Disney's latest installment in the 101 Dalmatians franchise has been in the works since at least January 2016, when Emma Stone was first in talks for the role of Cruella De Vil. The new film, titled Cruella, was officially announced by Disney at the D23 Expo in Aug. 2019 with a release date of May 28, 2021, and the first photo of Stone as the titular character. Sporting De Vil's iconic black-and-white hair along with smokey makeup and all-black attire, the actress is seen with a smug grin on her face as she holds three leashes attached to Dalmatians. Since then, things have been quiet on the Cruella front.
On Feb. 16, 2021, however, Disney dropped the first official poster for the film, a black-and-white close-up image of Stone's edgy take on De Vil. Unlike the 2020 remake of Mulan and Pixar's Soul, which suffered delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company confirmed that Cruella's May 28, 2021 release is still on — though it's unclear if the film will be released in theaters. Following the release of the film's trailer on Feb. 17, here's everything you need to know about Disney's Cruella.
What Is Cruella About?
At the 2019 D23 Expo, Disney unveiled a clip of Stone explaining the film's plot. "It's 1970s, set in London — can you get out of my eyeliner, please?" teased the actress. "It's punk rock. A great cast." After a Dalmatian is seen barking, Stone turns to the camera and says, "I can't work like this. I'm going back to my trailer." She spoke to Entertainment Tonight about the film a few months prior to the expo, saying, "It's pretty trippy. It's wild," noting that she often thought to herself on set, "'This is bananas.'"
Stone detailed further that she's looking to the original 1961 animated classic One Hundred And One Dalmatians as well as the 1996 live-action remake, 101 Dalmations, starring Glenn Close. "I think she's obviously the GOAT," the actress said of Close, "but I also have just loved the cartoon for a really long time." Stone also noted, "This comes before [Close's] story. This leads to her to where she becomes true greatness."
The plot was further detailed by Disney alongside the release of the trailer on Feb. 17. In the film, we meet De Vil as a "young grifter" and aspiring fashion designer named Estella, who befriends two thieves — her sidekicks from 101 Dalmations, Jasper and Horace. Then, she meets fashion icon Baroness von Hellman, who leads Estella to embrace her dark side and become the sinister Cruella De Vil. Judging by the trailer, fans will even get to see Stone have a Hunger Games "girl on fire moment"
Who Is Involved In The Film?
Emma Stone stars as the iconic villain in Cruella, directed by Craig Gillespie of I, Tonya fame. Actors Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser are set to appear as Jasper and Horace, De Vil's burglarizing sidekicks, respectively.
In May 2019, Variety reported that Emma Thompson is set to appear in the film, and the trailer revealed that she will play the role of menacing fashion legend Baroness von Hellman.
Actress Emily Beecham also stars in Cruella as Anita, one-half of the couple that parents the Dalmatians in the original films. She spoke to Bustle in February 2020 about her experience working on the movie. “It looks very beautiful,” Beecham said. “The costumes are amazing, very Vivienne Westwood inspired, that London look. And the whole screen quality is quite dark and down. Craig Gillespie directed it who directed I, Tonya and Lars and the Real Girl, so I think he's brought quite an edginess to it."
“There's a real naturalness to the acting and he wanted us to improvise and make up new stuff," she added. "There's lots of kids, lots of animals, and he's brilliant with the children. I think it will be very humorous.”
What Are Fans Saying About The Film?
Following Disney's unveiling of the film's official poster, fans immediately flocked to social media to post their reactions. One user compared the poster to advertisements for Shonda Rhimes' How To Get Away With Murder, while others shared their hopes that the film will live up to Close's 1996 take on De Vil.
Below, more fans react to Cruella's announcement on social media.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article mischaracterized a tweet claiming to have details on the film. It has since been updated.
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