The first trailer for Cruella, Disney’s villain origin story for Cruella De Vil, has arrived and it is fine. I mean, it LOOKS great. Can’t argue with Emma Stone and Emma Thompson vamping it up in fabulous Jenny Beavan costumes in 1970s London. I like that the basic concept for this take on Cruella seems to be “Vivienne Westwood” and that’s it. I guess she’s technically some kind of con artist, as per the official synopsis, but all that comes through in the trailer is FASHION and FIRE. I have no idea what’s going on except that everyone looks great and Cruella is a pyro, apparently. Glenn Close put in her contract that she got to keep her Cruella wardrobe from 101 Dalmatians. I hope the Emmas at least got to keep one costume each from this because really and truly, barring any sense of what the story actually is, the costumes are the main draw in this trailer.
The trailer says that Cruella will open on May 28. There have been rumors Cruella will go to Disney+, but so far, it is officially a theatrical release. Do we want to take bets on it moving? Frankly, I am surprised the trailer still has a date on it and Disney isn’t already hedging their bets. The vaccine rollout is going horribly in the US, and while other parts of the world will undoubtedly be ready to go to the movies by May 28—China, now the biggest box office in the world, is already back in full business—the US undoubtedly will not be. The lesson we learned last year is that the more expensive the movie, the more it needs the entire global box office to support it. This is especially true for a movie like Cruella, because it can’t depend on China alone to deliver, as there is no nostalgia for 101 Dalmatians or Cruella De Vil as there is in the US and other parts of the world that grew up with Disney movies. So May 28 continues to look really optimistic and I bet Cruella ends up moving. Or they’ll torch it on May 28 just to test the waters and see where we’re at for other summer movies, which is fitting for this “burn it all down” take on Cruella, I suppose.