A horned and raven-winged Angelina Jolie faces off against sinister queen Michelle Pfeiffer in the first full trailer for "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," the sequel to the dark 2014 fairy tale that retold "Sleeping Beauty" from the villainess' point of view.
The 2 1/4-minute trailer, released Monday, opens with Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson, succeeding Brenton Thwaites in the role the latter originated in 2014) proposing to Aurora (Elle Fanning), who was crowned queen at the end of the previous movie but does not seem to be so here. "Five years ago I thought I'd lost you forever," Phillip says of Aurora's curse in the first film, setting the sequel's time frame. When Aurora accepts his proposal, Maleficent's shapeshifting raven Diaval (Sam Riley) conveys the news to his mistress (Jolie), who rules over the mystical creatures inhabiting her realm, the Moors.
Aurora as well informs fairy godmother Maleficent of the engagement. Maleficent, who had cursed Aurora in the first film, but eventually developed motherly feelings toward the girl, tells her goddaughter no.
"I wasn't really asking." Aurora responds. "Nor was I," Maleficent responds. "Love doesn't always end well, Beastie," she continues, using an endearment from the first film. Aurora beseeches Maleficent, "Trust me. Let us prove you wrong."
At the castle of Phillip's parents, King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Pfeiffer, seen in the teaser trailer released in May), the latter tells Maleficent archly, "You have done an admirable job going against your own nature to raise this child. But now she will finally get the love of a real mother. Tonight I consider Aurora my own."
In a fit of rage, Maleficent explodes green energy in all directions, and King John is downed. Sometime later combat ensues between the kingdom and the Moors — a war Ingrith clearly wanted. "Maleficent is a threat to everyone. We'll do our best to protect you," she tells Aurora unconvincingly.
Maleficent, indeed, is struck from the sky during a battle and drops stonelike into deep water. Rescued by a party unknown, she finds herself surrounded by beings similar to her. "You spent years caring for a human," says one (Chiwetel Ejiofor). "Now it's time to care for your own."
Directed by Joachim Rønning, the film opens Oct. 18. Ed Skrein, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville also star.