Disney’s ‘Cruella’: Leaked Plot Details Tease Why Emma Stone’s ‘101 Dalmatians’ Villain Goes Bad

Disney has undeniably dominated Hollywood. In addition to its animation division, the studio acquired popular brands such as Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars. More recently, Disney spent the past few years raiding its own library of animated classics. Everything from Cinderella to The Lion King has received a live-action remake. And soon Emma Stone’s Cruella joins that list.

Emma Stone at the 'Zombieland: Double Tap' premiere
Emma Stone at the ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ premiere | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Emma Stone will play Cruella de Vil in the upcoming live-action prequel

Set in the 1970s, Cruella — which hits theaters on May 28, 2021 — sounds more in line with Disney’s Maleficent. Rather than a straight retelling of 1961’s animated 101 Dalmatians, the new film will tell the story of how the dastardly Cruella de Vil (Stone) developed her obsession with furs. 

Directed by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya), Cruella could have a darker edge than most Disney live-action remakes. After all, its title character is one of the studio’s most notorious villains. Emma Thompson, Mark Strong, and Paul Walter Hauser co-star. But the plot has been so far shrouded in mystery.

RELATED: Disney Has Made a Surprising Choice to Direct Its Upcoming ‘Robin Hood’ Remake

Now fans know a bit more about the ‘101 Dalmatians’ spinoff’s story

While Disney has several other live-action remakes in the works, Cruella seems the most cryptic. Now, courtesy of The DisInsider, fans eager to learn how Stone will bring Cruella’s infamous story to life have some more details. The site recently shared a plot description of Cruella, and it’s filled with a 

Before she becomes Cruella de Vil?

Teenaged Estella has a dream. She wishes to become a fashion designer, having been gifted with talent, innovation, and ambition all in equal measures. But life seems intent on making sure her dreams never come true. Having wound up penniless and orphaned in London at twelve, four years later Estella runs wild through the city streets with her best friends and partners-in-(petty)-crime, Horace and Jasper, two amateur thieves.

When a chance encounter vaults Estella into the world of the young rich and famous, however, she begins to question the existence she’s built for herself in London and wonders whether she might, indeed, be destined for more after all. When an up-and-coming rockstar commissions Estella to design him a signature piece, she begins to feel as though she has truly arrived. But what is the cost of keeping up with the fast crowd– and is it a price Estella is willing to pay?

The key element in this description is perhaps that Stone’s character is initially named Estella. “Cruella de Vil” is, in fact, an identity she takes on over the course of the film. It also confirms Cruella’s history with her future henchmen Horace (Horace) and Jasper (Joel Fry) as well as its setting within the fashion world.

RELATED: Ellen DeGeneres Once Tried to Expose Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield’s Relationship

Is ‘Cruella’ a prequel to the earlier live-action movies with Glenn Close?

What remains unknown about Cruella is whether it will directly connect to the version of the character played by Glenn Close. The actor starred in the 1996 live-action version of 101 Dalmatians and returned for its 2000 sequel, 102 Dalmatians. And while it seems too late for a sequel to that earlier Disney film, Cruella’s 1970s setting fits within the timeline.

Adding fuel to the notion Stone’s movie is connected, Close serves as a producer on Cruella. The actor clearly had a blast playing the villain and recently shared some pics on Instagram of herself in a homemade version of the Cruella de Vil costume. Although no official announcement confirms it, it would make sense for Close to book-end Cruella in the present day.