Inspired by Dodie Smith's 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians, American crime comedy film Cruella (2021) features an alternate origin story for Cruella. Set in London during the punk rock movement of the 1970s, the film revolves around Estella Miller, an aspiring fashion designer, who renames herself as Cruella de Vil.
In 1964 England, Estella develops a talent for fashion. She suffers stigma due to black and white hair and is portrayed as having criminal tendencies. Her mother, Catherine, decides to move to London, but not before stopping at a mysterious mansion called Hellman Hall on the Suffolk coast to ask the host for money. Sneaking inside, Estella is chased by the host's ferocious Dalmatian dogs and loses her mother’s necklace. The dogs push Catherine off a balcony to her death. Orphaned, Estella runs away to London and befriends street urchins Jasper and Horace.
Ten years later in 1974, Estella practices thievery and confidence tricks with Jasper and Horace, honing her fashion skills by designing their disguises.