Disney's next live-action remake of a vault classic — after Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson — is Cruella, an origin story of the fabulous, chain-smoking 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil. Betty Lou Gerson voiced Cruella in the 1961 animated version and Glenn Close donned the dalmatian garb for the '96 live-action update and its sequel. But now a new name is in the mix to play Cruella in its new, inevitably splashy incarnation: Emma Stone.
Now, I don't know what angle this origin story will take, but here's everything I know about Cruella de Vil: She's a gravel-voiced, middle-aged, character actress role. Emma Stone covers exactly zero of those requirements. And that's fine! I enjoyed Emma Stone in Birdman, Easy A, The Help, and many other movies where she plays a relatable, wittily attitudinal figure.
But as Cruella de Vil? Nothing in Stone's career so far indicates she's able to pull off the Tallulah Bankhead-style drag camp required for the part. In fact, the only time I remember being disappointed by Emma Stone was when she attempted to exhume the spirit of Gilda Radner, one of the ultimate character comediennes, on SNL40 with her version of Roseanne Roseannadanna.
Plus, didn't Emma Stone just apologize for playing a part-Asian character in Aloha? Why is she considering a part that could easily go to an older actress? Or is this just something we accept in the era of Jennifer Lawrence?
The grimmest part of this story is it's so easy to think of actresses over the age of 27 who would absolutely eat up the role of Cruella. Cate Blanchett already had her live-action Disney moment, but Tilda Swinton hasn't. I'm ready for Nicole Kidman to salvage the witch cred she squandered in Practical Magic and Bewitched with some To Die For-type wickedness as Cruella. Catherine Zeta-Jones could sell it. Julia Roberts might be spurned from Mirror, Mirror, but I'd be in for that. Michelle Pfeiffer, anyone? Hell, if they're looking for someone closer to Emma Stone's age, I'd be down for an Anne Hathaway take on Cruella. Word: Anne Hathaway has never been bad in a movie, and she was the best thing about the year-long Dark Knight Rises. You might be one of those basic non-believers who accuses Anne Hathaway of trying too hard, but Anne Hathaway tries and succeeds.
But I'm willing to be proven wrong. I applaud Stone for having the stunning bone structure, at any rate. (Take a moment to watch the following clip and marvel at Gerson's voice work.)