Cruella Adds Killing Eve Star Kirby Howell-Baptiste

Disney's live-action Cruella prequel has just found its latest star. According to a new report from Variety, Kirby Howell-Baptiste has joined the upcoming film in a currently-unknown role. Howell-Baptiste has recently become a rising star in the world of television, through her roles on Killing Eve, The Good Place, Barry, Veronica Mars, and Why Women Kill.

Cruella will star Emma Stone as young Cruella de Vil, years before the villain sought out a coat made of Dalmatian puppies. The film, which is set in the punk rock scene of 1970s London, Paul Walter Hauser (I, Tonya) and Joel Fry (Game of Thrones) will be playing Horace and Jasper, Cruella's underlings. The cast also includes Mark Strong (Shazam!), Emma Thompson (Harry Potter), and Emily Beecham (Into the Badlands). A first look photo for the film was unveiled at last month's D23 Expo.

Cruella is just the latest adaptation of the Dodie Smith novel of the same name, which was later adapted into Disney's 1961 animated film. The franchise got two live-action adaptations in 1996's 101 Dalmatians and 2000's 102 Dalmatians, both of which starred Glenn Close as Cruella. The villain later appeared on Once Upon a Time, as portrayed by Victoria Smurfit, and the Descendants franchise by Wendy Raquel Robinson.

Cruella will be directed by I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie, with screenwriters that include Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Aline Brosh McKenna, Venom's Kelly Marcel, Ford v Ferrari's Jez Butterworth, and The Favourite's Tony McNamara.

Cruella is just one of many live-action adaptations of animated classics in the works at Disney. The studio just released Aladdin and The Lion King this summer, followed by Disney+'s take on Lady and the Tramp and the sequel to Maleficent this fall. Mulan is slated to arrive in theaters next March, and new adaptations of The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and The Sword in the Stone are also in the works.

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Cruella will be released on May 28, 2021.