It's been a long time coming, but we can finally savour the spectacle of Emma Stone as Cruella. The Oscar-winning star of La La Land transforms into the iconic Disney villain, surname De Vil – and the first trailer has sashayed online with more than a hint of punk rock glamour. (The new poster is below, in case you haven't seen it.)
Cruella is directed by I, Tonya filmmaker Craig Gillespie and purports to bring us the 1970s-set origin story of the dreaded, dalmatian-hating fashion designer. Plot details are somewhat thin on the ground, but, from the trailer, we can surmise that the Cruella persona emerges as a response against the shallowness and pettiness of the fashion industry. Satire? In a Disney movie? It's not unheard of.
Centrally, the movie is about the battle between Stone's vampy title character and Emma Thompson's imperious Baroness. It appears that the rivalry between the two characters sets in motion a game of brinksmanship with both characters unleashing some fabulous costumes (designed by Mad Max: Fury Road's Jenny Beavan).
The official synopsis is as follows: "Cruella, which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets.
One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute, played by two-time Oscar® winner Emma Thompson (Howards End, Sense & Sensibility). But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella."
The central spectacle is, of course, Stone. She's never before sunk her teeth into the role of a classic pantomime villain (her Oscar-nominated role in The Favourite perhaps came close), and yet one can sense an air of sympathy towards Cruella. As she explains, she was born slightly mad – well, that's one word for a costume that incinerates to reveal the classic Cruella get-up beneath.