After adapting a script about BDSM, Kelly Marcel will next focus on animal cruelty. The screenwriter is attached to Cruella, Disney’s live-action film based 101 Dalmatians‘ evil Cruella de Vil. According to THR, Marcel is working with Steve Zissis, co-creator of Togetherness.
Working on a family-friendly Disney movie is quite a jump from this year’s controversial Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the erotic novel by E.L. James. However, frankly, it’s probably a relief to Marcel. She’s been outspoken about her disappointment in how the movie turned out. “I just don’t feel like I can watch [Fifty Shades] without feeling some pain about how different it is to what I initially wrote,” she told The Guardian in June 2015. Not surprisingly, she’s not writing its upcoming sequel, Fifty Shades Darker.
With Cruella, Marcel will likely have more latitude, as the project isn’t a strict adaptation of 101 Dalmatians. Plus, Disney’s live-action films so far have certainly put interesting new spins on old favorites. (Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, released in 2010, is a perfect example.) As a bonus, she won’t have to worry about how to tell the story while worrying about how to also keep it from getting an NC-17 rating.
Cruella is one of a rash of live-action movies that Disney is currently working on, including others also inspired by animated classics, such as Dumbo, Tink (based on Peter Pan), and Genie (based on Aladdin). Sequels to previous hits like Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland are also on the way. Cruella is reportedly being fast-tracked by the studio, and given that Disney put four untitled live-action films on its most recent release calendar, it’s possible that the flick will be among them. The movies are scheduled to release on Dec. 22, 2017; Nov. 2, 2018; March 29, 2019; and Nov. 18, 2019.
Marcel, who began her career in entertainment as an actress, also written the screenplay for Saving Mr. Banks, as well as the TV series Terra Nova.