Earlier this week, when talking about the new Maleficent trailer, I mentioned that we hadn’t heard much in terms of Disney’s other villain-prequel Cruella. Well, Variety must have some read that, because now there is a new casting update.
Emma Thompson is in talks to join the other Emma (Stone) in the film. While Stone has been set to play a young Cruella de Vil already, the identity of Thompson’s character is being kept under wraps.
Thompson would actually make a great present-day version of the villain. Perhaps the movie takes place in two time periods, with Stone as the younger version, and Thompson as the older version? If not, the film will need to give Cruella an adversary. As despicable as she becomes, if she is the hero of her own story, there will be a villain.
I, Tonya‘s Craig Gillespie is directing the film, with Tony McNamara (who wrote The Favourite, also starring Stone) writing the latest draft.
Disney definitely found a new avenue to explore, making live action versions of their animated classics. Some, like the upcoming Aladdin, are straight remakes. The Lion King is too, though I refuse to call that live action. It is more “hyper-realistic” CGI. Beauty And The Beast was one of Disney’s most successful live action remakes, a film in which Thompson also had a role. Others, like Maleficent are new takes on old material. Cruella is unique, in that Disney has made 2 animated movies and two live action remakes of it already. Glenn Close played Cruella de Vil in the live action versions in the 90s. What would be really cool is if Close returned for a cameo, connecting the 90s films with this one. That would kill my Thompson-as-an-older-version theory, but it would be worth it.
Cruella hits theaters December 23, 2020, the last Christmas before Avatar and Star Wars take over that release window for the rest of the decade.