Kirby Howell-Baptiste is set to join the cast of Cruella, the upcoming live-action film based on the villainous Cruella DeVil. Breaking out in Killing Eve season 1, as an assistant and confidant of Sandra Oh’s character, Howell-Baptiste has made a number of guest appearances on notable television shows. Now, the actress will play a role in one of Disney’s most anticipated projects.
Murmurs of a live-action remake centered around Cruella, famously portrayed by Glenn Close in 101 Dalmatians and its sequel, first began to surface in 2013. Premised as the origin story of DeVil, the film has captured interest as more information about the project continues to be unveiled. Last month, at the D23 Expo, the first photo was revealed of Emma Stone as Cruella in the titular role. Flanked by her henchmen, Jasper and Horace, Stone’s version of DeVil gave off more of a punk vibe. While it’s only a glimpse, with production still underway, and the film due to be released in 2021, the cast of Cruella is taking shape. Howell-Baptiste is only the latest star to sign up for the origin story.
As reported by Variety, Howell-Baptiste is joining Cruella in an undisclosed role. The actress is quickly becoming a familiar face to audiences. In addition to her memorable supporting role on Killing Eve, she recurs on Barry and The Good Place. More recently, she played a pivotal part in Veronica Mars season 4. Along with those guest stints, Howell-Baptiste was one of the main protagonists in the recent CBS All Access series Why Women Kill. Created by Marc Cherry, the series was a drama that took place in three separate timelines.
Howell-Baptiste joins Emma Thompson, Mark Strong, and Emily Beecham in Cruella. Details about the characters they’ll play are also being kept under wraps. While it is known that Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry are joining Stone as Cruella’s henchmen, Horace and Jasper respectively, much of the casting news and specifics about the origin story have been brief and somewhat general so far.
Cruella boasts a great deal of talent in front of and behind the camera. Bolstered by its secrecy, as well as its different approach to a familiar story, the film is already distinguished from the more traditional retellings of Aladdin and The Lion King. It remains to be seen whether the live-action origin story will be warmly received in its final form, but all of the pieces for success are looking as if they’re falling in place for Cruella.