Emily Beecham has joined the cast of Disney's live-action Cruella. The upcoming film is a prequel to 101 Dalmatians that takes place in London in the 1970s. It tells the story of a young Cruella (Emma Stone), back when she was a wannabe fashion designer known as Estella, as she sets out to find a locket her mother left her before she passed away. The film also stars Joel Fry (Yesterday) and Paul Walter Hauser (I, Tonya) who play her henchman, Jasper and Horace, along with Emma Thompson who plays a wealthy individual known as The Baroness. The film is about to head into production, but fans at D23 were treated to a first-look image of Stone in the titular character's iconic makeup.
Cruella will be Disney's third live-action outing featuring the fur-loving villain. In 1996, the studio released a live-action retelling of 101 Dalmatians that featured Glenn Close as the villain, along with Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams as Jasper and Horace. Close wound up receiving a Golden Globe nomination in 1997 for Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for the role, and the film's success spawned a sequel that was released in 2000 titled 102 Dalmatians. Unlike these previous films, Cruella will be the first time that the villain herself will be front and center, and the cast for the upcoming film has grown by one more.
Emily Beecham is the latest to join the cast of Cruella in an undisclosed role. According to Deadline, Beecham won Best Actress this year at Cannes for her work, "with Ben Whishaw and Kerry Fox in drama-sci-fi Little Joe." She is also known for her roles in the "SXSW comedy-drama Daphne," and the, "AMC action-adventure series Into The Badlands." She also recently starred alongside, "Anthony Mackie in Netflix sci-fi Outside The Wire."
Along with its already stellar cast, Cruella is helmed by I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie. Gillespie's work on the Tonya Harding biopic took the world by storm because of its excellent balance of comedy and drama, so there's no doubt that Cruella will be an equal mix of both. Considering a majority of the cast also has past experience with comedy -- especially Hauser who received plenty of acclaim for his previous work with Gillespie on I, Tonya -- this film will surely be a quirky and fun adaptation that falls in line with Gillespie's humor.
2019 has been quite the year for The Mouse House, especially with their live-action releases. This year alone, the studio released live-action remakes of The Lion King, Aladdin, and Dumbo, and still have Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Lady and the Tramp releasing later this year. Despite some of these movies receiving mixed reviews, they've blown up at the box office, proving that audiences are still finding enjoyment in the live-action nostalgia. Fans can only hope that Cruella will be just as fun as these past remakes. So far, the incredibly impressive casting has been a good sign that Gillespie has something interesting up his sleeve, but only time will truly tell.
- Cruella (2021) release date: May 28, 2021