Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, the youngest daughter of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, will make her big-screen debut in her mother's newest film, "Maleficent."
The 4-year-old has been given a minor role as the child version of Princess Aurora, a spokesperson for production company Walt Disney Studios told OnTheRedCarpet.com on Wednesday, August 22, adding that Elle Fanning, 14, will play the part for most of the film. She was cast months ago. Jolie, 37, stars as the title character.
The live-action film is set for release in 3D in March 2014 and explores the origins of Maleficent, an evil sorceress and the main villain in the 1959 Disney animated movie "Sleeping Beauty."
In the classic cartoon, Maleficent unleashes a curse upon a baby princess, Aurora, in a bid to punish her parents for not inviting her to the child's christening. The spell calls for her to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die just before her 16th birthday.
A good fairy then amends the curse so that Aurora instead falls asleep and can be woken up by True Love's Kiss. The man who seeks to give her one, Prince Phillip, ends up battling Maleficent to get to the sleeping princess. The villain then turns into a fire-breathing dragon and the two engage in what has become one the most memorable battle scenes in animated Disney films.
Vivienne and her twin brother Knox are the youngest among Jolie's and Pitt's six children. Their oldest daughter Shiloh, 6, made her acting debut in the actor's 2008 movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." She had a cameo as the child version of Julia Ormond's character. Fanning also appeared in the movie, playing a child version of Cate Blanchett's character.
Fanning, the younger sister of actress Dakota, was last seen in the Cameron Crowe movie "We Bought a Zoo," which was released in 2011, and also starred the sci-fi film "Super 8" that year. Fanning made her own acting debut at age 2 with a small role in the 2001 movie "I Am Sam," which starred her sister.
Walt Disney Studios announced in June that production on "Maleficent" had begun. Others cast in the film include British stars Juno Temple of "Atonement," Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, Sam Riley and Miranda Richardson, who played nosy journalist Rita Skeeter in the "Harry Potter" films, as well as South African actor Sharlto Copley. The actors' roles have not been revealed.
"Maleficent" is helmed by Robert Stromberg, who is making his directorial debut. He is known for his work as a production designer for the 2009 record-breaking 3D half-animated smash "Avatar" and Disney's 2010 film adaptation of "Alice In Wonderland." He won Oscars for both projects.
Stromberg worked as a visual effects supervisor on the 2004 film "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" and as a matte painting supervisor on the 2006 movie "The Good Shepherd" - two projects that starred Jolie. He also worked as a visual effects designer on productions such as cable network HBO's show "Boardwalk Empire" and films such as "The Golden Compass" and "There Will Be Blood."
The screenwriter of "Maleficent" is Linda Woolverton, who wrote the script for the 2010 film "Alice In Wonderland" and also helped pen Disney's animated classics "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King," "Mulan" as well as the 1993 animal film "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey" and episodes of 1980s cartoons such as "Dennis the Menace," "Teen Wolf," "Popples," "Ewoks" and "My Little Pony 'n Friends."
Jolie, 37, is known mostly for her dark, "femme fatale" roles and won an Oscar for playing a mental patient in the 1999 film "Girl, Interrupted." She has not appeared on screen since the 2010 film "The Tourist." In 2011, she voiced a character in the animated movie "Kung Fu Panda 2" and made her feature film directorial debut with the foreign-language war movie "In The Land of Blood and Honey."