With the success of live-action remakes like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Jungle Book, Disney is diving deeper into their vault to unearth some new origins of their classic villains. Seemingly in the vein of Maleficent, Cruella will be an origin story for the two-toned antagonist of 101 Dalmatians. And THR reports Emma Stone is set to star as the iconic Cruella de Vil.
From the details being dropped, it doesn’t sound like Cruella will be a prequel to the 1961 cartoon, as this origin story will reportedly be set “in the early 1980s with a punk vibe.” What does that mean for de Vil? Probably a mohawk for starters.
To helm, Disney’s in talks with Craig Gillespie, who’s previously directed the Jon Hamm-fronted baseball drama Million Dollar Arm and the Coast Guard thriller The Finest Hours for the studio. However, he’s best known for his critically acclaimed and complex portrait of an infamous figure skater, I, Tonya. So, it’s easy to see why Disney called him in. Still, it’d be nice to see a female director get another one of these big juicy Disney projects, especially when it’s one centered on a female protagonist.
What remains to be seen is if Cruella will boast any ties to Disney’s first live-action revamp of 101 Dalmations. The 1996 version starred Glenn Close as the ferocious fashionista, and it was successful enough to spawn a 2000 sequel. Which means Stone has a high bar to clear, because few living actresses can do diva quite like Close.
So what does Twitter make of Stone’s casting? It’s not exactly black and white.
Emma stone would be an awful Cruella De vil, if anything this is #ageism at it's best. We all know Cruella is an older woman not in her 30's. Why does hollywood never address the real issues facing women. #CruelladeVil #Hollywood— Stop Antifa (@D_Gabriel18) December 5, 2018
Admittedly, as much as I think Emma Stone is super talented, I was skeptical about her playing Cruella. But then I saw THE FAVOURITE and I was like "She'd easily do the role justice."— Matthew St.Clair (@filmguy619) December 5, 2018
I'm quite excited for this! https://t.co/WkiKZ0eEWg
Sure Emma Stone can act, but can she pull off Cruella de Vil looks like Glenn Close can??? pic.twitter.com/BZvP67Oj7f— Adriana Elena. (@CinemaSoloist) December 5, 2018
saw something about emma stone playing cruella de vil and now im spiraling i just ordered four sushi rolls when i know im not hungry enough for that just to feel something— addie (@baddisonp) December 4, 2018
Me: *worries Disney may not have interesting narrative hooks to continue the live-action revamps*— Daniel Magid (@dnmagid) December 4, 2018
Disney: Emma Stone is Cruella
Personally, I second The Favourite talk. Stone’s best-known for playing snarky but affable heroines, and she uses that expectation to lure audiences into Yorgos Lanthimos’s latest dark comedy. Then, she shows us she’s capable of “great unpleasantness.” And it’s positively electrifying. Personally, I’m more side-eying this project’s supposed “punk vibe.” Because what does punk even mean filtered through a massive corporation that’s devotedly family-friendly so they can make billions on toys and merchandising?