Punk Cruella and Five Other Cartoon Villain Reboots You Didn’t Know You Wanted

Published December 6, 2018

Cruella de Vil, punk as fuck. Art by Jack Vhay

As further proof that Hollywood is endlessly fascinated by villainous cruelty, it’s been announced that Cruella de Vil, from Disney’s 101 Dalmations, will be getting her own feature-length origin story. The live-action film, currently titled Cruella, is set to star Emma Stone as the dog-despising nemesis, with direction by I, Tonya‘s Craig Gillespie. Set in the early ’80s, the film will be a stylistic departure from Glenn Close’s Cruella, who sported Chanel coats and ostrich feather gowns in the 1996 version and its sequel, and feature a “punk vibe” instead. As opposed to other gritty spin-offs—say, the CW’s Riverdale—the Cruella reboot at least sounds closer to the spirit and ethos of her deep-seated animal cruelty as well as her crass consumption (each a perfect look for the Reagan-era, when we think of it). 

To honor this news of punk Cruella, and any efforts to flesh-out the antagonists of our beloved childhood cartoons, we’ve come up with five additional antihero origin stories that we think deserve the Hollywood “punk” treatment—as well as financing from any daring film producers out there who may be reading this. 

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Frankenberry, Boo Berry, and Count Chocula

Working Title: Cereal Killers

Synopsis: A dark, twisted fantasy of everyone’s favorite cereal box antiheroes: Frankenberry, Boo Berry, and Count Chocula. The story charts their rise from humble beginnings in rough-and-tough neighborhoods to their breakthrough success in scaring children in supermarket aisles the world over. The film (which General Mills is actually trying to make happen) is sure to snag at least a PG-13 rating. Just look at the billboards.

Starring: Migos.

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Cars’ Chick Hicks

Working Title: Chick Hicks: Revenge of the Runner-up Race Car

Synopsis: “A racing veteran with a chip on his shoulder,” young Chick Hicks is arrogant, vindictive, and murderous. Despite his slick and speedy moves, a stumble into sex and drugs, plus tour managing a handful of atrocious punk bands, slows him down significantly. Kachiga, kachiga!

Starring: Adam Driver.

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Helga Pataki, as played by Rooney Mara. Art by Jack Vhay.

Hey Arnold’s Helga Pataki

Working Title: Hey Helga!: The Girl Who Played with Footballs

Synopsis: How did Helga Pataki, the sensitive, poetry-writing, pink-bow-donning token female character of Nickelodeon’s Hey Arnold! become so embittered as to routinely bully Arnold for his misshapen head? Find out in this coming-of-age early aughts drama, directed by Greta Gerwig.

Starring: Rooney Mara in a mohawk, with a cameo by Saoirse Ronan.

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The Lion King’s Hyenas

Working Title: Evil Laugh

Synopsis: How did the hyenas get caught up with Scar, the misanthropic uncle of the royal lion clan? This steam-punk thriller, with costume design by the team behind Mad Max: Fury Road, tracks the gang’s steady march to the wrong side of the elephant graveyard.

Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Michael Cera, and Harry Styles.

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The Powerpuff GirlsMojo Jojo

Working Title: Mojo Mania

Synopsis: This much-anticipated follow-up to The Powerpuff Girls’ “Mr. Mojo’s Rising” episode is a deep dive into the complicated past of the monkey terrorist, who fatefully experimented with the elusive drug Chemical X, septum piercings, and Taking Back Sunday.

Starring: Haim as The Powerpuff Girls, with Andy Serkis as the monkey terrorist.