Craig Gillespie’s Cruella is a very entertaining movie, and it’s looking to be a very successful one as well based on the solid opening weekend numbers and availability on Disney Plus Premier Access, but the more you think about it, the stranger the whole thing becomes.
It’s one of the more stylish, standout and subversive live-action Disney remakes, but it still falls into far too many familiar traps. Tying Emma Stone’s antiheroine directly to Emma Thompson’s villain via a parental rug-pull doesn’t quite land, and for some reason, Hollywood is obsessed with taking potentially expansive properties and shrinking them right down so that everything ties together.
We also discover that the future Cruella de Vil, who stomps onto the scene in 101 Dalmatians with a bloodlust in her eyes and desire to skin a century of puppies for her own accessorizing, harbors a grudge against the canines because she watched her mother knocked off a cliff and fall to her death after a trio of the dogs were summoned by a whistle to murder her. And if that sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is.
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There’s even a post-credits scene setting up the potential for yet another 101 Dalmatians remake down the line, and insider Daniel Richtman is now reporting that Glenn Close could be dropping by for a cameo in a potential sequel. Though that’s the extent of the info he’s willing to offer on the topic.
Of course, Close was credited as an executive producer on Cruella, and famously nabbed a Golden Globe nomination for her scenery chewing performance in the 1996 spin on the story. Unless it’s a framing device or an end-of-movie stinger, though, it wouldn’t make a great deal of logical sense to shine such a bright spotlight on the past when Stone did a fantastic job in the present. Not to mention that a shared 101 Dalmatians universe teeters even closer towards complete creative bankruptcy.