Emma Stone has made her official entrance as Cruella de Vil. Disney is gearing up to release the live-action spin-off of One Hundred and One Dalmatians, which centers on its infamous—but glamorous—villain. But this Cruella isn't the mink-wearing, cigarette-toting antagonist of the 1961 animated original, nor is she the shoulder-padded, feather-covered fiend Glenn Close famously portrayed in 1996. This time, Cruella is a gritty, punk fashionista trying to make a name for herself in 1970s London, when an unlikely alliance brings out her bad side.
Cruella arrives May 28.
The live-action film will have a wide release on Friday, May 28, both in theaters and online at Disney+. Like past releases such as Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon, Cruella will be available to subscribers for a "premier access" fee, which has historically cost $30. That's on top of the Disney+ subscription cost, which is $8 per month or $80 per year.
There are two famous Emmas in the cast.
Stone's casting as Cruella was announced in December 2018, and Disney shared the first photo of her in full costume in August 2019. Since then, we've seen some behind-the-scenes images of her filming in the U.K. as well.
Joining the Oscar winner in the cast is Emma Thompson as Baroness von Hellman, a terrifying but stylish fashion legend. Her influence turns the leading lady into the revenge-hungry Cruella.
Cruella was directed by I, Tonya's Craig Gillespie. The screenplay was written by Dana Fox (The Wedding Date) and Tony McNamara (The Favourite), based on a story by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada), Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks), and Steve Zissis (Togetherness).
This is Cruella's origin story.
Rather than jumping straight into the Dalmatians saga, Cruella presents a backstory, centering on a young woman named Estella, before she took on her famous, punny moniker. According to a synopsis from Disney, Estella is a grifter who loves fashion, "a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs." After befriending thieves in London, Estella makes her way on the streets but soon catches the eye of Baroness von Hellman, and their friendship takes a dark turn.
A new trailer shows Cruella's background in fashion.
The second official preview shows more of the character's knack for design, as she works in an atelier and spends late nights slouched over a sewing machine. Her talent is also what brings her to von Hellman, a formidable fashion legend with whom her initial bond turns sour. By the end of the trailer, we find out that Cruella steals the baroness's dogs—which are obviously Dalmatians.
Here are the first posters.
Stone is brushing off the Joker comparisons.
When the Cruella trailer first debuted, viewers online drew comparisons between the titular villain and the Joker, namely the 2019 film about him starring Joaquin Phoenix.
Addressing the parallels, Stone told Total Film magazine, "It's very different from Joker in many ways." She added, "I would never even remotely compare myself to Joaquin Phoenix. I wish I was more like him."
Gillespie also chimed in. "There are some really deep, emotional things that Cruella's dealing with that send her to the villainous darker side. So in that sense, it is [similar]," he told the mag. "But it's definitely its own thing. Just to sort of reframe Cruella, I thought it was important to show this darker side of her. But there's going to be a lot of fun, a lot of humor in it. There's a lot of absolutely delightful banter and rhythm to the style of it, which is different from Joker."