Disney's Maleficent 2 is finally moving forward, with the studio bringing aboard Ed Skrein to play the new villain. Unfortunately, no details about his character were given at this time, with the actor joining original Maleficent stars Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning in this sequel. This report doesn't reveal any details about when production may or may not take place, and Disney hasn't set a release date at this time, but there was previously a report that indicated filming was supposed to start yesterday.
The last we heard about Maleficent 2 was back in January, when it was revealed that director Joachim Ronning has entered pre-production on the sequel, with principal photography reportedly set to begin on April 16 in London. That report also indicated that filming was slated to last until August, with Angelina Jolie reportedly choosing this project over the prospect of starring in Universal Pictures' Bride of Frankenstein, which would have been part of the studio's Dark Universe that started with the under-performing The Mummy last summer.
The original Maleficent was a big hit for Disney back in the summer of 2014, pulling in $241.8 million at the domestic box office and $517.1 million in international markets for an impressive worldwide total of $758.3 million, from a $180 million budget. A Maleficent sequel had been rumored for months, but Disney finally confirmed the sequel in April 2016, when the studio confirmed that The Jungle Book 2 and Maleficent 2 would have two of the five release dates the studio set between 2017 and 2019, although they did not specify a date yet.
Joachim Ronning, who directed last year's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales with Espen Sandberg, is directing the sequel solo, working from a script by Jez Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow) and original Maeficent writer Linda Woolverton. Joe Roth is returning to produce, with Angelina Jolie revealing in an interview back in September that they have been working on the sequel, promising fans that this will be a, "really strong sequel." Still, no plot details have been revealed at this time, but with the casting process under way, hopefully we'll find out more details, including details about who Ed Skrein's villainous character will be.
Ed Skrein made his acting debut in 2012, appearing in three films, The Sweeney, Ill Manors and Piggy, and the next year, he appeared in three episodes of Game of Thrones Season 3 as Daario Naharis, but he was ultimately replaced by Michiel Huisman. He would go on to star in Northmen - A Viking Saga, Sword of Vengeance, Tiger House, Kill Your Friends and The Transporter Refueled, where he starred as Frank Martin Jr. The actor made his breakthrough in 2016's Deadpool where he played the villainous Ajax.
The actor also made headlines last year when he was cast as Ben Daimio in Lionsgate's Hellboy reboot, but he walked away from the role when he learned that the character was an Asian male in the comics, which lead to the casting of Daniel Dae Kim. He will next be seen in Alita: Battle Angel and In Darkness. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Ed Skrein's casting in Maleficent 2 earlier today.