Kristin Chenoweth has signed on to play the dark fairy Maleficent in the Disney Channel original live-action TV movie Descendants, which centers on the children of classic Disney villains. The news comes less than a month before Disney's feature film Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, opens in theaters on May 30.
The story is set in an ancient kingdom, where the King and Queen (Beast and Belle from Beauty and the Beast) relinquish the throne to their son Ben (Mitchell Hope). His first act as king is to give a second chance to the villainous offspring of Jafar, Maleficent, the Evil Queen and Cruella de Vil. They are allowed back into the kingdom, where they must attend a prep school with the children of The Fairy Godmother, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Mulan. They must decide if they want to follow in their parents' footsteps or create a new life for their own.
Dove Cameron signed on in December to play Maleficent's daughter, with BooBoo Stewart portraying Jay, son of Jafar, Sofia Carson as Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen and Cameron Boyce starring as Carlos, son of Cruelle de Vil.
Kenny Ortega is directing from a script by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott, with production scheduled to begin next month for a 2015 premiere on The Disney Channel.
It isn't known if this project will involve a musical element, but director Kenny Ortega has a number of musical-themed projects under his belt, such as Newsies, the High School Musical trilogy, and Michael Jackson's This Is It. Kristin Chenoweth is also well known for her vocal talents, winning a Tony award for You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and playing Glinda in the hit Broadway musical Wicked. She has also appeared on the hit Fox TV series Glee.
Kristin Chenoweth most recently lent her voice to the animated sequel Rio 2, which is currently playing in theaters.