Emma Thompson is in talks for a mystery role in Disney’s Cruella movie. With all the recent attention that live-action remakes have been getting in the wake of successes like Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book, somehow, Cruella, Disney’s live-action prequel to their classic 101 Dalmatians, has remained relatively under wraps.
It’s been quite a few years now since the prequel was first announced, and there’s certainly been no shortage of rumors along the way to keep 101 Dalmatians fans intrigued. From plot specifics to cast to time and place, there’s a great deal to talk about with Cruella, though the upcoming film has yet to build up the sort of hype that its counterparts have managed to accrue on their paths to production. This is largely due to there simply not being much information to go on – something that's sure to change as Cruella finishes casting and moves toward actual production. So far, Cruella has managed to lock down Oscar-winner Emma Stone, and now it appears that another talented Emma might be on the way as well.
Variety is reporting that Beauty and the Beast star Emma Thompson is currently in talks to join Cruella, though exactly what role she’s considering is unclear. The 60-year-old star is no stranger to roles in Disney productions, having played Mrs. Potts in the aforementioned live-action Beauty in the Beast, as well as portraying Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers in the 2013 hit Saving Mr. Banks.
Without a clear understanding of Cruella’s plot, it’s difficult to speculate as to what role Thompson could be considering. What we do know, according to Collider, is that Cruella's villain just might be Thompson, rather than the oft-rumored Nicole Kidman. Apparently, the backdrop for Cruella is 1970’s London, in which Cruella De Vil is still a young woman who goes by the name Estella (Stone). Estella is a brilliant clothing designer whose talents are not being recognized in her current position as a department store clerk. When Estella realizes that the evil Baroness has stolen her deceased mother's locket, she decides that she'll do whatever it takes to get it back. It seems logical that whoever influenced or played a key role in Estella’s transformation would have to be a spectacularly wicked character, portrayed by an actor who's preferably a household name. For this reason, and despite her tremendous talent as an actor, it’s perhaps harder to conceive of Disney casting Thompson as the villain.
Of course, should Thompson end up being Disney’s choice for the key villain in Cruella, there’s no reason to think she couldn’t pull it off. With her ample amount of experience and proven track record as a seasoned performer, Thompson has never met a role that she couldn’t manage to put her own special spin on. And while she can play a villain, it would possibly be more entertaining to see her in a role that’s a little more restrained but retains a strong emotional core - like Estella’s mother. Either way, should Thompson join Cruella, there's no doubt that things will rapidly become very engaging.