‘Cruella’ First Reactions: A Bold and Wicked Disney Origin Story Starring Emma Stone

Early word is in for “I, Tonya” director Craig Gillespie’s flamboyant spin on the origin story of iconic Disney villain Cruella de Vil, and the film looks to be a winner. Emma Stone is being praised for her wicked twist on the “101 Dalmatians” villainess. Emma Thompson is also being singled out for her turn as Baroness von Hellman, the head of a swank fashion house and also a renowned haute fashion legend. Check out first reactions below.

Disney’s synopsis for “Cruella” reads: “In 1970s London, young fashion designer Estella de Vil becomes obsessed with dogs’ skins, especially Dalmatians, until she eventually becomes a ruthless and terrifying legend known as Cruella.”

Like many indie filmmakers, Gillespie turned his indie film success into a Disney tentpole directing gig. The filmmaker last worked with Disney on two projects: “The Finest Hours” and “Million Dollar Arm,” although neither title found great box office success.

Also joining the cast are Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser (reuniting with Gillespie after “I, Tonya), Emily Beecham, and Mark Strong. Stone’s Oscar-nominated “The Favourite” screenwriter Tony McNamara co-wrote the “Cruella” script with Dana Fox from a story worked on by “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna, “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Venom” screenwriter Kelly Marcel, and “Togetherness” star Steve Zissis. Glenn Close, who played Cruella de Vil in Disney’s 1996 live-action remake of “One Hundred and One Dalmatians,” serves as an executive producer on “Cruella.”

“Cruella” is scheduled to be released theatrically and simultaneously available on Disney+ with premier access on May 28, 2021, in the United States.

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