How Cruella Director Felt About The Movie Being Compared To Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker

Emma Stone as Cruella

Emma Stone’s portrayal of a young Cruella de Vil in Disney’s new live action, origin story, Cruella, hit theaters and Disney+ this weekend after being hyped up by some visually awesome trailers. These trailers had fans comparing Cruella to A Devil Wears Prada, which made a ton of sense, seeing as the fashion-forward Cruella worked under a demanding designer, but fans were also getting some major vibes reminiscent Joaquin Phoenix's Joker. The director of the newly released Disney film apparently has feelings about the Joker comparisons, and he has now shared them with the class.

Cruella director Craig Gillespie shares his thoughts on all those Joker comparisons that the trailers inspired, during an interview with Comic Book Movie. Apparently, having his film compared with Joaquin Phoenix's version of The Joker is pretty flattering. Here’s what the director says, in his exact words:

I loved the Joker, they did an amazing job on that, so I was happy if they wanted to compare it, but I knew it’s so drastically different to that tonally. There were some people calling that were like ‘were you worried about that?’ and I was thinking as soon as the movie comes out, people are going to see that it’s its own thing and it’s not the worst thing in the world to be in the same sentence as the Joker, but I was a little surprised at how much it caught on.

Other people may have been concerned about the comparisons, but director Craig Gillespie didn’t seem to worry, and he's probably right not to do so. There are by far worse things to be compared to than a multiple award-winning, high-grossing film that’s loved by many. Besides, Gillespie seems pretty confident that Cruella can stand on its own two feet once fans get a taste of the entire film.

The main aspect of the two films that probably spurred these comparisons is that they both have a prominent darkness to them. In the same interview, Craig Gillespie comments on the film's darkness and how it relates to the tastes of the moviegoing public. Here it is in his own words:

The one thing it gave me, which I liked, was there were some dark things going on it and in this and obviously, it felt like there was a yearning for that from the audience.

While it is not quite as dark and mature as the R-rated Joker, Craig Gillespie’s Cruella has a similar edge, and it’s clear that the director welcomes those similarities. You can watch Cruella now, by either venturing out to your local theater or hunkering down for the night and streaming it in your home on Disney+. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to be in for a fiery night.

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.