Maleficent may leave the audience perplexed at Disney's stance on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. It may have been some time since the 1959 Disney animation and times certainly seem to have change: instead of a fearful and malevolent Maleficent, we may be faced with a "deliciously cruel" villain we want to see beat the charming prince.

Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie at the UK premiere of World War Z.

Angelina Jolie surprised fans at the D23 fan expo with a guest appearance. She discussed the film and how she had long dreamed of playing Maleficent. On the subject, she said: "since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always my favourite. I was terrified of her, but I was also drawn to her. I wanted to know more about her. She had this elegance and grace, yet she was wonderfully, deliciously cruel."

There is, as Jolie suggests, a whole group of young children who far preferred the villains to the heroes and heroines. There's something far more interesting about the likes of Lion King's Scar; The Little Mermaid's Ursulla and Aladdin's Jafar. These characters are comparatively more complex than their happy, altruistic peers and they're almost more likeable. After all who really wants - except less recent Disney Imagineers- to be faced with a sickly sweet world? There's no challenge and there's no fun in it. 

Angelina Jolie as Maleficent.

Maleficent certainly fits the mould of an outstanding Disney villain: she is glamorous, dark and powerful. She certainly doesn't need rescuing by anybody and she's more than a match for her chirpy enemies.  

There's something quite similar to Wicked in this retelling of Sleeping Beauty. According to reports in the LA Times, the story follows Maleficent from her early years up until the events in Sleeping Beauty we are all familiar with. Sleeping Beauty is played by Elle Fanning whilst Jolie's own daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt will feature as the younger princess. 

Maleficent is due to be released in US and UK cinemas on 2nd July 2014.

Elle Fanning
Elle Fanning will play the princess in Maleficent, photographed here at 18th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards.