Disney Moving Forward with Live-Action Cruella de Vil Movie

Published 2 years ago by

cruella de vil disney movie Disney Moving Forward with Live Action Cruella de Vil Movie

“If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will,” or so claims the most famous tune featured in Disney’s 1961 animated feature 101 Dalmatians (which ranks #11 on the adjusted all-time U.S. box office list – see for yourself). The “she” in question is Cruella de Vil, the fur-loving villainess who smokes like a chimney and schemes to kill over a hundred puppies – in order to make what she believes would be the most marvelous of spotted coats.

Disney is planning to revisit the 101 Dalmatians property (based on Dodie Smith’s 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians), with a live-action movie based around its antagonist. This marks the second occasion on which the Mouse House has revisited this section of its animation vault – having previously adapted 101 Dalmatians into a live-action film in 1996 (which proved lucrative enough to warrant a sequel, 102 Dalmatians, four years later), starring multi-Oscar-nominee Glenn Close as the infamous fashionista with symmetrical black and white hairs.

THR is reporting that the project, titled Cruella, is being scripted by Aline Brosh McKenna, who also co-wrote the studio’s upcoming Cinderella live-action retelling from director Kenneth Branagh and starring Lily James and Cate Blanchett (which is currently in production). Of course, McKenna remains best-known for writing the film adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s novel The Devil Wears Prada, which stars Meryl Streep (in – what else – an Oscar-nominated role) as the antagonist: an icy and cutthroat fashion magazine editor, loosely inspired by Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

In other words: it should be plain as day, with regard to why Disney has recruited McKenna to write the script for Cruella (Charlie Kaufman was a close second choice – kidding, folks… sadly).

Angelina Jolie as Maleficent Disney Moving Forward with Live Action Cruella de Vil Movie

This newly-established Disney trend – crafting movies based around the studio’s most iconic villainesses – began with the upcoming Maleficent (starring Angelina Jolie in the title role), which arrives in 2014. Screenwriter Linda Woolverton is reported to have envisioned the Sleeping Beauty revisionist film’s script along the lines of author Gregory Maguire’s re-appopriation of the Wicked Witch of the West character in the Wizard of Oz book, Wicked (for short) – wherein the infamous magic-caster serves as the protagonist – and thus, is cast in a more sympathetic light.

Will McKenna favor a similar approach in her Cruella script – bearing in mind that it’s difficult to imagine how Miss de Vil could be “misunderstood” - or, might she go with a reformation story, where Cruella either begins to abandon her vile ways (a la Despicable Me) or proves that she’s not so terrible (a la Devil Wears Prada)? Of course, Cruella may just be the antagonist in her own movie. That’s assuming that McKenna wasn’t hired to be more innovative and try to make Mis de Vil a dodgy, yet charismatic, baddie, along the lines of a (male) character like Captain Barbossa from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (probably not the case, but still…)

Do you think Cruella can work as anything but the antagonist in a story? Are you interested in seeing a movie focused on her? Or were the 101 Dalmatians live-action films starring Glenn Close – including the sequel, where Cruella was psychologically-conditioned into giving up her evil ways – (more than) enough for you?


We’ll keep you posted on the status of Cruella as more information becomes available.

Source: THR

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Cruella
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  1. Do we really need this?

    I like my villains to be ambiguous, not fully explained in a solo movie. It takes away the mystique.

    It’d be like creating a solo film all about Moriarty and why he became the villain we all know and love from the Sherlock Holmes books. Why would anyone want to potentially ruin him by coming up with reasons for his villainy?

  2. They did this already twice with Glenn Close.

    • Don’t remind me. Hated the live action movies. There are some things that are best left either on the page or in animated form, no need to go live action with everything.

      Then again, this is Disney. They made four live action Narnia movies and none of them were as good as they could’ve been.

      • Four? What was the fourth?

        • I’m pretty sure there are only 3 Narnian movies, Dazz. Unless you’re thinking of the BBC serials?

      • The live action movies where awesome. You must not had a childhood…

  3. Why?

  4. I don’t get why Disney is remaking all their fairy tales in live-action. Cinderella and now this? I mean… I guess its cool, I would really like them to relate very closely to the animated films, I think if I would ever want Disney to remake something like Milan or Beauty And The Beast in live-action, it would HAVE to feel like the animated movie. Otherwise it ruins my childhood lol.

    • That’s why I refuse to watch the live action version of The Tick, just in case it ruins the pure genius of the comic books and animated series of my childhood.

    • “Oh Bulwinkle…that trick never works!” {Rocky}

  5. Starring one of the bosses at Wal-Mart where I work (short-list narrowed down to about a half dozen contenders….!).

    • I had a night shift boss at one job that I nicknamed Shrek because she looked just like him.

  6. I’ve always thought Cybill Shepherd would make a great live action Cruella. Jean Smart could pull it off too, I think. They both have they right type of bone structure for the part.

