Who do you hire to tell the ultimate story of obsession, opulence and desire so urgent it drives a woman to do crazy things? Apparently Disney has the answer, as they've hired Fifty Shades Of Grey writer Kelly Marcel to co-write their brand new re-imagining of Cruella de Vil.
The Hollywood Reporter grabbed the news that Marcel will be co-writing the brand new film with writer Steve Zissis, with not many other details to deliver. The only other piece of information that's available on the project is the fact that the film will simply be titled Cruella. While Marcel might be the last writer most might think of when it comes to adapting Disney history, it should also be known that she was the screenwriter on Saving Mr. Banks, which is as nostalgic about Disney as re-imagining one of its classics.
If you were to announce that Cruella de Vil was going to get her own movie in a pre-Maleficent world, you'd probably get laughed out of the board room you were pitching in. Yet here we are, and the film that people thought would be one of the worst ideas ever turned out to be a huge box office draw last year. With that success, Disney seems emboldened to take even more gambles on putting its classic villains in the cinematic spotlight. Considering that the villainous Angelina Jolie vehicle went on to make $758 million, with a release date in the dead center of summer, you can't really blame them for sensing more oil in the ground.
Believe it or not, Kelly Marcel's experience with Fifty Shades Of Grey might actually be a huge feather in her cap when it comes to writing Cruella. If we're to assume that this film is going to be about the early days of the de Vil legacy, one could assume that part of the reason Cruella is so obsessed with dalmatian furs is because of some sort of childhood trauma. Maybe Cruella grew up in a fashion dynasty, with a cold as ice mother who made her fight to earn any scrap of respect – and her favorite dog breed just so happened to be dalmatians. With a story of an emotionally stunted tycoon who has goals and wants them met yesterday, it's easy to see how Marcel got the gig.
However, the bigger question at hand is whether or not the public will actually want to see Cruella make it to theaters. Without directly asking, there is a way that we can see whether this story has any sort of legs to stand on, and it's coming our way next year. When Alice Through The Looking Glass is released next May, we'll be seeing the first sequel to one of Disney's "re-imagined" properties attempt to prove that the entire enterprise of artistic interpretations isn't just a fluke. Should that film fall hard enough, the entire re-imagination line could find itself cut or canceled, much like the box office failure of Mars Needs Moms put an end to Yellow Submarine and any other possible motion capture projects the studio may have been interested in.
Cruella has not been given an official release date yet, but there are four possible dates at this time: Dec. 22, 2017; Nov. 2, 2018; March 29, 2019; and Nov. 18, 2019. If we were to place our bets, we'd say the March 2019 date would be the best bet.