You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Emma Stone Talks ‘Cruella’ Transformation, New ‘Zombieland’ Sequel

Despite inevitable comparisons to Glenn Close’s iconic turn as Cruella de Vil in 1996’s “101 Dalmatians,” Emma Stone teased that her take on the infamous villain in the upcoming “Cruella” movie will be very distinctive.

“It comes long before her story,” Stone told Variety at the premiere of “Zombieland: Double Tap” at the Regency Village Theater in Westwood, Calif., on Thursday night. “It’s a different ball game.”

Many fans were stunned upon being given a first look at Stone’s punk-rock inspired interpretation of the character when Disney released an image from the upcoming prequel during this past summer’s D23 Expo.

“Well, I saw myself in the mirror getting ready, so I wasn’t that shocked,” Stone said of the first look. “It’s been really fun. We are in the middle of it right now so it’s still sort of hard to even talk about it. It’s been really, really cool.”

The long-awaited sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap” sees Stone reunited with her fellow zombie apocalypse survivors Abigail Breslin, Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson after ten years. The intervening decade had brought about many changes and achievements for the cast, including a best actress Oscar for Stone, but she remarked that it felt almost like no time had passed.

Popular on Variety

“It’s so much fun to be with all of these people again,” Stone said. “It’s such a joy and such a blast. It just felt like old times again, but everybody’s had all these great life experiences and there was so much more to share. It was really special.”

Thomas Middleditch, Avan Jogia, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin and Zoey DeutchColumbia Pictures 'Zombieland: Double Tap' World Premiere at the Regency Village Theatre, Westwood, CA, USA - 10 October 2019
CREDIT: Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

Breslin, who was 13 years old when she starred in the first movie, told Variety that some cast members had trouble recognizing her post-puberty.

“Woody thought I was, like, a stalker when he first saw me,” Breslin said. “He didn’t know who I was. I was like, ‘Hi, Woody’ and he was like, ‘Uh, hi?’ I was like, ‘It’s Abby.’ He was like, ‘Oh, right!’ And same with Jesse a little bit. Emma remembered me though. They were all pretty shocked.”

Eisenberg told Variety that he hadn’t truly realized the lasting impact that the original “Zombieland” movie had on fans and on the zombie genre as a whole until the cast began their publicity tour for the sequel.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Eisenberg said. “It felt like this kind of very private thing when we were filming the movie and then I kind of realized it has this pop culture resonance and that people feel like it’s theirs as well as ours.”

The sequel also saw the introduction of new actors and characters to the original surviving foursome, including Zoey Deutch, Rosario Dawson, Avan Jogia, Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch. Dawson made her first premiere appearance with boyfriend and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker. The couple seemed relaxed as they cozied up for the cameras and Dawson laughed at the attention paid to Booker. “Hey, it’s my premiere!” Dawson exclaimed as Booker obliged a nearby crowd of autograph seekers.

A fan of the original movie, Deutch told Variety that she had trouble believing that the atmosphere on set was as enjoyable as it had appeared on-screen.

“I was happy to find out that my first instinct was correct,” Deutch told Variety. “It was the most fun I’ve ever had on set. It was such a life-affirming experience because these are my heroes, some of my favorite actors in the world and they were kind and so generous and so welcoming.”

Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who returned to pen the sequel, said they were thrilled that the original “Zombieland” was at the forefront of the zombie genre’s resurgence over the past decade.

“When I ran into Robert Kirkman from ‘Walking Dead,’ he said that the reason ‘Walking Dead’ made it on air was because of ‘Zombieland,’” Wernick told Variety. “It was their opportunity. People felt like, wow, zombies can actually be commercial and make money, so AMC rolled the dice. It was awesome to hear that.”

Though the sequel was ten years in the making, director Ruben Fleischer told Variety he isn’t ruling out a third installment.

“That would be beyond a dream come true,” Fleischer said. “I hope that in due time we will be able to make another one but only if the circumstances are right.”

More Film

  • THE IRISHMAN (2019)Ray Ramano (Bill Bufalino

    Despite Controversy, 'The Irishman' Is Netflix's Biggest Theatrical Release at Home and Abroad

    Despite friction in the U.S. over its release in select cinemas, Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” is enjoying the biggest theatrical rollout of any Netflix film to date, with key international markets screening the movie and bolstering its profile as awards season gets underway. The nearly three-and-a-half-hour mob epic has secured relatively large releases in major [...]

  • Stone, guitarist for Taiwanese pop band

    Mayday Guitarist, Stone Rallies Fans at Singapore Film Festival

    Stone, the Taiwanese performer who has gone from being the guitarist in Mayday to a promising acting career, drew crowds on Friday, the first full day of the Singapore International Film Festival. Speaking at Projector, the indie theater inside the historical Golden Mile building, some two hundred fans gathered to hear the artist share career [...]

  • The Tempest (concept art)

    Film Bazaar: Rinkel Film Boards Tamil Western ‘The Tempest’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netherlands production outfit Rinkel Film (“Rafiki”) has reteamed with India’s Stray Factory (“Nirvana Inn”) for Tamil language Western “The Tempest” (aka “Aasaimugam”). It is to be directed by emerging Indian filmmaker Arun Karthick. The two companies previously co-produced Karthick’s communal bigotry tale, “Nasir,” which benefited from a grant of €50,000 ($55,350) under the Netherlands Film [...]

  • ‘Wallace and Gromit’ Studio Aardman to

    ‘Wallace and Gromit’ Studio Aardman to Make Short Film 'Robin Robin' for Netflix

    “Shaun the Sheep” and “Wallace and Gromit” producer Aardman is making “Robin Robin,” a short film, for Netflix. The project marks a move away for Aardman from working with the BBC, which has broadcast the Oscar-winning stop-motion specialist’s hit projects over the years. “Robin Robin,” which will bow around Christmas 2020, is about a bird [...]

  • Graham Norton to Host 2020 BAFTA

    Graham Norton to Host 2020 BAFTA Film Awards Ceremony 

    Popular British talk show host Graham Norton has been tapped to host the 2020 BAFTA Film Awards ceremony. Norton currently fronts the ratings-winning “The Graham Norton Show“ for the BBC. In assuming hosting duties for the upcoming BAFTA ceremony on Feb. 2, he will be taking over from “Absolutely Fabulous“ star Joanna Lumley, who hosted [...]

  • “Facing It,” an eight-minute 30 second

    U.K. Short 'Facing It' Takes Top Prize at 2019 VIEW Awards

    “Facing It,” a claymation/live-action film about how relationships mold people, has won the 2019 VIEW Conference Award for best short film. The film was written and directed by Sam Gainsborough and co-written by Louisa Wood and produced at the National Film and Television School’s Beaconsfield Studio in Beaconsfield, U.K. The VIEW Awards are an offshoot [...]


    Laemmle Theatres Arthouse Chain No Longer Seeking Buyer

    Los Angeles-based arthouse chain Laemmle Theatres has stopped seeking a buyer, four months after putting itself on the sales block amid slow sales. Greg Laemmle, president of the 81-year-old exhibitor, announced the development Thursday. He told Variety that discussions with an unidentified buyer had reached an advanced stage but fell apart and that there has [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content