Maleficent Sequel Casts Deadpool's Ed Skrein in Key Role

Deadpool star Ed Skrein is in talks to join Disney's Maleficent sequel.

Details surrounding Skrein's role in the feature are being kept under wraps, but Variety reports that he'll be playing a villain. This marks the latest villainous role for the busy actor, as Skrein is coming off of Alita: Battle Angel, where he plays Zapan, a cyborg antagonist with a grudge.

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Skrein will join returning cast members Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning, who are both set to reprise their roles from the first film. Over the course of its theatrical run, Maleficent proved to be a box office smash, going on to earn a massive $758.5 million at the worldwide box office, despite a less-than-stellar 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It's unknown where the sequel will pick up, as the first film retold the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale from Maleficent's point of view. Jez Butterworth and Linda Woolverton will take over script duties from Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster, who wrote the most recent draft. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales director Joachim Ronning will direct, with production expected to kickoff sometime this year.

While an official release date has not been announced, it’s expected that Maleficent 2 will hit theaters sometime in 2019.

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