Elizabeth Banks successfully transitioned from A-list actor to director with Pitch Perfect 2, the 2015 installment in the a cappella comedy franchise. The Pitch Perfect sequel grossed $287 million worldwide on a $29 million budget and earned respectable reviews for its cast and helmer in the process. However, Banks is passing on directing Pitch Perfect 3 due to her having a full plate of projects - among them, a Charlie's Angels reboot that she is directing.
Charlie's Angels originated as a 1970s TV show about three women who work as private investigators and, in essence, super-agents for their mysterious boss, Charlie. The property was rebooted for the big screen in the early 2000s with two films by director McG and was later revived on the small screen as an ABC TV show in 2011. However, the 2011 Charlie's Angels TV series was unceremoniously canceled after but four episodes, thus paving the way for another big screen reboot - this time, with Banks calling the shots.
THR is reporting that David Auburn is now working on a fresh script draft for the Charlie's Angels movie reboot, with Banks supervising the screenwriting process. Banks has even issued a statement regarding the news:
“I’ve been a fan of David’s since seeing Proof on Broadway. His ability to create three new dynamic yet grounded ‘Angels’ is very exciting.”
As mentioned by Banks, Auburn penned the Pulitzer-prizing winning play Proof (and co-wrote its 2005 film adaptation starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Gyllenhaal), about the daughter of a formally brilliant mathematician who may - or may not - have written a remarkable mathematical proof of her own. Auburn, who also co-wrote the Keanu Reeves/Sandra Bullock sci-fi romance film The Lake House, is penning a fresh script for Charlie's Angels, after Evan Spiliotopoulos (Hercules, The Huntsman: Winter's War) penned an earlier screenplay draft for the film.
A Pulitzer-prize winning playwright may read as a curious pick to write a Charlie's Angels movie, at a passing glance. However, the intention is for Auburn to make sure the Angels themselves are in fact "rich, fully developed characters and not just pretty faces plugged into action" (as THR's report puts it). Proof's main character, the brilliant-but-troubled Catherine, is... well, proof enough that Auburn knowns how to craft a multi-faceted and interesting female protagonist, so that bodes well for his efforts on the Charlie's Angels reboot too.
Banks is known foremost for specializing in comedy, both as an actor and a storyteller; which is to say, her Charlie's Angels reboot will undoubtedly carry over some of the tongue-in-cheek humor found in McG's take on the franchise in particular. All the same, having a talented screenwriter such as Auburn work on the new Charlie's Angels ought to ensure that the film has some brains and heart to go along with the laughs and thrills. Likewise, having a woman call the shots on the movie should only help to better differentiate the latest iteration of the Charlie's Angels properties from previous versions (on the small screen and big screen alike).
We'll bring you more information on Charlie's Angels as it becomes available.