This was in part due to a weak summer box office.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: Although Angelina Jolie mainly wanted to do the film because she was such a huge Maleficent fan, she also wanted her children to be able to see one of her films.
    • Hilariously, as shown above under Real-Life Relative, several of her children performed ALONGSIDE her.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original script had King Stefan as a much darker character, being the half-fairy bastard son of the King rather than just a farmboy, who never actually loved Maleficent at all, and who murders his father to take the throne rather win it from the already-dying King as in the finished film.
    • A little more regarding Maleficent's father: he was actually a Red Cap, one of the most feared and bloodthirsty of the Fair Folk. He would appear to Maleficent in the ruined castle near the Moors, encouraging her to slip further and further into villainy. Upon learning about Aurora's curse, he would voice his approval, stating it's the kind of thing he would have done. Maleficent would be bothered by this.
    • Various novelizations also feature a character named Robin, who would have been Maleficent's friend growing up. A small, winged faerie, he would have tried to warn Maleficent about humans, but in vain as she ended up befriending Stefan. He disappears from the narrative once Maleficent meets Diaval.
    • Maleficent was also supposed to be far colder to Aurora initially; instead of sending Diaval to care for her as a baby, she was to, effectively, leave her to die, and Diaval would end up secretly looking out for Aurora while bringing Maleficent around.
    • Toby Regbo was, originally, cast as young!Stefan but was declared too old and recast.
    • The original ending had Aurora become a full-faerie, and she would be Queen of only the Moors.
    • There are also smaller things, such as the fairies being even worse caretakers and sort of Alpha Bitches to Maleficent and Stefan; Diaval and Maleficent actually being an Official Couple instead of just acting like one; Queen Leila surviving and being a Reasonable Authority Figure to Stefan's Caligula; and Maleficent cursing Aurora to die, with Thistlewit softening it like in the original.
    • According to The Los Angeles Times, Guillermo del Toro was said that he was considered to direct.
    • Kristen Stewart was considered for Aurora.
    • Judi Dench and Emma Thompson were considered for the fairies.
    • Patrick Stewart was considered for a role.
    • Jude Law was considered for King Stefan.
    • The roducers briefly toyed with the idea of reuniting Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy from Hocus Pocus as the three pixies for this film.
  • Word of God:
    • Screenwriter Linda Woolverton has stated that Phillip and Aurora will get together eventually.
    • She also said that the idea for the film's plot came about after she researched the original "Sleeping Beauty" fairy tale and saw that Maleficent was actually a fairy (most fans tend to mistake her for a simple witch). From there, she wondered why Maleficent didn't have wings like the other fairies, and came up with the story presented on screen. This is actually referenced in the film, during a conversation between Aurora and Maleficent.


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