Following the successful release of Emma Stone's Cruella film, a sequel was quickly greenlit.
Rather than a remake of a former animated Disney film, Cruella was a unique interpretation and prequel based on the 101 Dalmatians' lead antagonist.
Considering it was released in theaters and on Disney+ in 2021, Cruella was successful among audiences and critics.
Following Cruella's release, a Disney spokesperson said it's "among the most popular of our live-action reimaginings:"
"The film has been incredibly well received by audiences around the world, with a 97% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes in addition to A’s in every demographic from CinemaScore on opening weekend, ranking it among the most popular of our live-action reimaginings.
This cleared the path for Disney to move forward with Cruella 2.
Cruella 2 Release: When Will It Come Out?
Swiftly after its release on May 18, 2021, Deadline reported that Cruella 2 was in the works with director Craig Gillespie and writer Tony McNamara set to return.
According to makeup artists Nadia Stacey and Julia Vernon, who spoke to Variety, they will be back for Cruella 2.
On the red carpet at the 94th Academy Awards, Stacey said she hopes that they're "moving into the '80s:"
"They're working on the script at the moment. My only hope is, I know nothing, but my hope is we're moving into the '80s … get your rollers out, lots of perms. We'd have such a new era to explore."
A script is currently in the works (likely on pause due to the Writers Guild of America strike), and production has yet to begin.
As of writing, it looks like Cruella 2 won't be released until 2025 at the earliest.
Cruella 2 Cast: Will Emma Stone Return?
As a young Estella Miller aka Cruella de Vil, Emma Stone will be back in Cruella 2.
Deadline reported in August 2021 that Stone signed on to star in a sequel.
Patrick Whitesell, the executive chairman of Endeavor, shared his thoughts regarding the agency's client, Stone, and her deal for Cruella 2:
"We are proud to work alongside Emma and Disney, and appreciate the studio’s willingness to recognize her contributions as a creative partner."
Will Cruella 2 Be 101 Dalmatians?
It's unlikely that the direct sequel to Cruella would be an adaptation of 101 Dalmatians.
In the original story, Cruella de Vil has a strong obsession with fur fashion. Her ruthless and cruel nature becomes clear when she sets out on a sinister plan to kidnap and skin a group of Dalmatian puppies in order to create a fur coat.
Cruella is characterized by her disregard for the well-being of animals and single-minded pursuit of her selfish desires.
However, Cruella focuses on her origin and personal life rather than delving into or addressing her fixation on fur and her desire to use puppies' skins for fashion, leaving these evil traits unexplained (so far).
The film is an adaptation of the original story, not exactly a retelling like many other Disney live-action remakes.
This autonomy will let the films keep exploring fresh narratives, avoiding the necessity of revisiting familiar content for the audience.
If there were to be another 101 Dalmatians adaptation with Stone, it's more likely to be within a potential Cruella 3.
What Will Happen in Cruella 2?
In order to predict Cruella 2's possible plot, it's important to recap the end of the first film.
As the film concludes, the primary antagonist, the Baroness (played by Emma Thompson), is apprehended under the suspicion of murdering Estella who (in reality) survived by parachuting to safety from a cliff.
In the Baroness' closing sequence, she is forcefully placed into a police vehicle, vowing to exact revenge on Cruella. She knows that Estella and Cruella are one and the same—an insight that has eluded everyone else.
In the sequel, the Baroness will likely get out of jail and regain her freedom, driven to seek vengeance against Cruella.
Additionally, Cruella has assumed ownership of the Baroness' residence, now called "Hell Hall" (a call back to the original) and will likely be a prominent feature of the film.
The development of Cruella to the doggy-killing villain from 101 Dalmatians will be interesting to develop if that's the route Disney takes.
The sequel could dive deeper into the fashion industry, exploring ideas of faux fur vs real fur, which eventually fuels Cruella's obsession.
Other characters set to return could be Cruella's henchmen, Horace and Jasper, in addition to Roger (Kayvan Novak) and Anita (Kirby Howell-Baptiste ). During the movie's post-credits sequence, Cruella gifts both Roger and Anita Dalmatian puppies, Pongo and Perdita.
In the original, Roger and Anita fall in love and their dogs, Pongo and Perdita, have the 15 puppies that Cruella desires. It's a bit twisted in Cruella that she would gift the dogs that she (may) ultimately want to kill their puppies.
Then again, as Roger sings, "If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will!"
Was Cruella a Box Office Hit or Flop?
Following the film's debut on Disney+ Premier Access and grossing $21.5 million during the domestic opening weekend, a Disney spokesperson praised the film:
“We are very pleased with Cruella’s box office success, in conjunction with its strong Disney+ Premier Access performance to date...We look forward to a long run as audiences continue to enjoy this fantastic film.”
Its long run ended with a $233.5 million worldwide box office gross. Factoring in Cruella's estimated $100 million production budget and added revenue from Disney+, the Emma Stone Disney spin-off was a success.
Compared to other Disney live-action remakes, Cruella doesn't compare. However, the film wasn't released exclusively in theaters and also tells its own story, in many ways relying on Stone's stardom more than built-in fandom.
The potential for Cruella 2 at the box office has to be an exciting thought for Disney, especially considering some of its recent woes.
Cruella is now streaming on Disney+.