How the director of Cruella took Disney to a darker place
While the film doesn’t redeem Cruella’s later development in sheer villainy, it does provide a story that makes sense, and one that Gillespie was happy to talk about. Geek’s lair.
Den of Geek: How did you envision this when it was first introduced to you?
Craig Gillespie: It’s interesting. [Disney president of production] Sean Bailey called me and he said, “Hey, what are you thinking? Cruella with Emma Stone in 1970s punk London? This trio to me, I was like, “It sounds amazing.”
Then I got the script, and it was beautifully written and it was a great kind of trip with all these milestones and turns, but toned, it didn’t have the… For me, I have this sensitivity that I love being in this dance between humor and drama. This is where I feel I can really excel. So that’s what I was looking for and I had to bring it.
Visually, I got a really quick response, just from that title Sean Bailey gave me, and I was already taking a deep dive into that era with photos from the era in King’s Road and Notting Hill, and the squatters and just the club scene. . It’s just an incredibly rich backdrop to work with. So I was compiling this, and the show was going to that kind of very dark, dark, authentic place, and really quickly I just gave that to each production manager as they came. . So visually, I got that, and I just needed to make sure we could get it attitudinally, like in the script with the characters and the music.
One of the things with these kinds of origin stories is the idea that we know what happens to the character down the line. So what’s the key to getting around this and creating a story that stays compelling?