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updated: 8/3/2014 9:57 PM

Who else should play live-action Disney villains?

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  • Ian McKellen's played villains before, but none quite as evil as Judge Claude Frollo. (Well, OK, there was that Nazi movie. But you forgot about that.)

      Ian McKellen's played villains before, but none quite as evil as Judge Claude Frollo. (Well, OK, there was that Nazi movie. But you forgot about that.)
    Associated Press

  • Anthony Mackie would make a fascinating Dr. Facilier.

      Anthony Mackie would make a fascinating Dr. Facilier.
    Associated Press

  • "The Good Wife"? Try the worst mother ever -- Mother Gothel.

      "The Good Wife"? Try the worst mother ever -- Mother Gothel.
    Associated Press

  • Michael Pitt was amazing as Mason Verger on NBC's "Hannibal." Could he top James Woods' vocal performance as Hades?

      Michael Pitt was amazing as Mason Verger on NBC's "Hannibal." Could he top James Woods' vocal performance as Hades?
    NBC UNIVERSAL

  • Playing a character named Mr. Winkie in a story about a talking toad is surely what Christian Bale wants to do next. (Right?)

      Playing a character named Mr. Winkie in a story about a talking toad is surely what Christian Bale wants to do next. (Right?)
    Associated Press

 
 

Angelina Jolie joins a short, but intriguing, list of actresses who have become the living embodiments of Disney animated villains with today's theatrical release of "Maleficent." The posters and trailers tell us Jolie has the right look for the part, and her smoky, haughty vocals would do Eleanor Audley, who voiced the animated version, proud.

Jolie is preceded by Glenn Close, who played Cruella de Vil in the 1996 live-action remake of "101 Dalmatians" and its sequel, and Helena Bonham Carter, whose performance as the Queen of Hearts in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" was undercut by head-inflating CGI. (Seriously, her head looks like a balloon in that movie. It's unsettling.)

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Soon to join the party is Cate Blanchett, who will play Cinderella's evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, in next year's live-action film directed by Kenneth Branagh.

If "Maleficent" and the new "Cinderella" are successful, I'm sure Mickey will stick with a winning formula. Who else should be cast as real-life Disney villains? Well, funny you should ask!

Judge Claude Frollo: Ian McKellen. Wouldn't it be fun to see the kindly old wizard in full-on evil mode? The unquestionable highlight of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" is Frollo's fiery confession to God, "Hellfire" -- just the sort of juicy stuff McKellen would relish.

Dr. Facilier: Anthony Mackie. He was a blast as Capt. America's buddy Falcon in "The Winter Soldier," and his talk-show appearances suggest a playful, over-the-top personality in real life. Let's see him embrace the other side as the voodoo guru from "The Princess and the Frog."

Mother Gothel: Julianna Margulies. Enough of "The Good Wife" -- Gothel is pretty much the worst mother ever in "Tangled." Margulies, to me, has always had this hint of danger about her.

Hades: Michael Pitt. True, it's hard to imagine anyone topping James Woods' slimy, schmoozy vocal performance as the lord of the underworld in "Hercules." But Pitt's recent turn as devious, depraved and now-faceless psychopath Mason Verger on NBC's "Hannibal" proves that this longtime character actor is, at last, ready for the spotlight.

Mr. Winkie: Christian Bale. Hey, after "American Hustle," I'm convinced Bale can play any part -- and wear any hairstyle. This grinning, balding con man from Disney's adaptation of "The Wind in the Willows" isn't so far removed from Irving Rosenfeld.

• Sean Stangland is a Daily Herald copy editor and a tireless consumer of pop culture. He's got friends on the other side. You can follow him on Twitter at @SeanStanglandDH.

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