A hero is only as good as their villain…or vice versa.
You can’t keep a good villain down. Four years after it ruled the box office, the Maleficent sequel is gaining some serious steam with its casting. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Michelle Pfeiffer will be joining Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning in the fairy tale follow-up. While not much is known regarding the script of the film, we have been told that Pfeiffer will play a queen at the center of the story. Is she tag-teaming with Jolie against Ed Skrein’s dastardly antagonist? Or is she the vengeful wife mourning the rotten King Stefan?
Whatever the case, I’m here for more Pfeiffer. Although, if I were honest with myself, I’d be happiest if she unsheathed her Catwoman claws. The actress has recently double-downed on the morally questionable characters. Playing one of twelve suspects in Murder on the Orient Express, Pfeiffer’s Mrs. Hubbard exposed tremendous heartbreak behind that train car corpse. In Darren Aronofsky’s mother! she practically went full demon on the audience. Dropped into the land of Sleeping Beauty, I see flames of terror rising behind Pfeiffer, letting hatred manifest in her magic.
Life with Disney must be working out well for Pfeiffer. We’re still waiting to see how Ant-Man and the Wasp are going to pull her out of the Quantum Realm, but the expectation is that her character will be a gateway to new wonder for Marvel’s tiniest superhero. Her character holds the key to expanding that particular corner of the MCU mythology.
As massive a titan as Pfeiffer once was, her star has dimmed over the last decade or so. From taking the reins on Grease 2 to The Witches of Eastwick to HBO’s The Wizard of Lies. As young whippersnappers moved into the spotlight, she was relegated to supporting roles as wife or mother. This trajectory is an old, dumb story. Total b.s. and easily challenged by her authority.
While it is hard to say whether Maleficent 2 can recapture the box office of the original, adding stellar talent never hurts. Hearing that the director behind Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is helming this outing and that Ed Skrein is the main threat plaguing the plot doesn’t necessarily excite in the same fashion that Pfeiffer’s involvement does. Every movie could use her legend.
If you want to sample a taste of the potential terror Pfeiffer could bring to this story, look no further than Matthew Vaughn’s Stardust. As one of three treacherous sisters who feed off the hearts of falling stars, Pfeiffer easily slipped into a Grimm’s Fairy Tale reality. Her Lamia didn’t simply chew the scenery; she gobbled down the entire set. The fantasy dominion that Maleficent operates within needs this level of commitment and theatricality.
Skrein has a solid snarl to him, but he needs a bite to follow that posturing. I propose Michelle Pfeiffer is that perfect snap to match his bark. The agreeable fairy godmother character would be a disservice to her abilities. Show me a trailer pitting Jolie’s misunderstood villain squaring-off against Pfeiffer’s tyrannical Queen, and you’ve got my ticket. This sequel demands a grudge match.