Disney's planned live-action film about 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Ville, as portrayed by Emma Stone, has reportedly been fast-tracked back into production with a new director in talks to helm the project.
Craig Gillespie, who previously directed last year's critically acclaimed I, Tonya, is in talks to helm Cruella. Pre-production is expected to begin soon after the deal has been finalized. Principal photography is expected to begin next year for a 2020 release date.
A live-action film starring the classic Disney villain was first greenlit in 2013, with Stone later signing on to star as titular character in 2016. The character was previously portrayed in live-action by Glenn Close in 1996's remake of 101 Dalmatians and its 2000 sequel, appropriately titled 102 Dalmatians.
Gillespie replaces Alex Timbers, co-creator of Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle, who had previously been attached to direct the project before dropping out due to the accelerated schedule.
The script for Cruella was written by Jez Butterworth who has co-written the other upcoming Disney villain-centric film Maleficent II as well as the 2015 James Bond film Spectre.
No official release date for the film has been announced by Disney but it is expected open sometime in 2020.