“The wound is the place light enters you,”

– Rumi

Just attended a panel presentation by screenwriter Linda Woolverton, (“Maleficent”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Alice in Wonderland”) at the Austin Film Festival.

Linda related that when she was asked to write Maleficent, she knew that she would have to find a way to justify Maleficent’s horrifying act of cursing a baby to die. This was in the backstory Disney had in the previous movies, and she couldn’t ignore it.  At the same time, she wondered how she could get an audience to sympathize with a character who would do something so horrific.

She told us, “My goal was to get people on her side. We HAD to follow the Disney original story of Maleficent, and I wondered how to write a character who was a villain in one movie and a hero in another.”

Her answer was the concept of “Post Traumatic Growth”. She asked herself, “What could possibly justify Maleficent’s curse… of a baby?  To do that, I had to ask myself this question – “What is the wound that justifies Malificent’s actions?”

“So I gave her a back story about the loss of her wings – essentially a date rape analogy – that could justify, or at least explain, cursing a baby.”

What wound justifies your character’s action?



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