Emma Stone is Cruella – Discover Disney’s Dalmations prequel

Emma Stone is Cruella de Vil, in Disney’s live-action prequel to the classic 1961 animated feature film, 101 Dalmatians. Intrigued? You don’t need to use the Twilight Barking to learn all about Disney’s Cruella.

From its two deliciously dark trailers to the cast, plot and all-important release date, we’ve got you covered. 

When is Cruella released?

Disney’s Cruella, starring Emma Stone, Emma Thompson and Mark Strong will be released on 28 May 2021, just in time for a fantastic family visit to ODEON to see this inspired live-action prequel to the classic Disney animation, 101 Dalmations on the big screen. 

What is Disney’s Cruella? Cruella’s plot

Channelling the delightfully dark anti-hero energy of Disney’s own Maleficent (2014), Cruella tells the tale of Estella de Vil (Emma Stone), an aspiring and ruthlessly ambitious young fashion designer who unleashes her artistic talents and anarchic energy on the punky and unpredictable world of 1970s London (a timeline shift from the original film’s early 60s setting). It’s a story of transformation, betrayal and single-minded manipulation that will fill in the backstory of one of Disney’s greatest and most infamous villains – 101 Dalmatians' fur-obsessed fashionista, Cruella de Vil.

Are there Cruella trailers? Watch Disney’s Cruella trailer and sneak peek

There are two Cruella trailers to watch – a full scene-setting trailer and a shorter, second Cruella sneak peek – and you can see them right here. Both are underpinned by Emma Stone voiceovers as Estella/Cruella de Vil, and she’s really nailed the character’s haughty British accent. 

From the very beginning, I realised I saw the world differently than everyone else. That didn’t sit well with some people. But I wasn’t for everyone. I guess they were always scared I’d be… a psycho.

And with a chilling peal of Cruella’s diabolical laughter, we’re away. We glimpse Estella’s beginnings as a cleaner at a fictionalised version of Liberty’s flagship store in London; we see her causing trouble after hours and her discovery by the imperious fashion house owner, Baronness Von Hellman (Emma Thompson); we see the live-action versions of Cruella’s criminal crew, Jasper and Horace Badun (Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser), a thrilling car chase, a spectacular bit of arson, and some truly breathtaking entrances by Cruella in some extraordinary outfits that really need to be seen to be believed. The film not only looks fantastically entertaining – as you’d expect – but also gratifyingly edgy for a Disney film.     

Cruella’s cast. Emma Stone and her amazing Cruella co-stars

Cruella’s cast is to die for, darling. See for yourself.

  • Emma Stone (La La Land, Zombieland) as Estella "Cruella" de Vil.
    Cruella wasn’t born, she was made – the invention of aspiring fashion designer, Estella de Vil. She starts off with nothing but a red dye job and a fearless desire to cause trouble on her climb to the top.
  • Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks, Sense and Sensibility) is Baroness Von Hellman.
    Hellman runs a prestigious fashion house with an iron hand in a velvet glove. Cruel and conceited, she sees potential in Estella and hires her. But, if the Baroness thinks she’s got de Vil on-side, she’s about to have a rude awakening. Estella’s loyal to nobody but herself.
  • Joel Fry (Yesterday, Game of Thrones) as Jasper Badun and Paul Walter Hauser (I, Tonya, BlacKkKlansman) as Horace Badun.
    Jasper and his brother, Horace are career criminals that Estella hires to help her carry out her underhand schemes to get to the top of the London fashion elite.
  • Mark Strong (Shazam! Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Boris.
    We don’t know for certain who Boris is in the world of Cruella, but it looks as though he may be an advisor and/or bodyguard to the Baroness.
  • Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Anita.
    In Disney’s original 101 Dalmations, Anita was the unwitting link between her beloved Dalmation Perdy (Perdita) and fur-crazy Cruella. You see, Anita was an old school friend of Cruella’s, so we may get to see how the two young women grew apart, or perhaps cue up a brand new live-action remake of 101 Dalmatians?
  • Emily Beecham (Little Joe, Outside the Wire) as Catherine.
    Emily won the Cannes award for Best Actress in 2019 (for Little Joe), so while we don’t yet know who she’ll be playing in Cruella, we can’t wait to see what she does.

Who’s writing and directing Cruella?

Inspired by characters in Disney’s 1961 feature animation 101 Dalmations and the book of the same name by Dodie Smith, Cruella’s story was created by Aline Brosh McKenna, Kelly Marcel and Steve Zissis. Interestingly, McKenna wrote the script for the equally acidic and fashionista-centric The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

Dana Fox (The Wedding Date) and Tony McNamara (The Favourite) wrote Cruella’s screenplay, while the film is directed by Craig Gillespie who’s previously knocked it out of the park with Lars and the Real Girl (2007) and I, Tonya (2017).

What is Cruella’s car? The surprising truth about Cruella’s iconic car

Glimpsed at several points during Cruella’s trailers is an automotive icon with a surprising history. While Cruella de Vil’s car in Disney’s 101 Dalmations wasn’t a specific make or marque its length, running boards and swooping vintage lines were reminiscent of the 1927 Bugatti Royale. However, the equally vintage-looking car you’ll see in Cruella (and Disney’s previous live-action Dalmatians films with Glenn Close in 1996 and 2000) is no one-off prop build.

It’s actually a super rare but real British car from the 1970s called – very appropriately – the Panther De Ville. Only 60 were ever made and most were snapped up by stars like Elton John and Oliver Reed.

Who’s the costume designer for Cruella? Who’s designing Cruella’s fabulous frocks?

How could we explore the world of Disney’s Cruella without revealing the designer behind the film’s stunning fashion creations? Cruella’s costume designer is legit legend, Jenny Beavan.

Over an illustrious career, the Brit has won two Best Costume Design Oscars – for Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and A Room with a View (1985) – and has been nominated for eight more. It’s no wonder Disney sought Jenny Beavan out for Cruella. It must have been a blast creating all of de Vil’s breathtaking looks. 

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