The Emma Stone-starring 101 Dalmatians prequel Cruella is coming to Disney+ this Friday for no extra charge after first releasing in May. Set during the punk rock movement of 1970s London, the film explores the origins of Cruella de Vil as she is born Estella Miller and grows up aspiring to be a fashion designer. After going to work for the narcissistic and evil Baroness von Hellman, Estella undergoes a transformation into the notorious Cruella de Vil in order to best Hellman and make a name for herself in the fashion world.

Released in May in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access, Cruella became a hit for the House of Mouse, grossing over $226 million at the worldwide box office and just over $20 million from the premium streaming fee. The film also scored generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Craig Gillespie’s direction, the performances of Stone, Emma Thompson and Paul Walter Hauser, the costume design, production values and soundtrack while some criticism was directed to the screenplay. This success has sparked Disney’s interest in a sequel, with Stone recently closing a deal to return for the titular role.

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Nearly two weeks after Stone signed on to return for a sequel, Disney has announced that Cruella will become available to all Disney+ subscribers this week. No longer paired with a Premier Access additional charge, the film will hit the streaming platform on Friday. Check out the announcement below:

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The announcement of Cruella coming to Disney+ comes at an interesting time for all parties involved in the film. The House of Mouse is still in the midst of a lawsuit with Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson over the streaming release for the Marvel movie, which Stone having also briefly considered taking similar steps for the release of her film. Subsequent reports even revealed that the film almost skipped theaters entirely and went for a sole streaming release, though Stone and Gillespie pushed back and the studio would have had to pay a pretty penny to all involved to make it work.

The film’s hybrid release proved to work to both Stone and Disney’s favor, with Cruella having become both a box office and streaming hit upon its may release. Johansson’s lawsuit also emboldened Stone to negotiate a better deal to return for the sequel and push the studio to better address the future of the hybrid release model to protect the talent as much as the studio. While fans await word on what’s to come from the sequel, they can revisit or catch up with Cruella as it hits Disney+ for no extra charge this Friday.

Source: Disney+

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