First Pic Of Angelina Jolie's Maleficent

Disney villainess gets her horns on

Disney's alt.fairy tale Maleficent starts shooting today and to mark the occasion in style, the studio has given everyone a free pass to the Magic Kingdom with special valet parking by Goofy. OK, they haven't, but they have released a stunning first look at the movie's title character, the magnificently moody villain as played by Angelina Jolie. Yes, the horns are still there. No, we're no longer sore about the valet parking thing.
In fact, we've reached for the Empire dictionary and pulled out the word 'chiaroscuro' to describe this beautiful blend of light and shadow. Jolie hardly needs help to look good but by the looks of things director Robert Stromberg, production designer on Alice In Wonderland and Avatar, is giving it to her anyway. And check out that gleam in her eye - doesn't that look rather dragon-y?

Disney's original Maleficent in 1959's Sleeping Beauty
Disney's original Maleficent in 1959's Sleeping Beauty

Jolie has described Maleficent as more than the traditional villainess who'll transform into a dragon and hit "scorch" at the first sniff of a grievance. In short, it's Maleficent's journey to the place we found her in Sleeping Beauty. “I hope in the end you see a woman who is capable of being many things", she told EW, "and just because she protects herself and is aggressive, it doesn’t mean she can’t have other warmer qualities. You have to figure out the puzzle of what she is.”

Colour us excited. Joining her for the ride are Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Lesley Manville, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Miranda Richardson. The film's scheduled for a March 14, 2014 release in the US, and should be out here around the same time.