First look: Angelina Jolie as Maleficent
Cape Town - Walt Disney Pictures have released the first official image of Angelina Jolie as the evil sorceress in Maleficent, in a new movie adaptation of Sleeping Beauty.
The image shows Angelina's Maleficent wearing the twisted black horns which became iconic from the 1959 animated version of the Disney tale, and contact lenses which give her a green and yellow-eyed malevolence.
The live-action adaptation of the well-known fairytale focuses on the back story of Sleeping Beauty and is narrated from the untold perspective of the evil Maleficent who curses the young Princess Aurora and explores "the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora," according to Disney.
Maleficent also stars Elle Fanning (Super 8) as Aurora and South African actor Sharlto Copley (District 9) as her father King Stefan. Eighteen-year-old actress India Eisley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) has been cast as the younger version of Angelina's Maleficent.
The movie went into production in London last week and will feature a number of acclaimed British actors in the supporting cast: Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville.
Maleficent promises to be a visual feast as it marks the directorial debut of Robert Stromberg, who has won two Oscars for his 3D visual effects and art direction work on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and James Cameron's Avatar.
Maleficent is set to be released in 3D on 14 March 2014, though no South African release date has yet been confirmed.