First we learned that Disney was working on a live-action film based on the Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent (which stars Angelina Jolie) and today we learn that they are also working on a live-action film based on the 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil. As you may know, Cruella came to life on the big screen in both animated form (in 1961) and in live-action form (in 1996, portrayed brilliantly by Glenn Close) in two Disney movies titled 101 Dalmatians (plus a live-action sequel titled 102 Dalmatians in 2000). It seems like this new film will be focused more squarely on de Vil … but the premise of the film has yet to be announced. Will this be an origin story? Will this film paint Cruella in a sympathetic light? HMMM.
After making a movie centered on Maleficent, the villainess from Sleeping Beauty, Disney is setting its sights on another bad lady: Cruella de Vil. Aline Brosh McKenna has been hired to pen Cruella, which will bring the dog-fur-loving fashionista from 101 Dalmatians into a live-action feature to be produced by Andrew Gunn, who produced Sky High and Bedtime Stories for the studio. McKenna will also produce. De Vil first appeared in Dodie Smith’s 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians but became a Disney icon with the 1961 animated movie. And it’s not the character’s first incarnation in a live-action feature. Glenn Close memorably played the character in 1996’s 101 Dalmatians and the 2000 sequel, 102 Dalmatians. In fact, Close is in involved with Cruella, acting as an executive producer. Sadly, the studio is keeping its latest take on the character locked in the dog pound. Cruella would be Disney’s latest live-action take on one of its classic animated films. In addition to Alice and Maleficent, Disney is making Cinderella, which just began principal photography with Kenneth Branagh in the director’s chair. McKenna already worked for Disney by penning the Cinderella script. The screenwriter, who may be best-known for adapting The Devil Wears Prada, also worked on Annie, which is now casting.
I am loving this entirely … even tho we don’t yet know exactly what the premise of this movie is, I am really excited by the idea of a movie all about Cruella de Vil. It’s about time the iconic Disney villains were brought front and center into the limelight. I hope they do for Cruella what they are trying to do for Maleficent … make her a misunderstood heroine. Glenn Close did such a great job with the role when she played de Vil in the two live-action Dalmatians movies, I hope they’re able to find someone just as good. This movie has the potential to be really great. I can’t wait to see what they do with her story. Doesn’t this sound so cool?