Emma Stone Speaks out on 'Cruella' Comparisons to Joaquin Phoenix's 'Joker'

One of Disney's greatest villains, 101 Dalmatians' Cruella De Ville, is getting her own live-action origin film starring Emma Stone. Cruella hits theaters and will stream on Disney+ on Friday, May 28, as previously announced. Disney has confirmed that Cruella will also be a "Premier Access" title, costing an additional $30 to rent on top of the usual subscription price. The film will take viewers back to the beginning, showing how Cruella made the transition from eccentric fashion hopeful to deranged attempted puppy killer.

When the first trailer dropped, Stone's obviously unhinged performance immediately drew comparisons to Joaquin Phoenix's performance as Gotham's Prince of Crime before he was Batman's nemesis in Joker. People on Twitter saw the mania and streaked, garish makeup and couldn't stop talking about it. "The CRUELLA trailer LOOKS nice but also i think sometimes ladies who love fashion should be allowed to remain ladies who love fashion and not the joker," tweeted writer Karen Han. "Why does everyone want to be the joker. his life sucks," Han continued.

The comparison got to be so great that Total Film asked Stone about it in a new interview. "It’s hard to call someone a bad ’un completely when you see them from the very beginning," Stone said. While the La La Land star was deeply flattered to be compared to Phoenix, with whom she co-starred in Irrational Man in 2015, she was quick to point out that the similarities aren't as major as people assume. "It’s very different from Joker in many ways," Stone explained. "I would never even remotely compare myself to Joaquin Phoenix. I wish I was more like him."

Director Craig Gillespie also weighed in, understanding that people are prone to make pop culture comparisons in an attempt to understand. "There are some really deep, emotional things that Cruella’s dealing with that send her to the villainous darker side. So in that sense, it is [similar]," he said. But it’s definitely its own thing. Just to sort of reframe Cruella, I thought it was important to show this darker side of her. But there’s going to be a lot of fun, a lot of humor in it. There’s a lot of absolutely delightful banter and rhythm to the style of it, which is different from Joker."

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