Disney's 'Cruella' Movie Gets a Very 'Joker'-Looking Trailer

Emma Stone puts a modern spin on the '101 Dalmatians' villain story.

click to play video

The new trailer for Disney's Cruella, a live-action 101 Dalmatians villain origin story, asks a very simple question: What if Cruella de Vil was a little... twisted? In the clip, Emma Stone plays the puppy-hunting, fur-loving character as a young woman who sees the world of 1970s London a little "differently" than everyone else. Almost immediately, observers on Twitter pointed out the similarities between the trailer and 2019's Joker, the Oscar-winning look at the DC comic villain's backstory. 

The similarities are there. Both films find an acclaimed performerStone in Cruella; Joaquin Phoenix in Jokerundergoing a startling physical transformation on their path to evil, delivering menacing lines while looking a little ridiculous at the same time. Both movies are period pieces and both feature the main character dancing around at one point. No better way to show a character is potentially dangerous and possibly unstable than showing them smiling and dancing!  

Though the trailer for Cruella has a slightly un-kid-friendly bentand less of a focus on cute dogs than the 1996 live-action remake starring Glenn Close in the de Vil roleit's still a Disney production and the latest of the studio's recent reengineered classics, like Beauty and the Beast and Lion King

Cruella is currently scheduled to be released on May 28 in theaters, but, given the state of the world, there's a possibility it could shift to a Disney+ release, like last year's live-action blockbuster Mulan. Insisting audiences crowd into a theater during a pandemic to see this movie feels a little twisted—even for Cruella. 

Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.

Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter @danielvjackson.