Cruella looks fierce! This film has the capacity to be out of this world, especially where it looks as if we’re going to keep Cruella the unlikeable villain that dalmatians already know to growl at as she enters a room. I’m not expecting the full-fledged raucousness of Sid & Nancy style behavior here, but knowing that Disney is setting the film with the backdrop of the punk rock revolution has my mind swirling with anticipatory ideas. Between fashion, music, and attitude concepts alone this trailer has absolutely piqued my interest.
The lovely Emma Stone is stepping under the black and white wig this time as the fashion designer with a severe love of dog fur (seriously Cruella DeVil can come to my house and vacuum up a fur coat anytime) and less than reputable friends. Stone looks like she’s having fun with the character in the trailer; hotwiring cars, rocking beautiful outfits, and setting herself on fire…literally! The film looks to be setting up a heist, to take something from Emma Thompson’s haute Baroness von Hellman, but we haven’t any clues to what exactly Cruella’s planning to take yet. The ninety-second trailer leaves us hanging by showing a large lavish estate in flames after whipping us through classically designed upscale locations, low-rent downtrodden locations, and a quick shot of pink neon light blasting Cruella’s name all over a home with a very comic book Joker kind of flair.
I’ve had big hopes for the film’s premise since the movie was announced a few years ago and Stone signed on to play the titular villain. I’m glad to see Cruella’s story go into new territory and away from the 101 Dalmatians story which was revived for live-action back in 1996 and played marvelously by the always versatile Glenn Close. Though the old story is fun, it’s just fun to see the character getting the Maleficent treatment and granting wicked fun and sparking life back into the story that may deliver something a bit unexpected. A 70s The Devil Wears Prada meets Ocean’s Eleven maybe?
This trailer has gotten some really strange reactions over the last week with people comparing the film to Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker film, but I think the film has its own unique charm and will likely be adherent to some Disney sensibilities. The film is also directed by I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie, who knows how to wonderfully tell a villain’s story. I’m sure Cruella will get what she has coming to her, but in the meantime, it looks like it could be fun to root for the bad guy.
Cruella is expected to release on May 28th.