Disney released a new teaser for Cruella this week, and fans are dying to see Emma Stone as the classic villain. Cruella is the upcoming live-action prequel to 101 Dalmations, where Stone will play a younger version of Cruella de Vil. The new teaser hints at her origin store in the world of fashion.
Set to an edgy cover of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'," the teaser starts with a few quick cuts showing Cruella as a downtrodden worker, trying and failing to scrape by in 1970s London. She cherishes a dream of making "art" and making "trouble," evidenced by her sketchpad full of fashion designs. Fans also get a hint that there's something sinister behind her smile, but it doesn't become clear until her hair goes from a muted red to its signature black and white.
The teaser gives fans their first glimpse of Emma Thompson in this movie, where she plays a character called "Baroness." From the looks of it, she will be a mentor figure to Cruella at first, but may find herself learning a thing or two instead. There is a surprising amount of action in the clip, with cheering crowds, racing motorcycles and a dazzling light show projecting Cruella's name onto the side of a building.
Near the end, fans even get a glimpse of a Dalmatian, suggesting that Cruella's obsession with the spotted puppies may begin as early as this prequel. It ends on a shot of her standing between her two loyal henchmen, Jasper and Horace, played by Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser respectively.
While it did drum up fresh hype for the movie, the new teaser did not reveal much about Cruella that fans didn't already know. According to Disney's official synopsis, the film will tell Cruella's origin story beginning with her given name: Estella de Vil. It will follow her ruthless climb to the top of the fashion scene in 1970s London, thanks in no small part to her "obsession with dogs' skin, especially Dalmatians."
From the sound of it, this take is unlikely to be completely faithful to the original animated 101 Dalmatians, or the other iterations that have followed. In that story, Cruella is an established figure in the fashion world, and Anita (Lisa Davis) is her employee. It is only after laying eyes on Anita's massive litter of puppies that Cruella becomes obsessed with their pelts.
Either way, many nostalgic fans feel wary of this prequel, fearing it will stretch the original narrative too far by implication. Others question why so much focus is being given to a villain who cannot easily be redeemed. However, the true test will come when the movie is released. Cruella is scheduled to premiere on Disney + on Friday, May 28.