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Emma Thompson in Late Night

Some of Disney’s recent live action adaptations have been relatively straightforward remakes of their animated predecessors, while others have been taken more drastic creative liberties. The upcoming Cruella movie will fall into the latter category, presumably because we already got a 101 Dalmatians remake in 1996. We’ve know for years that Emma Stone will play a younger version of Cruella de Vil, but it looks like another Emma could join this prequel project, this one having the last name Thompson.

Fresh off Emma Thompson’s Saturday Night Live hosting stint and ahead of the release of her next movie, Late Night, Variety is reporting that the actress is in early talks to star in Cruella. However, details regarding who she would play are being kept under wraps.

Assuming a deal is reached, this would be the latest entry in Emma Thompson’s extensive Disney resume. Back in 2002, she voiced Captain Amelia in Treasure Planet, and in more recent years, she’s played P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks and Mrs. Potts in the live action Beauty and the Beast remake. As far as what else she has coming up, along with Late Night, Thompson can be seen later this year in Men in Black: International and Last Christmas, and beyond 2019, she’s attached to The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle and How to Build a Girl.

All we know about Cruella so far is that it will be an origin story depicting how Cruella de Vil developed her obsession with dog fur, specifically the dalmatian variety, although it still hasn’t been specified where in her timeline this movie will take place. Cruella was voiced in the original One Hundred and One Dalmatians animated movie by Betty Lou Gerson, and Emma Stone would be the third actress to portray the character in a live action on-screen project, following behind Glenn Close, Victoria Smurfit and Wendy Raquel Robinson.

For now, I’m guessing that Emma Thompson is being eyed to play Cruella de Vil’s mentor in this prequel. Unless Cruella was just born with the impulse to want to turn dogs into clothing, she had to have absorbed such malevolence from someone, and that’s where Thompson’s character would fit into the picture. Alternatively, maybe Thompson could be playing a fashion mogul that the younger Cruella clashes with during this story.

Originally Mozart in the Jungle co-creator Alex Timbers was set to direct Cruella, but due to scheduling conflicts he later dropped out and now I, Tonya’s Craig Gillespie is helming the picture. Tony McNamara penned the most recent draft of the script.

Cruella is set for release on December 23, 2020, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on the movie as pre-production continues. If you’re curious about what other live action Disney offerings are coming down the pipeline, look through our handy guide.

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