Two years after Disney first announced a live action movie based on the iconic 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella De Vil, the studio is finally moving forward on the project with a new writer. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that the studio has hired Kelly Marcel to write the screenplay for Cruella. The site reports that Disney is putting this project on the fast track, although it isn't known when production may begin.
Earlier this week, Disney issued four release dates for unspecified fairy tale films. If Cruella is in fact being put on the fast track, it could very well be the movie that takes the first of these mystery release dates, December 22, 2017. Still, the studio hasn't confirmed a release date for Cruella, or which of the several fairy tale projects in development will get those four dates.
Cruella was first announced back in September 2013, when Aline Brosh McKenna (Annie) signed on to write the script. Kelly Marcel will take over the writing duties along with Steve Zissis, who created and stars in the HBO series Togetherness. Andrew Gunn (Race to Witch Mountain, Bedtime Stories) will produce for Disney.
The iconic villainCruella de Vil first appeared in Dodie Smith's 1956 novel 101 Dalmatians, which was adapted into the hit animated movie of the same name in 1961. The character has appeared in live-action before, with Glenn Close portraying her in the 1996 adaptation 101 Dalmatians and its 2000 sequel 102 Dalmatians. No story details have been given at this time, and the project doesn't have a director on board yet.
Disney is also developing live action adaptations of classics such as Dumbo, with Tim Burton attached to direct, Tink, which Reese Witherspoon is starring in and producing, and Mulan. The studio also has a Jungle Cruise adaptation with Dwayne Johnson starring, along with a number of live action adaptations hitting theaters over the next few years, such as The Jungle Book, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Pete's Dragon, Beauty and the Beast. Kelly Marcel's screenwriting credits also include Saving Mr. Banks and episodes of Terra Nova.