The First Trailer for '101 Dalmatians' Spinoff 'Cruella' Turns Emma Stone Into a Disney Villain

So far, this origin story is giving off big 'Joker' vibes.
Sarah Ward
February 19, 2021

Over the past decade, Disney has made a hefty commitment to remaking its animated classics as live-action movies, as seen via the two Alice in Wonderland films, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo and Aladdin, to name a few. The next to get the same treatment is 101 Dalmatians, and the Mouse House is going with the same approach it used with the Maleficent flicks. Yes, there'll be spotted dogs in Cruella, but this Emma Stone-starring spinoff is all about its villainous namesake.

Set to release in May — and currently slated for cinemas, rather than making the move to Disney+ like Mulan did last year — Cruella focuses on Estella de Vil before she becomes the puppy-kidnapping figure that everyone already knows. It's the 70s, she's in London, and she's an outcast and a grifter. Estella is also desperate to become a fashion designer, and draws the attention of industry veteran Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson, Last Christmas).

Obviously, Estella's relationship with the Baroness isn't going to end well. Even if you only have the faintest memories of 101 Dalmatians, Estella clearly has to morph into that tale's antagonist. And, based on the just-dropped first trailer for Cruella, she's going to do so in a movie that seems to have seen what Joker did — including the fact that it won Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar — and decided that's a good model to run with.

As well as Stone, her two-tone hair and striking outfits — and Thompson, too — Cruella features Richard Jewell's Paul Walter Hauser, Outside the Wire's Emily Beacham, Yesterday's Joel Fry, The Good Place's Kirby Howell Baptiste and 1917's Mark Strong. The film marks a reunion between Hauser and director Craig Gillespie, after they worked together on I, Tonya, while the script is co-written by Isn't It Romantic's Dana Fox and The Great's Tony McNamara.

If a live-action version of Cruella de Vil sounds familiar, that's because Disney has done it before. Back in 1996, Glenn Close took on the role in 101 Dalmatians, and then sported a heap of black and white again in 2000 sequel 102 Dalmatians. So, never one to leave its past works alone for too long, the Mouse House is following in its own footsteps in multiple ways with Cruella.

Check out the trailer below:

Cruella releases in Australian and New Zealand cinemas on May 27.

Published on February 19, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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