How do you make a Disney film that feels dark and edgy, but still has that magic Mouse House feeling? That was the task set out before director Craig Gillespie and stars Emma Stone and Emma Thompson as they prepped to make Cruella, an origin story for the fashionable and evil villain of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians.
What they come up with is delighting critics and is surely going to be a hit with audiences: a punk take on The Devil Wears Prada in which sometime designer and full-time thief Estella (Stone) is slowly taken over by her dark side – Cruella – as she grows closer to the fabulous queen of London fashion, the Baroness (Thompson).
Ahead of the movie’s release in theaters and on Disney+, Rotten Tomatoes correspondent Nikki Novak spoke with Stone and Thompson about the inspirations for their feuding divas, making a film perfect for the big screen, and whether they’d be on board for a Godfather: Part 2-inspired sequel that could also feature Glenn Close. (Spoiler: They love the idea.)
Plus, we caught up with Gillespie to talk about the challenge of taking Disney to some places it’s never been and why making the big-budget flick felt like an making an indie; and spoke with co-stars Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Joel Fry, and Paul Walter Hauser about their unique spins on characters we know and love… and just how much Cruella is lurking in their own personalities.
Cruella is in theaters and available on Disney+ with Premier Access Friday May 28, 2021.