If you’ve ever wondered about legendary villains’ backstories, Disney has you covered. First there was 2014’s Maleficent, and now there’s Cruella. The new film reimagines the 101 Dalmatians big bad as a rising fashion designer in 1970s punk rock London, but you may be left wondering: Will Cruella get a sequel? Its open ending is bound to leave fans with questions.
Warning: Major spoilers for Cruella follow. In Cruella, viewers learned the villainess (played by Emma Stone) started off as an orphaned girl named Estella, who grew up as a petty thief while dreaming of breaking into the fashion industry. She appears to get her big break when she’s hired by renowned designer Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), but after learning that her idol is a cold-blooded narcissist with a disturbing connection to her late mother, Estella seeks to dethrone the Baroness by staging provocative fashion moments through her devilish alter-ego: Cruella.
After the duo’s rivalry culminates in the Baroness attempting to kill Estella, she comes to a shocking realization: the Baroness is her biological mother, and Estella is the true heir to her massive fortune. So she fakes her own death at the hands of her own long-lost mom, sending her to prison and moving into her lavish estate with her friends-turned-henchmen in tow. In other words, she transforms into Cruella full-time. In an unexpected twist, even the Baroness’ evil Dalmatians make it to the end of the movie!
Cruella works just fine as a standalone prequel to 101 Dalmatians, but is Disney setting up another live-action remake of its beloved 1961 animated film? When Cruella and her allies fully come into power at the end of the movie, they’ve added two new people to their ranks: Her fashion-obsessed friend Artie (John McCrea) and the von Hellman family valet, John (Mark Strong). The door is wide open for the group to go on even more twistedly fashionable adventures, and since the Baroness is still alive in prison, her escape could lead to another confrontation between mother and daughter.
Then there’s the movie’s mid-credits scene, in which Cruella individually delivers 101 Dalmatians main characters Pongo and Perdita to their owners, Roger and Anita, as puppies. Now that viewers know she was behind both couples’ eventual meet-cutes, why not create an entire punk-rock remake of the classic story?
For their part, Stone and Thompson are totally down for another installment. In a recent Rotten Tomatoes interview, the actors were particularly excited by the idea of a The Godfather Part II-esque sequel, in which part of the second movie is a prequel about the Baroness, and the other half is a sequel exploring how Cruella becomes the truly evil figure fans meet in 101 Dalmations. Fans will have to wait and see what happens, but one thing is for sure: A follow-up film sounds brilliant, bad, and a little bit mad.