The trailer for Emma Stone’s “Cruella” debuted Wednesday, giving fans their first look at the origins of one of Disney’s cruelest villains. But whereas Maleficent started as a hero and was pushed into villainy, Cruella appears to have always existed in a realm of, well, cruelty.
“I guess they were always scared that I’d be a psycho” Stone’s character reveals less than 30 seconds into the footage. Indeed, as she runs through oncoming traffic, waltzes around with a bottle of whiskey, burning fancy gala dresses a lá Hunger Games, this young Cruella feels decidedly unhinged — and eerily familiar.
It didn’t take long for fans to start feeling some “Joker” vibes. In fact, there were so many comparisons to the 2019 DC film starring Joaquin Phoenix that “Disney’s Joker” began trending on Twitter.
Sorry, it’s just…is…Emma Thompson the Batman to Cruella’s…Joker? pic.twitter.com/ztwqSJ6ofT
— Christina Grace (@C_GraceT) February 17, 2021
Wow Joker 2 looks great! https://t.co/xcN404akJZ
— Taylor Chase (@TaylorChaseFL) February 17, 2021
Why is everyone so mad that a villain is acting like…a villain? “Why is she joker-fied??” Because she’s crazy and evil, that is the point of every Disney villain ever…?
— ⚡️zachy⚡️ (@itsthatzacattac) February 17, 2021
It has all the right elements, from the dialogue to the lighting to the evil cackle over the studio’s logo. Some are even anticipating “Cruella” is better than “Joker”:
looks like a better joker movie than joker https://t.co/s7TtOaJamj
— 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 (@heathdwilliams) February 17, 2021
I take it back this is what Joker should’ve been https://t.co/SJrx3nTOJ6
— Gory Cory (@gorycoryhorror) February 17, 2021
Emma Stone could do Joker. Joaquin Phoenix couldn’t do Cruella https://t.co/TfyiHydfai
— beth (@itsbethb) February 17, 2021
That said, it seems fans aren’t totally sure if they want another Joker-esque story. Although Phoenix’s performance was lauded, “Joker” got a lukewarm reception from fans and critics alike, with many questioning the choice to try and make one of DC’s most iconic villains sympathetic — or why Disney is doing the solo film at all.
Cruella is the equivalent of Joker. A completely unnecessary movie wanting us to sympathize with a psychopath. https://t.co/ECMIRUheUy
— Danielle Huss (@daniellehuss) February 17, 2021
Cruella is Disney's most irredeemable, unsympathetic villain. SHE KILLS PUPPIES. There's literally no spinning this character into some misunderstood, pseudo feminist, Joker!lite badass. Some things need to be left well enough alone. Anyway.
— Sarah (@SarahBethSmoak) February 17, 2021
@BeeMacDee1950 @jessebryan It may be too early to pass judgment, but the new Cruella trailer makes me concerned that Disney doesn't understand their brand. Out of some desperation to use any and all IP, they may have made something as poisonous as Joker. https://t.co/8spYXdI3zT
— Chasing MacGuffins (@CMacguffins) February 17, 2021
WTF is this shit? Who the hell thought this was a good idea? 🤦🏻♂️🤦🏻♂️🤦🏻♂️. A teenage-minded society that needs to relive once and again their childhood icons, but focusing on the worst part of them. Not even creative (a female Joker, they couldn't even create a new GOOD female charact)
— P.S. Martin (@royendershade) February 17, 2021
And remember, a trailer is not a film.
A reminder that trailers aren't always/usually indicative of what a movie is, but rather are selling you what the studio wants you to think a movie is. CRUELLA is clearly marketing itself a la JOKER, but will likely be a very different tonal experience.
— Drew Dietsch (@DrewDietsch) February 17, 2021
“Cruella” will take place in ’70s-era London, square in the punk rock fashion rising (as clearly exemplified by the movie’s poster). Apparently, before she was Cruella DeVil, she was just Estella, an ambitious young woman looking to make it in the fashion industry. But as she tells us herself, she always viewed the world a bit differently than everyone else.
This Cruella always had an appetite for chaos, eventually finding her a pair of friends in young thieves, Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser’s respective Jasper and Horace. But Estella’s “different” view of the world inevitably finds her squaring off against Emma Thompson’s Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend, leading Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the terrifying Cruella.
“Cruella” will premiere on May 28th, 2021.