Having just developed and released a film about its most notorious dog murderer in which no dogs, somehow, are murdered—although they do get in at least one confirmed kill of their own—Disney is now gearing up for a Cruella sequel that we can only hope will make things right. This is per THR, which reports that director Craig Gillespie is already lined up to return for a second film, presumably giving us even more backstory on why Emma Stone’s Cruella De Vil, a woman named after a car, is so terribly, fashionably mean.
Also signed on for another go around: Screenwriter Tony McNamara, whose other recent credits about the fancy and cruel include The Favourite and The Great. Meanwhile, Variety notes that Stone has not, as yet, been formally attached to the project, but since a Cruella project without her—focusing on, what, a bunch of dogs?—is basically impossible, we can assume that those plans are still in the works.
More than anything, though, this is probably just Disney saying “Thank Christ, something actually worked.” While in other years Cruella’s $21 million opening weekend would probably be viewed pretty dismally—the original Maleficent, in whose conceptual footsteps it follows, opened to nearly $70 million in 2014—any kind of performance in the plus-$10 million range has to come as something of a relief in 2021. (Plus, we’ve got zero data on how the film did on Disney+, where it released as a hybrid premium offering.) After a year where even the planet’s most inescapable brands took a pandemic hit, Disney would probably greenlight a sequel to anything that didn’t actually tunnel down into the dark and hateful earth, box office-wise.
And while any Cruella sequel is unlikely to be as utterly wild as the actual book sequel to The One Hundred And One Dalmatians—The Starlight Barking by Dodie Smith, look it up—we can cross our fingers for some actual villainy from a second film about one of Disney’s most notoriously petty villains. If they’re not going to have her actually kill and skin a dog—you’ve gotta save something to close out the trilogy—can we at least ask that she inconvenience one? Maybe foreclose a zoo? You’ve gotta give us something here, Cruella.