The Favourite actor plays the notorious 101 Dalmatians villain in this 70s-set origin story based in the London fashion world
Sometimes a villain is just a villain: terrible, irredeemable, with little to offer but bad vibes and hilariously pithy insults. But sometimes, we're told, a villain is a more complicated character who requires a complex origin story movie of their own to explain why they became really bad, like in Disney's Cruella, starring Emma Stone, the first trailer of which dropped today. Take a look:
Serving as a sort-of prequel to the 101 Dalmatians movies, Cruella positions the iconic, chain-smoking fashionista who harbours a weird thing for Dalmatians as a young woman growing up in 1970s punk-rock era London (of course). How did Cruella get a taste for dog-made clothing? What are they gonna do about the smoking? Do we, in fact, live in a society? All questions we've waited decades to get the answers to, like “Who built C-3PO?” and “Why is Han Solo called Han Solo?”
So here we go: another in a long line of tried-and-tested “they were wronged by society and that's why they became so angry!” narrative through-lines we've glimpsed in everything from Disney's own Maleficent to Todd Phillips' Joker. What else can we glean from this vague trailer, though, really, except that Stone's British accent is only slightly less questionable than the CG antics that seems to overpopulate every shot of the film? Are those bats, we see?
Cruella is directed by I, Tonya filmmaker Craig Gillespie, and written by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara (the latter also co-wrote the Emma Stone-starring period drama The Favourite). Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, and Paul Walter Hauser round out the cast, alongside Emily Beecham, Mark Strong and Jamie Demetriou.
Cruella is slated for a release on 28 May 2021.