Some of the best movie news I’ve heard in a while came out of the Cannes Film Festival this past week. Details are still scarce, but what we do know has me in a damn tizzy. Inspired by a conversation she had with her agent at this same festival last year lamenting the lack of female driven action franchises, Jessica Chastain came up with the idea for 355, a spy thriller designed to be the beginning just such a franchise.
She is Not. Messing. Around. Chastain will star in the movie, and joining her will be Marion Cotillard, Fan Bingbing, Lupita Nyong’o, and Penélope Cruz. Jason Bourne can’t handle it. Whatever the hell Tom Cruise’s character’s name is in Mission: Impossible should be ashamed to show his face.
All of those women who can and have lead films on their own, will team up in one giant movie that may already be the greatest action film ever made despite there not even being a script yet. Studios clearly agreed, because when the group of actresses went to Cannes to promote the project, a bidding war ensued, and Universal scooped up the rights for $25 million.
Both Jessica and Lupita broke their silence about the project on Twitter, and simultaneously did the graphics team at Universal a solid because every single image of these women together could be the poster for the movie.
Top secret no more. Mission accepted. #355Movie #电影355 #MarionCotillard #PenelopeCruz @realBingbingFan @Lupita_Nyongo #simondavidkinberg @FreckleFilms @Filmnationent #CannesYouHandleUs pic.twitter.com/K98R50oTeu
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) May 10, 2018
— Lupita Nyong’o (@Lupita_Nyongo) May 10, 2018
LOOK AT THEM. The spy thriller premise is fantastic, but I’d watch them in a movie about anything (and I’d also kill to be a part of their group text). I hope their characters are all on the same side in this movie because I don’t know who I’ll root for if they’re not. Actually, yes I do. It’ll be all of them.
The name of the movie, 355, is an homage to female spies. Agent 355 was the code name of a woman during the American Revolution who was part of the Culper Ring, a spy group formed by George Washington. There are several theories as about the real identity of Agent 355, but who she actually was for sure is still unknown. As any good spy’s identity should be. Way to go, girl. Evidently the term “355” is still used as lingo to refer to a female intelligence agent, which I didn’t know until now. The rest of the cast is as yet unknown, but all of the women in it so far agreed to sign on immediately, and I have a feeling anyone else approached is going to follow suit.
Since the script is still being written, the particulars are unknown at this point, but the few we do have are miraculous:
— Lupita Nyong’o will play a character somewhat in the same vein as Q from the James Bond films, and she stated how important it was for her to play a black, female intelligence agent.
“I have never seen an African woman intelligence agent. To me that was important because I know they exist. What she uses to her advantage is people’s’ underestimating her.”
After this movie, Q will be known as “that idiot who tried to do what Lupita Nyong’o did and embarrassed himself in the process.”
— Jessica Chastain and Marion Cotillard have an action scene on motorcycles. They don’t even need a script, and 355 could just be a compilation of vignettes like that and I’d watch it four times on opening day.