Disney has closed in on a director to helm its live-action Cruella De Vil origin story, Cruella. Alex Timbers, who co-created Amazon’s Golden Globe-winning Mozart in the Jungle, is in negotiations to head the film, which stars Emma Stone as the titular fur-loving fashionista. And the decision may be indicative of the vibe Disney is going for.
THR first reported the news of Timbers, who is also an accomplished stage director. He helmed Broadway shows Rocky, Peter and the Star Catcher, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. However, Variety clarified that Sam Gold, who won a Tony award in 2015 for the musical Fun Home, was one of a handful of other theater directors in the mix for the gig earlier on.
This doesn’t necessarily confirm Cruella will be a musical, but perhaps it’ll take nods for staging and tone from Broadway. Although, a number of upcoming Disney movies that are live-action interpretations of their classic library are focusing more on the musical aspect. Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson, The Little Mermaid with music from Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Mary Poppins Returns with Emily Blunt are all examples. 101 Dalmatians, in which the character originated, was not a musical, but Glenn Close’s version of the character was more, shall we say, theatrical.
Kelly Marcel, who wrote the screenplays for Fifty Shades of Grey and Saving Mr. Banks, is penning the script for Cruella. Though, Jez Butterworth wrote the most recent draft. Cruella marks two trends Disney continues to throw money at: live-action adaptations of animated classics and origin stories for some of their villains. Soon there won’t be enough characters left to provide this treatment, but with Disney in talks with a Broadway director to helm the film, maybe an alternate route to keep this franchise alive could inevitably be a stage adaptation.
If it happened to The Lion King and Aladdin, why not Cruella?
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