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Disney fast-tracks live-action Cruella de Vil movie from Fifty Shades writer

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Walt Disney Animation | Sure she wanted to skin some cute puppies to make fur coats, but you have to admit that her brand of crazy had such panache!
Everett Collection

Taking cues from last year’s unexpectedly huge Maleficent and this past spring’s Cinderella, both of which cleared $200 million, Disney is accelerating its prep for Cruella, a live-action version of the 101 Dalmations story with an emphasis on the puppy-hating villain, Cruella de Vil.

EW confirmed a Hollywood Reporter story that British screenwriter Kelly Marcel will write the film, scheduled for release some time between 2017 and 2019. (Yesterday, Disney announced its upcoming release schedule, planting several untitled films in that three-year window.) Marcel’s resume would seem just about perfect for the project: Her first script was for the Walt Disney-flattering Saving Mr. Banks, about the making of Mary Poppins, while she also adapted Fifty Shades of Grey, which was critically reviled but put Marcel in the head of a kinky, sadistic billionaire — qualities that are bound to come into play with Cruella. (Steve Zissis, the costar and co-creator of HBO’s Togetherness, will also work on the story.)

Cruella de Vil first entered the culture in the 1956 novel by Dodie Smith, which five years later was adapted by Disney into the blockbuster animated movie. While Cruella will presumably attempt to somewhat humanize the villainess (a la Angelina Jolie’s portrayal in Maleficent), many will fondly remember Glenn Close’s cackling live-action performance in 1996’s 101 Dalmations and its 2000 sequel.

Check out clips from Close’s performance below and tell us who should play Cruella in the upcoming movie.

 

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