Disney unveiled a first look at Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone in the title role of the studio’s upcoming live-action prequel Cruella. The film is, of course, a new spin on the classic 101 Dalmatians story, with Stone playing a younger version of the titular villain in a 1970s setting. I, Tonya and Lars and the Real Girl director Craig Gillespie takes the helm, and the tone has been described as having something of a punk vibe.
That certainly feels true in this first image, which is chock-full of attitude. Stone looks absolutely fantastic as Cruella de Vil, and she’s flanked by I, Tonya standout Paul Walter Hauser as Horace and Joel Fry as Jasper. The film also stars Emma Thompson, who isn’t pictured here as filming has only just begun.
This is the latest in the line of “live-action remakes” from Disney, which of course kicked off with Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and Pete’s Dragon before jumping into uncanny valley territory with The Jungle Book and this year’s The Lion King. I will say it’s nice to see that Cruella is a genuine live-action movie, with real-live humans and Good Doggos. Gillespie is a bit hit and miss as a filmmaker, but he’s made some really fun movies and I have a feeling Cruella might be a delight. At the very least it’ll be fun to watch Stone chew up the scenery.
There’s no end in sight for these Disney live-action remakes as Aladdin has now grossed over $1 billion and The Lion King recently surpassed the live-action Beauty and the Beast as the highest grossing “live-action” Disney movie of all time. But again, there’s something a bit more grounded about Cruella that’s appealing.
Check out the first image below. Cruella hits theaters on May 28, 2021.