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- “Brilliant. Bad. A little bit mad”
Cruella is an upcoming American live-action film which will be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and released theatrically on May 28, 2021 with a simultaneous release on Disney+ for an extra fee with Premier Access. Based on the 1961 Disney animated feature film, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, the film serves as an origin story for Cruella De Vil and features Emma Stone as the titular character. Directed by Craig Gillespie, the film also features Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and Mark Strong in supporting roles. Stone also serves as an executive producer on the film alongside Glenn Close, who previously portrayed Cruella in the previous live-action adaptations, 101 Dalmatians and 102 Dalmatians.
“Cruella,” which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute, played by two-time Oscar® winner Emma Thompson (“Howards End,” “Sense & Sensibility”). But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable, and revenge-bent Cruella.
- Emma Stone as Estella "Cruella" De Vil
- Tipper Seifert-Cleveland as Young Estella
- Billie Gadsdon as Young Estella (age 5)
- Emma Thompson as Baroness Von Hellman
- Joel Fry as Jasper
- Paul Walter Hauser as Horace
- Emily Beecham as Catherine De Vil
- Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Anita 
- Mark Strong as John
- Jamie Demetriou as Gerald
- Abraham Popoola as Geroge
- John McCrea as Artie
- Sid Sagar as Mark
- John Mackay
- Gianni Calchetti
- Kate Margo
Glenn Close, Andrew Gunn, Aline Brosh McKenna, and Marc Platt will serve as producers of the film. McKenna was also hired as the writer of the film; in October 2015, she was replaced by Kelly Marcel, who also wrote the screenplay for Saving Mr. Banks.
The film itself is an origin story for the character Cruella De Vil, hence making it a prequel to the 101 Dalmatians story. However, as the film is live action, it's not to be considered canon to 101 Dalmatians.
In January 2016, it was reported that Emma Stone is in negotiations to play Cruella. In April 2016, Disney confirmed that she will indeed play the character. She would also serve as an executive producer.
In December 2016, Alex Timbers was confirmed to direct the film. However, it was announced that Timbers will no longer be directing Cruella due to scheduling conflicts and will be replaced by the I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie.
- Cruella is the second Disney live-action adaptation to feature the perspective of the villain, after 2014's Maleficent.
- Glenn Close, one of the executive producers of the film, played the character of Cruella in the 1996 live-action adaptation of 101 Dalmatians and its 2000 sequel.
- This will be the fourth time that Craig Gillespie will direct for a Disney film, after Fright Night (which is distributed under the Touchstone Pictures banner), Million Dollar Arm, and The Finest Hours.
- This will be the fifth time that Emma Thompson will do a role for a Disney film, after playing Captain Amelia in Treasure Planet, Queen Elinor in Brave, P. L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks, and Mrs. Potts in the 2017 live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
- This will be the second time that Mark Strong will portray a role for a Disney film, after playing Matai Shang in John Carter.
- Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Julianne Moore, and Demi Moore were considered for a role.
- Prior to the announcement of the film's new simultaneous release, Kirby Howell-Baptiste was slated to be portraying a character named "Tabitha" while Emily Beecham was stated to be playing Anita. Shortly afterwards, their proper characters were listed. Additionally, Mark Strong's character was named "Boris" before revealing it as John. The reason for the initial misnaming is unknown.
- Following the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be the first live-action Walt Disney Pictures film to have a theatrical release since Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
- This is the second live-action adaptation of a Disney Animated Canon film to be rated PG-13 by the MPA, after Mulan.
- This is the first 101 Dalmatians film to be rated PG-13 by the MPA, unlike the other films, which were rated G, making it the second Disney franchise in which neither animated nor live-action film receives a PG rating after Mulan.
- This is the twelfth Disney film to be rated PG-13, and the seventh outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean films overall, after Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, John Carter, The Lone Ranger, Saving Mr. Banks, The Finest Hours and Mulan.
- This is also the fifth non-Jerry Bruckheimer Disney film to be rated PG-13, after John Carter, Saving Mr. Banks and The Finest Hours, and Mulan.
- This is the third Disney film to be released on Disney+ as a Premiere Access title, after Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon.
- Thus, it is also the second Disney film to be released in theaters and on Disney+ on the same day after Raya and the Last Dragon.
- "Disney Delays 'Cruella'". Variety. Retrieved on August 20, 2019.