Based on the character Cruella de Vil from Dodie Smith’s 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Cruella, starring Emma Stone attempts to tell her story with sympathy, trying to subvert the gruesome story of her having skinned the dogs and used their skin for her coats. It also gives her a solid backstory.
Set in London during the punk rock movement of the 1970s, the film revolves around how the bespectacled Estella Miller, an aspiring brunette fashion designer, becomes Cruella — the notorious but sensational fashion designer, her hair parted midways, one half white, one half black.
Cruella has been in the news for a while. It released in theaters and on the Disney+ platform in May this year, becoming the seventh highest grossing film of 2021, earning more than $222 million in ticket sales worldwide.
Conversations began when Scarlett Johansson sued the studio for sacrificing the Black Widow box office collections in order to grow Disney+ subscriptions. This hybrid model — releasing in theaters and soon on streaming — was not working and it was reported that Stone would be suing too. But a lid has been placed on that conversation when it was recently announced that a sequel to Cruella is already under production, with Emma Stone, the lead actress scoring an eight-figure pay for the follow-up film, an increase from the $8 million she was paid for the first live-action feature.
Also starring Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste, directed by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya), with a screenplay by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara, Cruella finally comes to Disney+ Hotstar on August 27, this Friday.