Disney Still Developing Cruella de Vil Movie, 'I Tonya' Director Eyed for '101 Dalmatians' Prequel

Disney's live action Cruella De Vil origin film is still in the works, with a big-time director reportedly eyed for the project.

I, Tonya's Craig Gillespie is reportedly in talks to direct the Emma Stone-starring movie based on the lives of the 101 Dalmatians villain.

According to Deadline, Broadway writer-director and Mozart in the Jungle co-creator Alex Timbers was first set to held the project, but he had to back out because of timing.

The publication writes Disney wants to get the film in production as soon as next year. With Timber working to create a Broadway adaptation of Beetlejuice, and later moving to help Bay Luhrmann with a stage version of Moulin Rouge, he won't be available until the summer.

His busy schedule will keep him from working on the planned 101 Dalmatians prequel film.

Gillespie is coming off the success of his hit film I, Tonya, which earned Margot Robbie an Oscar nomination her role as Tonya Harding, and Allison Janney a deserved win in the Best Supporting Actress category for playing Harding's mother.

He has most recently worked on a remake of the Norwegian thriller Thelma, and reportedly is planning to hop to Cruella after that.

Stone is set to lead the cast of the film as titular villain De Vil. The film is being described as an origin story, The Hollywood Reporter writes, reportedly set in the early 1980s with a "punk vibe."

Stone was honored with the Best Actress Oscar in 2017 and is once again gaining awards buzz for her new film The Favourite, which she stars in alongside Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman. The actress also received critical praise for her performance on Netflix miniseries Maniac, which reunited her with Superbad co-star Jonah Hill.

De Vil was first portrayed in the classic 1961 film 101 Dalmatians. The role was brought in live action, portrayed by Glenn Close, in the 1996 live-action film, featuring De Vil as the head of a fashion house. The character has also been portrayed by Victoria Smurfit on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Wendy Raquel Robinson on Disney's Descendants.

Disney reportedly has a script by Jez Butterworth and has set Marc Platt, Andrew Gunn and Kristin Burr as producers for the project.


The film was first announced back in 2016. At the time the project was reportedly on the fast track after the success of Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie.

Disney's Cruella will follow other live action films inspired by classic Disney films, including live-action remakes of Cinderella, Jungle Book and the upcoming remakes of Dumbo and Lion King coming in 2019.