In some out-of-left-field casting, Deadline reports that Sharlto Copley (District 9, Spike Lee‘s Oldboy) is the favorite to take a leading role in Angelina Jolie‘s Sleeping Beauty spin, Maleficent. Copley would not only be a surprising pick because of his still-new status, but also when you think of the potential competition — a prior story, though not concrete, alleged that Jude Law was going for the same role, that of King Stefan.
Linda Woolverton‘s screenplay depicts Stefan as the “half human, half fairy” father of Aurora (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty), who, as far as we know, is being played by Elle Fanning. There’s obviously (probably) more to him than just that initial description — the early casting would indicate he plays a decently-sized part — and I, believe it or not, say that somewhat hopefully.
Copley might be a tad inexperienced, speaking in terms of eclecticism, but that doesn’t inhibit any basic appreciation I’ve had for his (very limited) onscreen work thus far. And, much as I tend to enjoy Jude Law, it’s a better sign that Disney would go after someone who’s got something “different” going on. For a movie I’m not expecting much originality from, it’s an even bigger surprise.
With Robert Stromberg at the helm, Maleficent will open on March 14th, 2014.
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