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Angelina Jolie debuts 'Unbroken' footage at CinemaCon

When prestige is what you’re going for, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have one of the most famous women in the world as your centerpiece. And so onto the stage strode Angelina Jolie, stunning in white, to introduce her second directorial effort, the adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, to an audience of theater owners at Tuesday’s CinemaCon.

According to Universal Pictures chairwoman Donna Langley, it was Jolie’s chase of Olympian and POW Louis Zamperini’s story that pushed this project — originally developed by the studio in 1957 as a starring vehicle for Tony Curtis — to the big screen. Called “a force of nature” by Langley, Jolie took center stage to tell the story of Zamperini, a running star in the 1936 Olympics, who was shot down in a B-24 over a Japanese island and taken prisoner along with his survivors.

Jack O’Connell is playing Zamperini in a film shot by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins and scored by Oscar-nominated composer Alexandre Desplat.

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'Maleficent': Angelina Jolie fires up her dragon in new trailer -- VIDEO

In Disney’s animated Sleeping Beauty, the villainess transforms herself into a fire-breathing dragon to do battle with the prince trying to rescue his slumbering love.

In the latest trailer, we get a first look at what this monster looks like in Maleficent, the live-action take on the folk tale that retells it from the perspective of the wicked fairy.

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Angelina Jolie's 'Maleficent': 'I had wings ... once' -- VIDEO

maleficent-poster

She’s not a witch. She’s not a queen. She’s not strictly a sorceress.

Those who know the background of the character Maleficent from 1959′s Sleeping Beauty know that the pale-skinned, black-horned villainess is actually a dark fairy. But the question has never been answered (or really asked): why doesn’t she have wings like the animated  Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, the three bumbling good fairies who look after Princess Aurora in the Disney film?

It turns out, she does.

Or did.
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Angelina Jolie Q&A: Bringing malevolent 'Maleficent' to life, doing some good in the world -- and those '50 Shades' rumors

Beware the unloved.

If there is a lesson to be learned about the cruelest among us, it might be that one. Most villains, when you find them in real life, are born from pain, and pour it back on the world to keep from drowning in it. A few are heartless sociopaths who derive their power from persecution, and care about nothing else in the world but their own force of will.

And some are just mad they didn’t get a party invitation.

Consider Disney’s Maleficent in this latter category. Unhinged, and irrational. Or at least, she was.

For all her sophisticated grace and simmering seductiveness, for all the bombastic magic she wields at her razor fingertips, the thing that really grinds her horns, both in the Brothers Grimm folk tale and in 1959’s animated Sleeping Beauty, is not being welcome at the christening of the king’s newborn daughter, Princess Aurora. But she shows up anyway, pet crow in tow, mad enough to curse a baby. READ FULL STORY

Angelina Jolie recounts 'all the kindness' that helped her through her health scare -- EXCLUSIVE

In this week’s cover story, Entertainment Weekly explores Angelina Jolie’s new role as the Disney villain in Maleficent — frightening small children (including her own), and trying to find the human side of someone so evil.

But at the end of our exclusive interview with actress, we also talked about something good she did: coming forward last May in the New York Times op-ed “My Medical Choice” to detail her decision to have a double mastectomy after genetic tests showed she was at risk for breast cancer.

The surprising revelation? The very people she had hoped to help ended up helping her. READ FULL STORY

Angelina Jolie: My daughter was the only kid NOT scared of 'Maleficent' -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

When Angelina Jolie told her kids she was thinking of playing the live-action version of Sleeping Beauty’s villainess in Maleficent, her six children all had the same response: NO!

“They went, ‘She’s so scary!’” Jolie tells EW this week, in her first in-depth interview about the film (out May 30).

Only Vivienne, one of her and Brad Pitt’s youngest children, proved not to be scared by the intimidating black horns and icy cackle. The now-5-year-old even ended up playing a young version of Princess Aurora in the film (as seen in this exclusive new image). But that casting was done more out of necessity than ambition.

