Emma Stone is finally going to get her shot at a Disney movie. Entertainment Weekly reports that she’s officially in talks to play Cruella de Vil in an upcoming Disney origins story. If this is true, Stone will be the first to play De Vil in a live-action role since Glenn Close did it in 1996.
The script is being written by Kelly Marcel, who also wrote Fifty Shades of Grey, and may be produced by Andrew Gunn, who produced the Freaky Friday remake. Even though there’s no director, the studio is still trying to move forward with movie and shoot by the end of the year.
Disney has been making some solid moves into the live-action space recently. In 2015, they released a live-action remake of Cinderella starring Lily James and Cate Blanchett. And before that, in 2014, the studio debuted Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie.
EW got to sit down with Cinderella director Kenneth Branagh in a recent interview.
When asked about remaking Cinderella for the modern audience, the filmmaker said, “Well, I think philosophically, I was surprised and delighted that a character who pursued a life of kindness and courage — but from a position of humility and strength — was something that people were interested in.”
He added, “Given that the portrayal of Cinderella isn’t sappy, you don’t feel that these are thoughts and actions coming out of a silly, superficial person. It expresses a potentially useful and generous way to live your life, and from which you can learn.”
Shooting a live-action film certainly makes everything more realistic for the viewer, and Disney has benefited from the financial success of both Cinderella and Maleficent. Cinderella alone brought in $542.7 million.
There’s a slew of upcoming live-action Disney movies waiting in the wings, so to speak. The Jungle Book opens in 2016 and is directed by Jon Favreau.
Favreau also recently spoke about the challenges and fun of converting an animated movie to live action.
“People expect action from this adventure. The original film felt so young. And the musical memories we have from that film [don’t] fit tonally with a film that’s photo-real, where there’s real danger and emotional stakes.
“The storylines and the mythology behind Kipling’s stories are very different from the animated film. Navigating those waters is one of my toughest jobs as the director.”
Jon wanted to incorporate some of the technology that filmmakers used in Avatar to bring The Jungle Book to life.
“We wanted to get a taste of what the movie is like out to people. Because there’s a whole aspect of photorealism we’re going for. We used techniques that haven’t been used since Avatar, and we built upon those. Pretty much everything you see onscreen other than the child is digital.”
There’s no news on how the Cruella de Vil film will be made, but since most of the other films in the past did not rely on digital environments quite like The Jungle Book, it’s safe to say that Disney will make this next movie more in line with Cinderella and Maleficent.
2015 was truly a monster year for Disney. They released Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is poised to become the highest-grossing movie of all time, and they also released two Pixar films and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
If they continue to broaden their horizons while also staying true to the beloved characters of Disney lore, then Emma Stone as the next Cruella de Vil is sure to please fans for years to come.
[Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]