Despite the state of theaters currently, Disney is planning to give Cruella a theatrical release. RottenTomatoes tweeted out the news earlier today along with the film’s official logo. Although the news didn’t come straight from Disney, RottenTomatoes is more than trustworthy. The film will release on May 28, 2021.
— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) December 27, 2020
Cruella will star Emma Stone as the iconic Disney villain. The character first appeared in 1961’s 101 Dalmatians where Betty Lou Gerson voiced her. However, Stone won’t be the first actress to play her in live-action. Glenn Close played her in the 1996 remake as well as the 2000 sequel, 102 Dalmatians. Even though Cruella finished shooting at the end of last year, there has still been no sign of a trailer. All that has been released, other than plot information, is a promotional image of Stone in-character.
Cruella and the Uncertainty of Theaters
Cruella will be an origin story for the fur-loving villain. It will be set in the early 1980s and feature what is described as a punk vibe. News of its theatrical release contradicts earlier reports that it would be heading to Disney+. In November, Deadline reported that Disney was considering streaming-only launches for its upcoming live-action releases. In addition to Cruella, these included Peter Pan and Wendy, and Pinocchio.
Perhaps Disney is feeling more confident about the future of theaters given the recent COVID-19 vaccine. However, it’s important to note this news doesn’t necessarily disqualify a Disney+ release. We may get a dual release between the streaming platform as well as theaters, similar to how Warner Bros. will be handling its entire 2021 release schedule. This news also gives no further update on the other two live-action remakes Disney has planned.
In addition to Stone, Cruella stars Mark Strong, Emma Thompson, and Paul Walter Hauser. Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) is directing from a script by Kelly Marcel (Venom), Tony McNamara (The Great), and Dana Fox (Isn’t It Romantic), among others.