Disney's live-action film machine has been quietly chugging away, and they just revealed the latest in their lineup: Cruella. The origin story of Cruella de Vil stars Emma Stone as the titular two-toned villainess. Set as a prequel to the Glenn Close 101 Dalmatians, fans want to know: with the film's release in May, will it also be available on Disney Plus?
What is 'Cruella' about?
According to the official synopsis as quoted by WDWNewsToday, Estella de Vil is a penniless orphan living in London with her friends, Horace and Jasper. Her dreams of becoming a fashion designer are driven by ambition, but she lacks the funding to get off the ground. Amateur thievery only gets the trio so far, but when a chance encounter throws Estella in the midst of the rich and famous, how far will she go to stay in the limelight?
The story is a prequel to the Glenn Close live-action adaptations of the story, titled 101 Dalmatians and 102 Dalmatians respectively. Glenn herself is even an executive producer on Cruella, which is a lovely surprise! As of May 2019, Emma Thompson (of Harry Potter fame) is playing The Baroness, "an antagonist to Cruella who's thought to be pivotal in her transformation to the villain we know today."
Cruella is set for release on May 28, 2021 after a delay due to the coronavirus. Currently, the film is only slated for theatrical release, but like Mulan before it, this doesn't entirely rule out the potential for the film to appear on Disney Plus. After all, Raya and the Last Dragon, which will be released March 5, 2021, will be available both in theaters and on Disney Plus.
Fans have mixed thoughts on 'Cruella,' saying she is reminiscent of other pop culture villains.
After the trailer's release the morning of Feb. 17, 2021, fans took to Twitter to voice their thoughts, inadvertently getting both "Harley Quinn" and "Maleficent" trending. Many fans have compared Cruella's chaotic style, cackling laugh, and thick accent to Harley Quinn, whose own eclectic styling and Brooklyn accent are defining of her villainy.
Fans also pointed out that while Disney was able to humanize Maleficent in the live action Maleficent film, it could be a bit more difficult to humanize a character known for literally killing puppies. Other fans also insisted that Disney "let an evil villain be an evil villain" and that they hoped Disney would not rewrite the story to give Cruella some humanity.
While there seems to be a large level of dissent across the board about where Cruella should go, we'll just have to wait and see. The costumes designed by Jenny Beavan give the film both villain and high-fashion energy. Jenny was also the costume designer for 101 Dalmatians, so this thread of continuity is the gift that keeps on giving!
Ultimately, this is just the first dose of all Disney has in store for Cruella. Emma Stone's complete vocal makeover alone has fans eager to see where the story will follow! In the meantime, you can catch up on live-action 101 Dalmatians, animated 101 Dalmatians, and 102 Dalmatians on Disney Plus.