Director Elizabeth Banks says her Charlie's Angels is a continuation rather than a reboot or remake, as first look photos from the movie are released. Premiering in 1976, the original Charlie's Angels TV series starred Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith as a trio of female super-spies working for a mysterious figure named Charles Townsend (voiced by John Forsythe). Now viewed as a campy artifact of the '70s "Jiggle TV" genre, the show would last for five seasons, rotating in different lead actresses including Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts.
Though many decried Charlie's Angels for its sexism, the show retained enough of a cult following over the years to spawn a 2000 feature film starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu. The movie was a hit with $264 million at the global box office, leading to a sequel in 2003's Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Now, amid a wave of early '00s franchise revivals, Charlie's Angels is set to return to theaters with Banks in the director's chair and a new trio of Angels played by Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska. A first photo of the new Angels was recently released, as the film wrapped shooting.
Speaking to EW about her new take on Charlie's Angels, writer, director and star Banks addressed the question of whether her movie is actually a reboot or remake. In fact, Banks says it's neither of those but is in truth a continuation that incorporates the events of both the original series and the two movies directed by McG. As Banks explains it, Charles Townsend is still in business but has simply expanded his reach. “If you were rich in 1976, you only got richer. Charles Townsend is richer than ever, so he’s grown the business into a global spy agency," she said. In addition to Banks' remarks, EW also released some new photos from the film which can be seen below:
Indeed, the new movie is set to be more of a globe-trotting adventure in the vein of James Bond, a fact that was teased in a previous photo. The film takes place in Istanbul, Hamburg and Berlin, but according to Banks it's not simply about hopping the globe. In fact, it's really about doing a job as a team. As she explained:
“It was important to me to make a movie about women working together and supporting each other, and not make a movie about their romantic entanglements or their mother they don’t call enough. When I’m at work, I don’t talk about those things. I get on with my job. It felt important to do that for the Angels, to treat them with the respect their skill set demands.”
Banks clearly is out to make a new kind of Charlie's Angels movie for an era where more accurately representing female characters is higher on the agenda than simply playing to the male gaze as the original show and the previous movies may have done. Of course, Banks is the first female writer-director to tackle Charlie's Angels, so the new version is naturally going to have a more female perspective than previous takes. It will be interesting to see if Charlie's Angels can carve out a place for itself in this new era where movies like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel have opened up the door for female-centered action-adventure movies to become blockbusters.
- Charlie's Angels (2019) release date: Nov 15, 2019