Disney's latest live-action origin story Cruella went down a storm when it was released earlier in the year – and fans who were holding off until they could watch the film for free now have their chance to join in the fun.


As was the case with all the previous Disney Plus Premier Access releases, the film is now available to watch with a regular Disney Plus subscription, roughly three months after its initial release.

Following in the footsteps of Angelina Jolie's Maleficent, the film stars Emma Stone as the iconic Disney villain and gives the wicked puppy-skinner a more sympathetic origin story as she transforms from aspiring fashionista into the Cruella we all know from 101 Dalmatians.

Alongside Stone, the crime comedy stars the likes of Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Kayvan Novak – and we already know that we're going to be getting a sequel, with Stone reprising the role.

If you haven't yet watched the live-action film, you can expect to see a wide range of influences with director Craig Gillespie telling RadioTimes.com that the film is "sort of like the Joker, Devil Meet Prada and Ocean’s 11, sort of all tied up together".

Read on for everything you need to know about Cruella.

When will Cruella be free on Disney Plus?

Cruella arrived in cinemas and on Disney Plus (via Premier Access) on 28th May 2021 after its release date was pushed back from December 2020 due to the pandemic.

And as of Friday 27th August it is now available to watch for free with a Disney Plus subscription, while DVD and Blu-Ray editions of the film are now also on sale.

Cruella trailer

The trailer premiered on 17th February 2021, and features Emma Stone using her best English accent. Check it out below:

A second trailer arrived on 7th April 2021, featuring a more in-depth look at the film- with a particular focus on Emma Thompson's delightfully wicked boss:

Later Disney gave fans another sneak peek at the film, complete with the news of a brand new song from Florence + The Machine, which will be a major part of the film's soundtrack. Check it out below:

Cruella cast

La La Land star – and Oscar winner – Emma Stone played the young Cruella in the film and has already been confirmed to be returning for a sequel.

Here's the first photo of Emma Stone channelling Helena Bonham Carter as Cruella...

Emma Thompson also stars, playing Cruella's boss - and essentially becomes the reason for her villain journey. The actress is no stranger to Disney live-action remakes, having already portrayed Mrs Potts in Beauty and the Beast.

Meanwhile Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry star as Horace and Jasper, while Emily Beacham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Mark Strong are also in the cast.

Cruella plot

As described by Disney, the film “a live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil”. The origin story is set in the early 1980s and has a "punk vibe".

The full synopsis describes it as "an all-new live-action feature film about the rebellious early days of one of cinemas most notorious – and notoriously fashionable – villains, the legendary Cruella de Vil."

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"Cruella, which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute, played by Emma Thompson. But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella."

How will Cruella differ from 101 Dalmatians?

Cruella tells the villain's side of the story, as Wicked did for The Wizard of Oz, and Maleficent did for Sleeping Beauty. Although the film is set before Cruella meets the puppies, we find out more about how she originally became friends with Anita Radcliffe, whose dogs Pongo and Perdita are the parents of fifteen of the puppies.

Anita Radcliffe and Cruella De Vil

Cruella soundtrack

The film is notable for having a jukebox soundtrack comprising lots of hits from 60s and 70s bands – with prominent artists such as The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Nancy Sinatra, Nina Simone, and David Bowie all featuring, as well as an original song by Florence and The Machine titled Call Me Cruella.

Speaking about the track, which is titled Call me Cruella, lead singer Florence Welch said: "Some of the first songs I ever learned how to sing were Disney songs. And the villains often got the best numbers.

"So to help create and perform a song for Cruella is the fulfilment of a long-held childhood dream. I’m so grateful to Nicholas Brittell and Disney for allowing me so much creative freedom, and for trusting me with Cruella’s beautiful madness."

Check out the full Cruella soundtrack, which also includes tracks from The Zombies, Blondie and Ike & Tina Turner.

Who is directing Cruella?

It was announced in December 2018 that Craig Gillespie – director of I, Tonya – had replaced Alex Timbers (Mozart in the Jungle) as director of the film due to conflict with Timbers’ Broadway schedule.

The film is produced by Kristen Burr alongside Marc Platt and Andrew Gunn.

Who wrote the script for Cruella?

Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada), wrote early drafts of the script, before Kelly Marcel (Fifty Shades of Grey) took over as screenwriter. She's then made way for Jez Butterworth (Ford v Ferrari), Dana Fox (How to Be Single) and Steve Zissis (Togetherness), while Tony McNamara (The Favourite) was the last to work on the screenplay.

How many 101 Dalmatian movies are there?

Originally created by author Dodie Smith, Cruella de Vil first appeared on screen in 1961's animated Disney classic 101 Dalmatians, and appeared in its follow-up 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure, released in 2003.

The character made her live-action debut, played by Glenn Close, in 1996 remake 101 Dalmatians (co-starring Ioan Gruffudd and Joely Richardson), followed by its sequel, 102 Dalmatians.


Cruella is free with a Disney Plus subscription from 27th August. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide. Visit our Movies hub for all the latest news.