There are few movie villains as devilishly colorful and spirited as Cruella de Vil from the 101 Dalmatian series. In the recently released origin movie for the character, titled Cruella, Emma Stone takes a stab at embodying the villain in her early years. The director of Cruella, Craig Gillespie, spoke about the ending of the film, and how it sets up future stories for the main character.
"It's funny, we had so much free reign. There's no real backstory to Cruella other than her and Anita went to school together and that she was a furrier that wanted a certain fur coat. So, there's a lot to fill in there in terms of backstory and I was presented with this whole concept of the fashion world and the '70s punk era, which was sort of such a luxurious backdrop to our story... Working up to her as Cruella or this villain that we know of as Cruella, I loved the idea that we get to what the public perception in the film is that she's a puppy killer, like that's what's reported in the papers and that's what London society is left with at the end of the film when we've kind of come to the fully formed Cruella."
Cruella takes the gleefully evil character who was the main antagonist of the 101 Dalmatians franchises, and attempts to provide her with a sympathetic backstory. Stone's character starts out as an aspiring fashion designer named Estella Miller. A chance encounter with the Baroness von Hellman places Estella at the center of the London fashion scene. But Estella's promising career as a designer is impeded by her troubled past concerning the Baroness and a vindictive streak that surprises even her cohorts.
At the end of Cruella, Estella has become the rich and powerful Cruella de Vil, with all the power and fame that she had always craved. But according to Gillespie, all of that is not enough to guarantee happiness, and a possible sequel would see Estella/Cruella try to get used to her new status in society while still dealing with her criminal impulses.
"I think it is exciting to see now that she has all of this power and this social awareness, what's going to happen with her, is that going to be her undoing? I always equated it to The Graduate moment on the bus when he gets the girl and it's all like "Are they going to be happy now? Is this what they actually wanted?" They've been driving toward this goal the whole film and thing with her is that she's been wanting to get here, it's like what did she give up when she lost a part of her as Estella and she's kind of in this gilded cage now, in the public eye."
Directed by Craig Gillespie, Cruella stars Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Paul Walter Hauser, Joel Fry, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Mark Strong. The film is currently available in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access. This news originated at ComicBookMovie.com.