Cruella may not have opened as big at the box office as A Quiet Place Part II, but it’s clear the origin story of the 101 Dalmatians villain already has plenty of big fans. If you’re among the masses looking to get more of Emma Stone as the rebellious fashionista, you’ll be happy to hear that director Craig Gillespie already has some ideas about what he’d like to see from a Cruella sequel.
Since Cruella is an origin story, we’ve yet to see the actual plot of 101 Dalmatians unfold. The events of Disney’s animated classic make it difficult to accept that Cruella de Vil is a character audiences could root for when they know she eventually wants to skin dogs to make a fur coat. But Cruella reimagines the villain so she’s not actually a dog-hating maniac – she even owns and seemingly likes dogs. However, a post-credits scene does lean into a potential reframing of the original 101 Dalmatians story that might call that into question.
But before we get to that, Gillespie thinks a sequel should dig deeper into Cruella as a character. He told Collider in an interview:
“I feel like we’ve only just met her. I’d love to now see the full-blown Cruella, fully loaded. She’s managed to get the support system around her and she can really expand on her brand. I’d love to see where that takes her and how you could almost destroy her from inside out, if she’s not careful with all that power.”
Normally, when the filmmakers behind a Disney movie are talking about a character’s brand, it’s tied to merchandising. But in this case, Gillespie is talking about her brand as a fashion designer. She makes a bold, rebellious statement as she goes toe-to-toe with the Baroness (Emma Thompson), but what will Cruella do when she doesn’t have anyone to rebel against?
And that brings us to the Cruella credits scene that sets up a possible reconfigured approach to the 101 Dalmatians story. Spoilers ahead.
In the new film, original movie characters Roger and Anita both have a history with Cruella. The credits scene changes things up even further by having Cruella giving two dalmatian puppies to Anita and Roger. Of course, those dogs are none other than Pongo and Perdita, who are destined to become parents to a litter of dalmatian puppies of their own.
Since these dogs are accompanied by a card that says, “See you soon,” we’re left to believe that Cruella will likely be back for these dogs and presumably their puppies. But if she’s not really a canine-killing maniac, what’s she coming back for? And how does she know Roger and Anita will meet and their new dogs will have puppies? Could their entire relationship be a set-up by Cruella de Vil from the beginning? That seems like a lot of trouble to go through for some puppies. So any Cruella sequel that reframes the 101 Dalmatians story will have some explaining to do.
But there’s the question of whether Craig Gillespie will be back behind the camera to sort all this out. For his part, Gillespie would be happy to return under one condition:
“If it was with this gang. It was such a joy to work with everybody, and Tony writing it, and Disney was so supportive. They really fostered a feeling of safety where we could just really go for it without the repercussions. We all were pushing it all the time and thinking, ‘I don’t know if Disney’s gonna be okay with this,’ but they would always call and be okay.”
Yes, this movie gets a little more twisted than your average live-action re-imagining, but that’s what makes it stand out from the rest of the pack. If there’s a sequel, we hope that Cruella de Vil continues to carve a new path rather than trying to be loyal to the 101 Dalmatians mythology established in the previous animated and live-action movies. This new version, the one who doesn’t kill dogs, is one we’d be happy to follow. Be sure to read our review of Cruella right here.
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