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Disney fast-tracks live-action Cruella movie from Fifty Shades screenwriter

101 Dalmatians

After last spring’s live-action Cinderella and 2014’s Maleficent proved profitable enough to satisfy the overlords at Disney, the studio has fast-tracked a new live-action take on the 101 Dalmatians tale, Entertainment Weekly reports. The new movie will be more closely aligned with Maleficent, however, as it similarly will focus on the story’s villain—in this case, the two-tone-haired, chain-smoking puppy hater, Cruella de Vil.

Kelly Marcel, who previously worked with Disney when she penned her first feature film, Saving Mr. Bankswhich paints a very glossy picture of Walt Disney and the making of Mary Poppinshas been hired to write the film. More famously, Marcel adapted Fifty Shades Of Grey for film; we’re guessing Cruella will have significantly less sex, but who knows—maybe we’re in for an erotic Disney experience. (There is something quite alluring about that cigarette holder.) Togetherness co-creator and star Steve Zissis will also work with Marcel on the story.


It’s hard to imagine a finer Cruella than Glenn Close, who played the villain in the live-action 101 Dalmatians movie from 1996, as well as its sequel in 2000. But the Cruella of those films might as well be a cartoon: She’s over-the-top and unforgivably evil. If it’s anything like Maleficent, Cruella will create a more sympathetic and humanized character, although it’s hard to imagine how anyone could hate puppies so much. In any case, hopefully the costume this movie whips up for Cruella will be nothing short of magnificent, fancy cigarette holder and all.

Disney is eyeing some time between 2017 and 2019 for Cruella’s release.

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