Maleficent: Mistress of Evil isn't even out in theaters yet. But Angelina Jolie, who plays the titular character in the Disney film, only sees potential for the story to keep evolving.
Mistress of Evil is set five years after the resolution of the first Maleficent movie. It takes us back into the fairytale land of the Moors, over which Aurora now presides as queen, with fairy godmother figure Maleficent watching over her at a distance. But Maleficent is still demonized by humans living beyond the Moors, leading her relationship with Aurora into difficulties as her daughter begins to venture back to the human world.
At a press conference for the film in London on Thursday, Jolie said following the thread of Aurora growing up leaves the door open for the story to move forward further.
"Without realising it, we've hit the chapters of the growth of a woman," Jolie said, describing Aurora's development from baby, child and teenager, to young queen. Both films are centred around the mother-daughter dynamic between Maleficent and Aurora, and Jolie joked that this maternal theme could continue. "We'd like to be grandparents," she said of her character and her shapeshifting sidekick Diaval. "No pressure, guys."
"[She's] kind of trying to figure out who she is as a ruler, and how to how to use that power," said Elle Fanning, who plays Aurora. "Her strength is her kindness, and she stays very true to herself, which was something I wanted to keep in the film -- that she is soft and feminine,"
Fanning said she also enjoyed coming back to make the film as an adult (she first played the role at age 14), not just because of the character's growth and development but of her own.
"Our relationships have changed and grown because I'm 21 now [...] I wasn't the kid on set anymore," she said. "I really felt accepted, especially with Michelle [Pfeiffer] and Angelina. I felt like they included me, like I was one of their peers, and that was a really special feeling."
She added that she felt "a real responsibility" to the young girls who approach her and treat her as her character to ensure she came back for the sequel.
Jolie also pointed out that the film's introduction of the dark fae (a type of fairy, of which Maleficent is one) opens up a whole lot of possibilities for where the story could go next.
"What is the future for the dark fae? Do they return?" she said, adding that it could help move the story outside of its current setting. "The dark fae represent the world. And so I would love to see them in the world and across the world."
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is out in cinemas on Oct. 18.