Disney fans know Cruella de Vil as the fur-obsessed baddie from the classic animated feature “101 Dalmatians,” but now a new film promises to introduce them to the story behind that story.
“Cruella” reveals the origin of the stylish and ruthless villain, and the official trailer for the live-action prequel shows how star Emma Stone brings the character to life.
The clip opens with a look at a red-headed Estella de Vil, as she was known before her dognapping days, and hints at trouble with her fashion-biz boss, played by Emma Thompson.
“From the very beginning, I realized I saw the world differently from everyone else,” the character narrates as the scene cuts to Thompson’s Baroness. “That didn’t sit well with some people. But I wasn’t for everyone. I guess they were always scared that I’d be a ... psycho.”
Estella then can be seen attending a ball, and as she stands before her antagonist, her hooded cape burns away to reveal a major makeover. The red tresses are gone, and in their place is the striking duo-chromatic do that becomes her signature look.
"I was born brilliant, born bad and a little bit mad," she says.
Stone delivers a pitch-perfect villainous cackle as scenes of mayhem, fashion shows and a swarm of bats play out in the preview, which comes to a climatic end with a big fire and a simple introduction: “I’m Cruella.”
And as anyone who remembers the character’s eponymous song from “101 Dalmatians” knows, that can only mean: “The curl of her lips, the ice in her stare/ All innocent children had better beware/ She's like a spider waiting for the kill/ Look out for Cruella de Vil.”
Disney lets fans know they can look out for “Cruella” to be released on May 28 — but the company hasn’t revealed where they should look. There’s no word yet as to whether the film will open in theaters, on Disney+ or both.