Disney’s Sleeping Beauty redo “Maleficent” continues to get more star-studded with every new announcement. Angelina Jolie is already toplining as the titular villain with Elle Fanning as the slumbering princess and Sharlto Copley as her half-fairy father, and today THR reports joining them will be some of England’s most revered: Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Lesley Manville, Kenneth Cranham and rising star Sam Riley.
In the Robert Stromberg directed re-imagining of the classic fairy tale, “Maleficent” will explore Jolie’s character’s backstory and tell the tale of why she decides to curse the innocent princess to 100 years of slumber. Staunton and Melville play two of three pixies who look after Fanning’s Aurora while Richardson will be a fairy queen who is Maleficent’s aunt. Cranham plays Copley’s father and human king who plans a takeover of the fairy kingdom, while Riley will play Diaval, Maleficent’s right hand man who can transform into a raven. Confused yet? Same here.
British thesp Riley earned high marks for 2007′s “Control” and even in the less well received “Brighton Rock” in 2010, and is poised to have a breakout year when he stars in in the lead role of Sal Paradise in Walter Salles’ long-gestating adaptation of “On the Road”, heading to Cannes next week. He also recently completed work on Neil Jordan’s vampire flick “Byzantium” opposite Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan.