For her 60th anniversary, Walt Disney Studios is gifting its most beloved villain her very own movie. The Mouse House has released the first trailer for Cruella, a 101 Dalmatians prequel that explores the early years of Estella de Vil — better known by her later nom de evil, Cruella. Oscar winner Emma Stone plays the younger version of the dog-napping villainess, who at this point in her career is merely an aspiring fashion designer in 1970s London. “From the very beginning, I realized I saw the world differently from everyone else,” she remarks early on in the trailer, hinting that her career is about to take a very twisted turn. (Watch the trailer above.)
Stone is joined onscreen by Emma Thompson, who plays the owner of the fashion house where Estella finds her first job. Needless to say, the two don’t exactly hit it off, with the new hire immediately looking to steal the spotlight from her boss, who — for the record — is a Dalmatian owner. In other words, it’s a Devil Wears Prada scenario where Estella is the… uh, de Vil. And the movie appears to provide a full account of how she acquires the motive, the methods and the hair to become the Cruella we later meet in 101 Dalmatians.
Stone isn’t the first actress to put her own stamp on Cruella, of course. Betty Lou Gerson originated the role in the animated film beloved by Boomers and Gen Xers, and Glenn Close played her in two live-action films released in 1996 and 2000 that are childhood favorites for Millennials and Gen Zers alike. So far, Stone’s interpretation has generated a mixed reaction from all generations on Twitter, with some appreciating the new movie’s vibe, and others questioning the need for an origin story about a dog’s worst enemy.