Before it even entered its second week at the box office, Disney was working on a deal for a sequel for the Emma Stone-led hit villain’s tale, Cruella. The studio has secured director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Tony McNamara, according to The Hollywood Reporter. As Variety points out, there’s no word yet about Stone’s involvement in this Cruella 2 (2uella?), but the trade newspaper wisely observes that it is “unclear how a sequel would work without her.”
The London-set PG-13 flick was not, as it happens, the leader at the box office last weekend. That honor went to A Quiet Place Part II. But the two films in tandem made for a Memorial Day holiday that was almost normal in terms of domestic grosses, crossing the $100-million threshold with a little help from enduring titles such as Spiral: From the Book of Saw and Raya and the Last Dragon. It was the best box office showing since the pandemic shut theaters down in March 2020.
While a sequel-to-a-prequel is not entirely without precedent — let us not forget a little picture called Alien: Covenant — this will assuredly make history as the first live-action sequel to an origin story based on a character initially seen in an animated film. By the time it’s all done, there may be 101 different iterations of this dog-hating, sartorially-extravagant woman with a demonic last name.
While the reviews of Gillespie’s film are mixed-positive, with a 74 percent at Rotten Tomatoes and a 59 at Metacritic, CinemaScore, which polls exiting ticket buyers, awarded it an A. (The New Yorker’s Anthony Lane, meanwhile, wrote that “there are passages of ‘Cruella’ that seem like scraps of music videos, loosely stitched together.”)
In addition to theaters, Cruella is available to Disney + subscribers at a $30 premium through its premiere access program. Those who fork over the extra dough can watch the film as many times as they wish until it joins the streaming service’s main archive on August 27.
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