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Emma Stone to return for Cruella sequel

Staff Writer

Emma Stone will return for a Cruella sequel, having closed a deal with Disney for a second film.

The latest in the company’s live-action reworkings of its own animated back catalogue, Cruella is set in 1970s London amid the punk rock revolution. It follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself in fashion – eventually catching the eye of the Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson) and setting in motion events that bring Estella to embrace her wicked, “Cruella” side.

Directed by Craig Gillespie (I Tonya) from a screenplay by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara, the film premiered on 28th May in cinemas – and, on the same day, streamed on Disney+, subject to an additional Premier Access fee of £19.99. Disney said it was “very pleased” with the performance, both theatrically and online.

Since then, however, Disney has found itself in a legal battle over its model for releasing films on Disney+ and in cinemas, with Scarlett Johansson suing the corporation over the release of Black Widow. Stone’s deal, then, both comes as a positive step forwards for Disney and for talent navigating the shifting media landscaping and what it means for rights and revenue share agreements.

Deadline reports that the deal “mutually benefits both sides”. Patrick Whitesell, the executive chairman of Endeavor, of whom Stone is a client, told the site: “While the media landscape has been disrupted in a meaningful way for all distributors, their creative partners cannot be left on the sidelines to carry a disproportionate amount of the downside without the potential for upside. This agreement demonstrates that there can be an equitable path forward that protects artists and aligns studios’ interests with talent. We are proud to work alongside Emma and Disney, and appreciate the studio’s willingness to recognise her contributions as a creative partner. We are hopeful that this will open the door for more members of the creative community to participate in the success of new platforms.”

Director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Tony McNamara are both expected to return for the sequel.

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