Paul Walter Hauser has entered talks to costar in Disney’s upcoming live-action movie, Cruella. After trying, but failing, to launch franchises with films like John Carter and The Lone Ranger in the early 2010s, the Mouse House has turned to remaking its animated classics as live-action movies in recent years. Their strategy’s certainly worked wonders at the box office so far; the Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin re-imaginings have both crossed $1 billion worldwide, and this month’s The Lion King will follow suit very soon.
Having released three such live-action remakes in the last four months alone, Disney will give audiences an extended break (not counting Disney+’s Lady and the Tramp, that is) until Mulan arrives next March, followed by Cruella in December 2020. The latter’s actually a prequel to the studio’s animated 101 Dalmatians adaptation that explores its namesake’s backstory, as opposed to another strict re-imagining (a la 1996’s live-action 101 Dalmatians). And with production slated to begin in September, the film’s casting process is already well underway.
According to The Wrap, Paul Walter Hauser is now in talks to costar in Cruella opposite Emma Stone as a young Cruella de Vil (aka. Estella) and, reportedly, Emma Thompson in a key role as The Baroness. If he signs on, the project will reunite Hauser with his acclaimed I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie.
Although The Wrap says that Hauser is up to play Roger, it’s not clear yet if this will be the same Roger from 101 Dalmatians (who, of course, wasn’t exactly a fan of Cruella’s) or another character who just happens to have the same name (which, admittedly, seems unlikely). Either way, it’s the latest high-profile movie role snagged by Hauser since he broke-out with his memorable supporting turn in I, Tonya. He’s since played similarly noteworthy supporting characters in BlacKkKlansman and Late Night, in addition to his recurring role on YouTube Premium’s hit Karate Kid series, Cobra Kai. He’s also starring in Clint Eastwood’s upcoming biographical film Richard Jewell and will shoot that movie back-to-back with Cruella, should he close a deal for the latter.
Written by Dana Fox (Isn’t It Romantic) and Tony McNarma (The Favourite), Cruella reportedly talks place in ’70s London and follows Estella (Stone), a brilliant clothing designer who’s stuck working at a department store when she spots a wealthy woman known as the Baroness wearing her special locket – an item that Cruella lost the night her mother passed away at the Baroness’ estate – and becomes determined to get it back. The film certainly sounds very different from 101 Dalmatians, which should come as welcome news to those who’ve tired of Disney’s live-action remake being paint-by-number recreations of their animated predecessors. Between that and the talented ensemble that Gillespie’s put together so far, Cruella is arguably shaping up to be better than expected.
NEXT: Lion King is Disney’s 6th Rotten Live-Action Remake (Out of 9 Movies)
Source: The Wrap