“We think it’s fun for our kids to have cameos and join us on set, but not to be actors. That’s not our goal for Brad and I at all,” Jolie says. “But the other 3- and 4-year-old [performers] wouldn’t come near me. It had to be a child that liked me and wasn’t afraid of my horns and my eyes and my claws. So it had to be Viv.” READ FULL STORY

Angelina Jolie's wicked laugh, Lana Del Rey's haunting cover take center stage in new 'Maleficent' spot

Lana Del Rey’s haunting new version of “Once Upon a Dream” provides the backdrop for the latest trailer for Disney’s Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie as Sleeping Beauty’s horned nemesis. This new spot from the stylistic, wicked version of the fairy tale features the evil queen speaking: “There is evil in this world, hatred and revenge…” ending her introduction with a sinister laugh.

Check out the trailer, which premiered during Sunday’s Grammy awards, below.
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'Maleficent' TV spot: Beware of Jolies bearing gifts! VIDEO

Maleficent

Wicked meets Sleeping Beauty in Maleficent, an upcoming live-action film that promises to tell the true story of the Mistress of All Evil. Of course, as this is a Disney flick, it may turn out that Mal (Angelina Jolie) is less evil than misunderstood. Just check out the way she tries to bond with innocent, apple-cheeked Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) in this new TV spot: “Aurora, there is an evil in this world, and I cannot keep you from it,” Maleficent purrs. Hmm — so perhaps the whole sleeping curse and wall o’thorns around Aurora’s castle were simply meant as a protection from some even bigger bad. Perhaps Maleficent can fight off that evil with her wicked-sharp cheekbones?

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Angelina Jolie is magnificent as Maleficent -- POSTER

Angelina Jolie playing Maleficent might be Disney’s best pairing of actor and role since Johnny Depp played a certain pirate. Of course, Disney had to be dragged kicking and screaming into accepting Depp’s eccentric performance as Capt. Jack Sparrow — until it made them billions of dollars. Jolie’s portrayal isn’t likely to ruffle as many feathers, especially since she looks amazing as the Sleeping Beauty villain who curses the young Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning.)

In the new poster, there’s no denying who the star of the film is: Jolie wears the horned headdress that her green-faced character was famous for in the 1959 animated movie. But it’s her piercing green eyes that force your heart to skip a beat.

Maleficent, which is Jolie’s first on-screen role in three and a half years, opens May 30. Here’s the official plot synopsis: “A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal — an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom — and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.”

For a clip of Jolie discussing the role at D23, the Disney expo, from August, click below: READ FULL STORY

Angelina Jolie poses with 'Unbroken's true star, Louie Zamperini -- PHOTO

Hollywood has been trying to bring Louie Zamperini’s amazing true story to the screen for more than 50 years. At one point in the 1960s, Universal had Tony Curtis lined up to play the one-time Olympic runner and heroic World War II airman who was shot down over the Pacific and somehow survived sharks, starvation, and a brutal Japanese POW camp.

Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling 2010 book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, revitalized interest in a movie about him, and Angelina Jolie landed the project as her next directorial effort. Zamperini was a champion distance runner who competed at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He enlisted in the Army Air Force before Pearl Harbor and was flying missions in the Pacific when his plane crashed in 1942, killing eight of the 11 men aboard. The three survivors floated for days on a life raft, and two of them eventually were captured by the Japanese, who imprisoned them until the end of the war. After the war, Zamperini became a Christian inspirational speaker who met and forgave many of the Japanese guards who had abused him during his incarceration.

Now 96, Zamperini has become close friends with Jolie, his neighbor in the Hollywood Hills. “It will be hard to make a film worthy of this great man,” says Jolie, in a statement. “I am deeply honored to have the chance and will do all I can to bring Louie’s inspiring story to life. … Like all readers of Laura’s book and all people who love and admire Louie, I am a fan who has learned so much. He has made me a better person.”

Click below to watch Zamperini’s 2012 appearance on the Tonight Show. READ FULL STORY

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