Imelda Staunton Joins Maleficent

Sam Riley and more aboard fairy tale

Being around magic in Nanny McPhee and two of the Harry Potter films has clearly not put Imelda Staunton off the idea. She’s signed on to lead a batch of British actors into the cast of Disney’s Maleficent, joining stars Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning.

Robert Stromberg is behind the camera for the film, a new, live-action version of Sleeping Beauty that puts Maleficent’s point of view front and centre.

Staunton and Lesley Manville are playing Knotgrass and Flittle, two of the pixies who help to take care of Fanning’s Princess Aurora. Miranda Richardson is aboard to play Queen Ulla, the Fairy Queen who happens to be Maleficent’s aunt, and not all that keen on her niece.

Kenneth Cranham will be the human king, who has his eye on conquering the fairy kingdom, while Sam Riley has landed the role of Diaval, a raven who can shift into human form and serves Maleficent.

Sharlto Copley signed on last week, and he’s now revealed to be playing Stefan, who isn’t actually the king himself, but the half-human, half-fairy bastard child of Cranham’s monarch.

And Variety has learned that India Eisley will be playing the title character as a younger woman.

With a script by Linda Woolverton in hand and a March 2014 US release date looming, Stromberg is set to start the cameras rolling in June.