8 Actors Who Should Join Emma Stone As Disney Villains
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Emma Stone might be following in Angelina Jolie’s footsteps—at least as far as Disney live-action re-imaginings are concerned. She’s reportedly in talks to join a new film exploring the origins of the infamous Cruella de Vil, the villain of 101 Dalmations.
Disney has plenty of straightforward adaptations of their animated features coming down the pike, just like last year’s Cinderella. There’s their upcoming new versions of Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book, and films still in development like Mulan, Dumbo, Tinker Bell, another Mary Poppins, and even Fantasia. And yet, while we’re definitely going to park our butts in the theater and watch every single one, so far none of them capture our imagination quite as thoroughly as Maleficent once did—probably because it’s more fun to see an alternate version of a story we think we already know than it is to just see a new version of that story.
So why are Maleficent and Cruella de Vil the only ones who get their turn in the spotlight? Why shouldn’t every single one of the villains in Disney’s repertoire have a chance to explain themselves? We would be totally down to see every baddie get their chance to shine, especially if these amazing actors were tapped to play them:
1. Taraji P. Henson, Ursula from The Little Mermaid
Okay, we’ll admit: we’ve used this casting choice before, in our dreamcast for a possible Disney-made Little Mermaid movie. But come on, how perfect would Taraji be in this role? She brings so much pathos and depth to Cookie Lyon, after all, so she could definitely take this one-note octopus of a villain and make her three dimensional.
2. Naya Rivera, Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove
Admit it, you want to know all about what the villain of Emperor’s New Groove was like when she wasn’t an evil old lady—and Naya Rivera can definitely bring the sass to a role like that.
3. Ilana Glazer, Mother Goethel from Tangled
Weird choice? Maybe, but Ilana can be pretty charmingly manipulative—and sometimes downright intimidating—in Broad City when she’s trying to get out of work or convince Abbi to go somewhere. Those instincts would work well to flesh out Goethal, who’s all about couching toxic language in theatrical niceness.
4. Rami Malek, Jafar from Aladdin
As the star of Mr. Robot, Malek knows a thing or two about being charismatic and also completely unsettling at the same time—a perfect combination for what would ostensibly be a story about Jafar’s rise to power.
5. Leslie Odom Jr., Doctor Facilier from Princess and the Frog
Anybody who has listened to the Hamilton soundtrack knows that Aaron Burr himself can rock the heck out of some jazzy New Orleans-inspired music (“The Room Where It Happens,” anybody?)—and does an amazing job captivating audiences as a totally sympathetic sleazeball.
6. Domhnall Gleeson, Hans from Frozen
Come on. Everybody’s already drawn all the Frozen/Star Wars: The Force Awakens parallels—Hux is Han, end of story. But oh, what a magnificent and Machiavellian story it would be.
7. Michael Fassbender, Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Fassbender can really bring the quiet, intense passion and anger required of the future Archdeacon of Notre Dame—not to mention the sexual guilt. Ever seen “Shame?” Whoa nelly, would that dude be all about the Hellfire.
8. Jenna Coleman, The Queen Of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland
Helena Bonham Carter clearly owns the role in the live-action Tim Burton-created adaptations, but in a prequel series? Coleman could knock it out of the park. She’s currently set to play a younger version of Queen Victoria in an upcoming BBC series, and judging from her time on Doctor Who, she knows quite well how to demand attention.