With electrifying visuals and costume design, this summer’s Cruella starring Emma Stone was a surprisingly innovative origin story for Cruella De Vil, the iconic villain of the 101 Dalmatians.
In a new report from Deadline last week, star Emma Stone has now officially signed on for the sequel film. This decision may be a bit unexpected considering the recent rumors that Stone was fighting Disney over higher compensation due to the subpar box office returns of Cruella‘s hybrid Disney+ and theatrical release format.
Whether those rumors were true or not, everything seems to be smooth sailing now, as the sequel has been in development since June. Reuniting Stone with director Craig Gillespie and writer Tony McNamara, Cruella 2 should be an easy target for 2023 if they are actively preparing it now.
Currently it is unknown if the film will be released in theaters, on Disney+, or hybrid again – but of course, release formats are extremely unpredictable at the moment, let alone two years from now. Assuredly lessons will be learned from 2021 to help the sequel release in the most profitable format possible.
What Emma Stone’s Cruella 2 Decision Means For Disney
Stone’s agreement comes at a crucial moment as actor Scarlett Johansson is deep in a public battle with Disney over her payday for Black Widow, which also received a hybrid release. It seems Disney was quick to clear up any other potential disputes with Stone (and probably other lead stars, like Jungle Cruise‘s Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt) before she also turned against the company.
Patrick Whitesell, the executive chairman of Stone’s agency, directly addressed the importance of mutual agreements in a statement following the news of Stone joining Cruella 2.
“While the media landscape has been disrupted in a meaningful way for all distributors, their creative partners cannot be left on the sidelines to carry a disproportionate amount of the downside without the potential for upside. This agreement demonstrates that there can be an equitable path forward that protects artists and aligns studios’ interests with talent. We are proud to work alongside Emma and Disney, and appreciate the studio’s willingness to recognize her contributions as a creative partner. We are hopeful that this will open the door for more members of the creative community to participate in the success of new platforms.”
The news of Emma Stone and Disney’s deal also comes on the heels of Disney’s quarterly earnings report last week, when CEO Bob Chapek boasted “since COVID has begun, we’ve entered into hundreds of talent arrangements with our talent. And by and large, they’ve gone very, very smoothly. So we expect that that would be the case going forward.” And given the return of Emma Stone for Cruella 2, it seems like Chapek’s plan may be working out.