In the first Cruella film, we see Estella evolve into Cruella, fully embracing the nastier sides of her personality. Still, by the end of this prequel for Disney, Emma Stone’s villain hasn’t gone full evil. She walks down the runway implying that she killed dalmatians, but didn’t actually do the act that would lose her favor with the audience. Viewers could sense the evil underneath, particularly since they’re familiar with the character from 101 Dalmatians, but by the end of the first film Cruella still has a lot of room on her journey from Estella to the full-on Disney villain we know and fear. That, it seems, was a very intentional move on the studio’s part. Following the recent news of Emma Stone signing on for Cruella 2, questions have been raised around the future of the villain’s story. Giant Freakin Robot has now learned from our trusted and proven inside sources that Disney wants Cruella to be a full trilogy.
We’ve learned that Emma Stone and Disney are talking about Cruella 3. We weren’t able to learn if this was something the studio had on their mind when they moved forward with the first movie. While turning one success into a trilogy or a full-fledged franchise is common for a studio like Disney, a prequel certainly has constraints.
Still, the first movie did seem to well set things up for a potential sequel. The movie gave glimpses of Roger and Anita, setting them up for their eventual romance in 101 Dalmatians. We met Horace and Jasper, giving us a wider cast. The pair weren’t quite yet the characters we see following her every word in 101 Dalmatians, though they were on their way. Still, it’s hard to imagine what the story for Emma Stone will be in two more movies. Who will play Emma Stone’s foe as well we Emma Thompson did in the first film? It seems hard to imagine a satisfying end to a trilogy that will lead into 101 Dalmatians. Of course, this was the same story problem many wondered about before Cruella premiered, and the writers figured that out.
Cruella saw Emma Stone facing down The Baroness. Played by Emma Thompson, The Baroness was a fashion designer, and Cruella’s predecessor in more ways than one. She was a fantastic obstacle for the main character to be facing, in part because she exemplified so much of who we know Estella eventually becomes. The story sees the main character struggling with this darker side of herself, slowly evolving, and while in the end, she holds onto some of her more well-intentioned and loving parts, we know that eventually, she becomes worse than the very villain we’re facing in this first movie.
Emma Stone has already signed on for Cruella 2, and if talks with Disney go well, she’ll be signed on for Cruella 3 as well. How will they bring Estella/Cruella all the way to a third film without seeing her kill dogs and lose favor with the audience? Will Cruella 3 actually be 101 Dalmatians through the villain’s perspective? Will it make Anita and Roger selfish and uncaring as they refuse to help Cruella fulfill her desire to create a very pretty coat? The studio managed to pull the villain story together for Cruella, and they did the same for both of Angelina Jolie’s stories as Maleficient, so it’ll be interesting to see how they manage to stretch Emma Stone’s story into a trilogy if they get the star to sign on.