Disney has released the first poster for their upcoming live-action origin story of the animated villain, Cruella. Emma Stone stars as the eponymous villain, and the movie will explain how she became someone who thought it was a good idea to try and murder dozens of puppies to make a new outfit.
We’ll get our first trailer for the film tomorrow, but I honestly don’t know what to make of this movie. On the one hand, Stone is one of my favorite actors, and given the right framing, this seems like a role she could have a lot of fun with. You’ve also got Craig Gillespie directing, who has made some good movies (Lars and the Real Girl, I, Tonya) and some not-so-good movies (Million Dollar Arm, Mr. Woodcock). Nevertheless, the talent is there to make an entertaining film.
My hang-up is that Disney has already tried to the villain origin story thing with two Maleficent movies, and both were greeted with a shrug. The problem with that framework is you either never to change the villain entirely (e.g. Maleficent was actually the good guy the whole time) or you’re headed down a tragic path where we now this character is going to break bad, but you can’t give it the dramatic heft that it needs because ultimately it’s a Disney movie. Cruella has my curiosity simply because I don’t know how you make a villain whose goal is to murder puppies a character you want to see more of. Like is the film going to convince the audience, “Oh, okay. I don’t agree with her wanting to murder puppies, but I now understand where she’s coming from.”
We’ll hopefully have a better idea of what to expect when the trailer hits tomorrow. Cruella arrives May 28th and also stars Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, and Mark Strong. Check out the poster below.