We’ve got a couple of related casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Maleficent 2 is still happening! Variety reports that Ed Skrein (Deadpool) has landed the villain role in the upcoming sequel. There are no plot details or even details on the role itself. In the first Maleficent, Sharlto Copley played the bad guy who stole Maleficent’s (Angelina Jolie) fairy wings and turned her into the sorceress we know today. It was a really weird movie with bizarre subtext.
Jolie is set to return for the sequel along with Elle Fanning, who will reprise her role as Aurora. Jez Butterworth and Linda Woolverton wrote the script with Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster penning the latest draft. Joachim Ronning (co-director on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) will helm the upcoming sequel, which aiming to start production this year. Skrein will be seen later this year in Alita: Battle Angel and If Beale Street Could Talk.
Elsewhere in the Disneyverse, Edgar Ramirez has signed on to play the baddie in Jaume Collet-Serra’s Jungle Cruise. Per THR, Dwayne Johnson “is a boat captain who takes a sister (Emily Blunt) and her brother (Jack Whitehall) on a mission to find a tree believed to possess healing powers. Wild animals and a competing German expedition figure into the proceedings.” Presumably, Johnson’s character will wear a khaki shirt.
THR reports that Ramirez “will play a man with a conquistador background who is one of the story’s villains.” That’s all well and good, but watch Carlos and know that we, as a nation, must do better by Edgar Ramirez. He should be leading movies, not relegated to playing the villain.
Filming is expected to begin next month and will shoot through the summer. Michael Green (Logan) wrote the most recent draft of the script.
Neither Maleficent 2 or Jungle Cruise currently has a release date.