First official image of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent revealed

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Disney has unveiled the first official image of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, the wicked fairy who was the big bad in Sleeping Beauty .

Continuing the trend of reinventing fairytales for the cinema (which has seen sizeable box office returns for Alice In Wonderland and Snow White And The Huntsman ), Maleficent is pitching itself as the untold story.

Unsurprisingly, the filmmakers have cleaved closely to the look of Maleficent in the 1959 animation, with that black, horn-shaped headpiece the defining feature.

Rick Baker’s make-up work has sharpened Jolie’s already defined cheekbones, and contact lenses have given her eyes a rainbow hue.

The film is being directed by Robert Stromberg (an Oscar-winning production designer), from a script by Linda Woolverton ( The Lion King , Beauty And The Beast ). Jolie is among the executive producers on the project.

She’s flanked by an impressive supporting cast too, including Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton and Juno Temple.

Maleficent will open in the US on 14 March 2013, with a UK release date to be confirmed.

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