In recent years, Disney has brought some of its most famous animated characters to live-action. Whether it’s Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Maleficent, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo and many others, Disney has gone to great lengths to remake or reinvent many of its most beloved titles. In this tradition, Disney’s upcoming film Cruella explores the origins of one of its most iconic villains. Specifically, Cruella de Vil, played by Emma Stone.
Details on this new Disney blockbuster are sparse, but it’s clear that the House of Mouse has big plans for this new title. Cruella de Vil is a character that is instantly recognizable whether you’re a big Disney fan or not, and with Emma Stone in the familiar role, there’s a lot of potential. We’ll know more about this film as the release date approaches, but here’s what we know about Cruella, Disney’s new live-action reimagining.
That currently puts it one week behind John Wick: Chapter 4 and one week ahead of Sesame Street. Disney is known for occupying Memorial Day weekend on the calendar, but often with mixed results. For example, this year’s Aladdin did great business that day, while last year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story underperformed. It’s hard to say where Cruella will land, but suffice it to say that Disney has high hopes for the film starring Emma Stone. They gave the upcoming film one of their top release dates. They want big things. It should also be noted that Cruella was originally supposed to be released on December 23, 2020. Why it was moved away from the Christmas date is unknown.
Cruella is the brainchild of director Craig Gillespie, who may not be a household name to everyone, but you’re probably familiar with some of his films. In particular, the filmmaker is behind Lars and the Real Girl, the 2011 remake of Fright Night, and most recently 2017’s I, Tonya. He’s also behind “Mr. Woodcock” and several episodes of “United States of Tara.” Gillespie has a long history of working with Disney through Million Dollar Arm and The Finest Hours. Cruella, however, is Gillespie’s biggest film to date, and also his most family-friendly outside of the aforementioned Million Dollar Arm.
Cruella has several screenwriters. Namely, Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks, Fifty Shades of Grey, Venom), Dana Fox (How To Be Single, Isn’t It Romantic?), Tony McNamara (The Favourite), Jez Butterworth (Ford v. Ferrari, Spectre, Black Mass) and Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) all contributed to the script, as did Steve Zissis, who is probably best known as an actor but was also the creator of the underrated HBO sitcom Togetherness. It’s an odd collection of writers, and it’s hard to tell who has more influence on the other in the film’s conception. However, with all these screenwriters, hopefully it’s not a “too many cooks in the kitchen” situation.