With disney Cruella released this week, some enthusiastic viewers may have caught Glenn Close’s name in the credits, but 101 Dalmatians (1996) this is not. While the ever-growing corporate shadow of House of Mouse continues to appear on the media landscape, Disney has enjoyed solid box office returns from its practice of creating live-action remakes of its former animated properties. This more recent era of such arguably began with Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland (2010) but stands out for the recent Jungle Book (2016), Beauty and the Beast (2017), The Lion King (2019) and Aladdin (2019), efforts that mostly critically disappointed, but nonetheless generated significant gains. However, the latest Disney live-action origin story of the villainous Cruella bears a greater similarity to Pernicious (2014) in a narrative approach, and it is not even the first or the second live adaptation of this IP.
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One hundred and one dalmatians (1961) was a box office success that helped rescue Disney from a financial recession the studio was not used to. In silence, while enjoying its famous revival in the mid-1990s, the studio first dabbled in live-action remakes of its former properties with three films: The jungle book (1994), 101 Dalmatians (1996) and 102 Dalmatians (2000). The last two were based on the 1961 film, which in turn was based on the 1956 novel. The one hundred and one dalmatians by Dodie Smith, and they were financial successes for the studio, earning $ 320 million against a budget of $ 75 million for the first and a more modest $ 183 million / $ 85 million for the sequel.
So when Disney sought to return to the Dalmatians well, it’s not necessarily surprising that Glenn Close, the face of those movies as the seductive and evil Cruella De Vil, is involved in some way. Because the 2021 film focuses on the character’s origins, Close was not a candidate to reprise the role of a young “Estella” some 20 years after her last appearance. Instead, she takes on the more amorphous title of executive producer, probably given to her as the creator of the role, so to speak. In fact, Emma Stone, who plays Estella / Cruella in the new movie, also gets executive producer credit, where appropriate, because her name and brand were invaluable to the process of green-lighting the movie and making it marketable. In this way, the title of executive producer is incredibly versatile, but is often less directly involved in production.
Executive producer credits are generally awarded to those who fall into one or both of two categories: organizing individuals who serve as funders of a project, or industry veterans whose influence helps bring a project to fruition. Often times, actors (like Emma Stone) with venerable jobs and industry connections fill both roles as executive producers. In addition to giving a project the green light, they can also help shape the creative direction of the film. Glenn Close, herself, has over 10 such credits to her name since 1991 (counting TV movies), and is a more hands-on production company in the next Sunset Boulevard undated musical remake.
While Glenn Close’s Cruella De Vil was delightfully goofy and followed the arc of the original animated film, Emma Stone promises to be more innovative with the character by exploring her origins as an aspiring fashion designer in late-decade London. 1970. With the lead of Close to follow or break, Stone has everything he needs to follow in the footsteps of his fellow executive producer to bring this story back to the live-action arena. In the way Pernicious explored the origins of Sleeping Beautyis the villain, Cruella It seems that he is going to do the same with Mrs. de Vil.
Next: Everything you need to know about Cruella
- Cruella (2021)Release Date: May 28, 2021
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