A project that has been in development at Disney since 2013 may finally be making some strides forward. It was first announced five years ago that Disney would be developing a live-action origin story based around the infamous 101 Dalmatians villain ‘Cruella de Vil’, and Emma Stone was quickly attached in the lead role, but since then there has been little movement on the project.
That is, until now. THR reports that I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie is in early talks to helm the film. He would take over from Mozart In The Jungle co-creator Alex Timbers, who was previously on board to direct but had to drop out due to scheduling issues.
It’s been a surprise that Cruella has taken this long to come together considering Disney’s current obsession with rebooting their animated classics with live-action/CGI versions. The origin story is described as being set in the 1980s with a punk vibe, which sounds far different than the villain we are used to, but I guess that is why this is an origin story.
It’s worth noting that when Cruella was first announced, it was in the wake of Maleficent, which had Angelina Jolie humanising the Sleeping Beauty villain, so one assumes the same sort of approach will be taken here. Stone is still on board, which definitely gives this project a huge boost and should help keep de Vil likeable despite her villainous ways.
Obviously since the film has been in development a while, it’s unclear who has penned the most recent version of the script. Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks) signed on to write a new draft years ago, but who knows how many writers have taken a crack at it since then.
But if Gillespie does indeed sign on, that would signal that Cruella is finally moving forward, and we can probably soon expect some concrete news regarding the script, the story, and even a release date, perhaps.