With Angelina Jolie in the lead role, Maleficent tells the villain’s side of the story of Sleeping Beauty, and while its sequel has the actress set to return, it remains to be seen where the second installment in the series will pick up. In addition to Dickinson as Prince Phillip, new to the Maleficent franchise are Michelle Pfeiffer, who has reportedly been cast as Prince Phillip’s mother, and Ed Skrein, who has been cast as a villain. Appropriately enough, Dickinson looks much more like the cartoon rendition of the character than Brenton Thwaites, who portrayed Prince Phillip in the first installment of the franchise.
Just because Dickinson may be new to Disney does not mean you haven’t seen the 21-year-old actor before—he is best known for starring as Frankie in Eliza Hittman’s queer coming-of-age film Beach Rats. In the film, Dickinson had a very un-Disney full-frontal nude scene, about which he once told W, “I was pretty happy to normalize male nudity. There are a lot of female genitals [in film], but it’s a little more absurd to show a penis, and I think that’s a little bit whack.”
These days, you can also catch Dickinson on Danny Boyle’s Trust, an FX drama series about the 1973 kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III. Now the actor will do his best to live up to the ever-growing roster of hunky live-action Disney princes, from those starring in Aladdin to those in Mulan, and although Maleficent 2 will err on the darker side of the fairy tale, it is safe to say that his role as the spritely Prince Phillip will not involve any sexy shirtless scenes on the Brooklyn boardwalks à la Beach Rats. Still, the actor should gear up for what is sure to be another rush of thirsty DMs on Instagram once he appears onscreen in the Disney universe.