EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Emma Stone has closed a deal to star in the sequel to Cruella, in what is a very good sign for Disney as it secures talent in the wake of some criticism of its theatrical-Disney+ Premier model.
Cruella, due to the pandemic, was released in theaters and on Disney+ PVOD tier on May 26, earning more than $222 million in worldwide ticket sales. The release of Cruella 2 is a ways off, and it’s not certain at this time whether the movie will be a pure theatrical release or like its predecessor released simultaneously in homes.
Emma Stone’s deal for Cruella 2, I hear, mutually benefits both sides especially at a time when Disney is still assessing the dynamic window model on its event titles.
Endeavor executive chairman Patrick Whitesell had this to say about the agency’s client Stone and her Cruella 2 deal.
“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 recognize 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.”
There was a lot of hasty speculation in the news following Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney that other stars from the studio’s theatrical-day-and-date titles would also pursue legal action surrounding the studio’s window experimentation. To date, that hasn’t happened. Another big movie star who is content with Disney in the wake of its pandemic dynamic window model is Jungle Cruise‘s Dwayne Johnson, who has been relentlessly promoting that film to his 332M+ social media fans. The film has so far grossed $73.1M domestic, $201M+ worldwide and well north of $50M in estimated Disney+ Premier global PVOD monies, good for a current estimated global haul of $251M+.
While Disney hasn’t released PVOD figures for Cruella, the standalone movie about the origins of the 101 Dalmatians villainess was clearly successful enough that the Burbank, CA lot is moving forward with a sequel. As previously announced, the pic’s original director Craig Gillespie and scribe Tony McNamara are returning. In regards to Cruella‘s U.S. PVOD revenues, all we know is what Samba TV reported from U.S. Smart terrestrial TVs: that the figure was close to $21M over the four-day Memorial Day weekend.
Cruella was praised by critics at 74% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, who also cited future awards-season buzz for the pic. The movie also earned an ‘A’ CinemaScore from audiences.
Stone is repped by WME, Anonymous Content, and Ziffren Brittenham.