All hail the Michelle Pfeiffer-assaince! It’s never been entirely clear why the Oscar-nominated actress fell out of favor with Hollywood — apart from the usual aging female performer thing that may or may not be going away in an allegedly more woke industry — but it’s great to have her in everything again. Fresh off of an all-too-brief, wordless cameo in the year’s biggest money-gobbler (following an all-too-brief appearance during the climax of Ant-Man and the Wasp), she’s back again, fending off against Angelina Jolie in the teaser for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
The original Maleficent came out five summers ago, and it offered a revisionist spin on the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty. Here, Jolie’s black-horned villain was actually a wronged not-quite-hero who didn’t turn into a giant dragon by film’s end. Indeed, the main baddie was the not-so-charming prince, while “beauty” herself, Elle Fanning’s Princess Aurora, was basically fine.
The sequel picks up years later, and the villain this time appears to be Pfeiffer’s Queen Ingrith. Early plot descriptions speak of Ingrith causing a rift between Maleficent and Aurora, but the teaser’s main battle is between Jolie and Pfeiffer, who get into a doozy of a combination verbal tête-à-tête and staring contest. Sure, Jolie’s CGI-tainted eyes and insane cheekbones seem like they’d triumph, but are they truly a match for the former Catwoman? We’d like to think Maleficent has her work cut out for her this time.
All this said, don’t get too excited: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil ain’t out till October 18.