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SYFY WIRE Charlie's Angels

Elizabeth Banks wanted Charlie’s Angels to be about ‘women at work’, not ‘boyfriends or cats’

By Josh Weiss
Charlie's Angels

We're less than half a year away from the release of Elizabeth Banks' cinematic reboot of Charlie's Angels, which she both wrote and directed. Starring Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Naomi Scott (Aladdin), and Ella Balinska (Midsomer Murders) in the three main roles, the project was a way through which Banks could bring the IP — based on a TV show from the mid-1970s — into the 21st Century.

"I just wanted to make a movie about women at work, working together," Banks (Brightburntold THR. "I wanted to make a movie that was not about their boyfriends that they didn't see enough, or the cats they didn't feed, or the mother that they didn't call, because I don't worry about those things in my daily life. And so, in that way, I felt like we were updating the idea of Charlie's Angels."

With the emergence of things like the #MeToo movement, one could argue the idea of female empowerment hasn't been this prominent or efficacious within the context of our collective, cultural conciseness since the '70s. And while there have been reboots of the TV show and modern film adaptations, the reboot's writer/director felt there was still a greater story to tell about women in the workforce.

"I went back to the original idea in Charlie's Angels, which was that women were in the workforce," Banks continued. "And all of the things that I feel are happening in the women's movement right now, whether it be #MeToo, or — I say this in a time of dire straits for women's rights in this country right now — but I feel like all those things are happening because women are in the workforce in greater numbers than ever in human history."

Charlie's Angels

Similar to Sony's Men in Black International (out Friday), the reboot will unveil a network of badass female detectives and spies strategically placed all over the globe. Another change-up to the Charlie's canon involves the introduction of multiple Bosleys, a name that doesn't refer to a single person, but to, it seems, a general title. In the new film, there will be three played by Banks, Patrick Stewart, and Djimon Hounsou.

"I thought you could expand the world beyond three women on the beach in California and relaunch it as a global spy franchise," added Banks. "I thought about [the detective agency's faceless boss] Charles Townsend as the basis of it, and the '70s, which is when I was born, and the women's movement over the past 40 years. And I thought about what a really wealthy man who was a benefactor to these women in the '70s would have grown that organization into over 40 years."

Charlie's Angels opens in theaters Nov. 15. Noah Centineo, Sam Claflin, Nat Faxon, Jonathan Tucker, Chris Pang, and Luis Gerardo Méndez co-star.