    • Jean has the kind of crazy in her resume that could make it work.

  7. No.

    • No, God, no?

  8. With Maleficent is enough. this sounds like crap.

  9. As long as they do it right and keep away from this kiddie friendly crap, these are villains after all.

  10. It’s like I don’t think it could work but then again you never know it could turn out to be a good movie, Disney could make this movie into a prequel showing how she turned into this mad crazy woman who hate animals because I don’t think she was born that way, so let not judge so quickly.

  11. I was cool with Maleficent because that was a colorful, dark character from a story that hasn’t been told in the longest time. Wicked too, because it was so original.

    But it feels like they’re going overboard now. There’s nothing that particularly interested or interest me about Cruella, with no earnest rise or tragic fall due to some character flaw or (pure pretty priuncess who snatches her world away). No hidden story that will help lend perspective or depth to the fact that she’s just a normal woman with no sympathy for animals when it comes to fashion.

    I think a Ursula from Little Mermaid would have been much more interesting. Pirates of the Caribbean & Calypso style.

  12. Ooh, I bet I can guess the plot:

    The story centers around the wonderful DeVille family: a veterinarian father, an animal rights activist mother, three daughters and one son. The entire family loves animals but none more so than middle daughter, Cruella. Cruella was born with a terrible birth defect that leaves part of her hair white and part of her hair black. At school, Cruella is the victim of bullying and has few friends. Her biggest bully: the beautiful and popular Anita. To escape for her torment, Cruella turns to animals.

    When Cruella is 18, her entire family is killed by a rabid dalmatian her father attempts to help. Cruella, away at college, is the sole survivor. She drops out of school, moves into the family mansion and her heart hardens toward animals.

    As her heart hardens, Cruella looks for ways to exact revenge on the breed of dog that so wronged her. She decides to make a winter coat out of dalmatian puppy fur. She proceeds to get as many dalmatian puppies as possible.

    When she is only 15 puppies short of her goal, Cruella runs into old school chum, Anita. She learns that Anita is now living a high life. She married a Justin Bieber-esq singer named Roger Radcliffe. They live in a huge mansion, overspending their income and entertaining high society.

    On a visit to Anita’s house, she notices two dogs named Pongo and Perdita. She learns that Perdita is pregnant. In a flash, Cruella decides to use her former tormentor’s puppies to make her fur coat. She returns to The Radcliff mansion the night the puppies are born. However, Anita and Rogers refuse to sell. They have decided to create a puppy mill using the offspring of Pongo and Perdita’s puppies.

    Fearing for the life the puppies will live, Cruella’s heart begins to melt. After trying unsuccessfully to get Roger and Anita to sell, Cruella leaves, promising to return. That night, Cruella hires Horace and Jaspar, two down on their luck electricians, to steal the puppies and bring them to safety.

    Horace and Jasper succeed and take the puppies to DeVille Manor to join the puppies Cruella purchased from pet stores. Cruella arrives and is upset that Pongo and Perdita were left behind. She wants to start a Dalmatian Planation – a huge rescue for unwanted dogs, especially dalmatians.

    When Cruella hears that Pongo and Perdita have run away from home in search of their puppies, Cruella sets out (along with Horace and Jasper) to help find the two lost dogs and reunite them with their puppies. Along the way, she finds help from Colonel, Captain and Sargent Tibbs.

    Cruella eventually finds Pongo and Perdita but Anita and Roger have caught up. In order to make their escape, Cruella has Pongo and Perdita roll in soot to disguise them as Labrador retrievers. Roger and Anita sense something is up but when Perdita falls in the snow, they know what’s going on. They chase after Cruella. However, Cruella gets away with the dogs.

    The movie ends with Cruella saving Pongo and Perdita, reuniting them with their puppies, and turning Daville Manor into the first Humane Society. To get revenge, Roger sells a song mocking Cruella but everyone in the community is so impressed with her loving care for animals that the song flops. Broke and in debt, Roger and Anita declare bankruptcy and are evicted from their mansion.

    The death of Cruella’s family at the hands of a rabid dalmatian will be a metaphor for rape. It will never be discussed why such a loving family named their daughter Cruella DeVille (Cruel Devil). The movie will end with a narrator saying that the only person who could save the day is one who is both hero and villain (even though she never really does anything villainous): Cruella DeVille

    Hey, why not? They basically gave Maleficent the same treatment. God I can’t wait for this movie!

  13. I think it is a very good idea love to see what made her be so bad, we should give every villians the story line too. Remember the originals only talked about the story for the point of the dogs. Don’t you even want to know how she was as a kid or a growing adult, I think it is a good idea I guess it’s bc I’m a Creulla de vil fan I loved her in the animated movies as well in the live-action. And there are people that will love to follow me out her back story. Just bc you don’t like the idea does not mean everyone feels that way & everyone should be able to like and buy it if they want. I can’t wait for it to come in theaters and on movie I will buy ticket and the movie.