Emma Stone as Cruella De Ville


The ‘Cruella’ poster sparks questions, memes

The film is set in the backdrop of '70s punk-rock London.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Published Feb 16, 2021

Disney’s next entry in its expanding slate of live-action remakes is Cruella, a Cruella de Vil origin story set against the backdrop of ’70s punk rock London starring Emma Stone. Nearly a year-and-a-half after giving fans a first look at Stone in the role made iconic both by the animated 101 Dalmatians and Glenn Close’s performance in the 1996 live-action film, Disney teased the release of Cruella’s trailer with a poster that’s inspiring quite a few eyebrows raising and memes.

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Cruella’s poster leans into the film’s punk-rock aesthetics. Stone as Cruella de Vil is photographed in black and white, her hair contrasting against a black background. Stone’s name, as well as the film’s title and the May 2021 release date, are all scrawled down to look as though they were handwritten.

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Cruella, like Maleficent, is a story that’s more focused on relaying the backstory of a tragic (and potentially misunderstood) villain whose larger-than-life presence eclipses everything else about her. It could either be fascinating or another Solo-esque instance of a movie that provides answers to questions nobody asked for.

But Cruella also comes with another snag. Maleficent made the character more sympathetic, but Cruella, which is an origin story of a woman whose entire motivation in 101 Dalmalatians is to kill and skin dozens of Dalmatian puppies to make herself a fur coat, can’t really go that route. (Or if it does, it’s going to depend a lot on execution.)

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That didn’t stop people from dunking on the poster itself, such as the Hot Topic vibes Stone’s Cruella costume gives off.

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It also reminds some people of Joker, and not in a good way.

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There’s also some poking fun at what Cruella could reveal about the name Cruella de Vil—an extremely on-the-nose name for a villain if there was one. (According to loglines, Cruella even starts out with a different name: Estella.)

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And if there’s one hope from the trailer set to be released on Wednesday, it’s that it uses a certain fitting song.

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The trailer for Cruella will debut Wednesday while Cruella is set to be released on May 28, 2021.

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*First Published: Feb 16, 2021, 1:43 pm CST