What’s black, white and red all over and making Disney plenty of green? That would be “Cruella,” of course, darling.
Just two weeks after its release, a sequel to the Emma Stone-fronted origin story is already in development at the House of Mouse, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with the film’s director Craig Gillespie and writer Tony McNamara set to return.
There’s no word yet on whether Stone will reprise her role as the iconic villain, but, as Variety notes, it’s “unclear how a sequel would work without her.” Presumably, Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry, who play Cruella’s accomplices Horace and Jasper in the film, would also be back for more fur-loving fun.
“Cruella” has been a hit for Disney after simultaneously debuting in theaters and on the studio’s streaming service, where it was available to rent for an extra $30 Premier Access fee. Despite the hybrid release model, the film still managed to pull in some promising numbers at the coronavirus-impacted box office, taking in an estimated $48.5 million worldwide to date.
“We are very pleased with Cruella’s box office success, in conjunction with its strong Disney+ Premier Access performance to date,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. “The film has been incredibly well received by audiences around the world, with a 97% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes in addition to A’s in every demographic from CinemaScore on opening weekend, ranking it among the most popular of our live-action reimaginings. We look forward to a long run as audiences continue to enjoy this fantastic film.”
As for how the story for the sequel-to-the-prequel would unfold, Cruella’s exploits have already been well-covered in past films. Glenn Close previously played the character in the 1996 live-action remake of the beloved animated film “101 Dalmatians” and reprised the role in the sequel “102 Dalmatians” four years later.
But Gillespie has gone on the record saying there’s still much more to be seen from Stone’s version of the villain, explaining that he’d “love to now see the full-blown Cruella, fully loaded.”
“I feel like we’ve only just met her,” he told Collider in a recent interview. “She’s managed to get the support system around her and she can really expand on her brand. I’d love to see where that takes her and how you could almost destroy her from inside out, if she’s not careful with all that power.”
And, who knows? Close might even get the last maniacal laugh and return to the franchise, as she proved in a deliciously unhinged video last year that Cruella is still near and dear.