Jessica Chastain has recruited Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyong’o for a new all-woman spy drama, which experts believe will become a Mission: Imposssible-type franchise.
Another Oscar winner, Marion Cotillard, and Fan Bingbing will also be among the stars of 355, a film Simon Kinberg will direct, according to Deadline.
The group has signed up to play international agents in the project scripted by Theresa Rebeck, which will be one of the hottest movies up for grabs at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in France.
The actresses will join Kinberg on the Croisette in Cannes next week (beg07May18) to pitch the project to international buyers at the Majestic Hotel.
Chastain, who is co-producer alongside Kelly Carmichael, her production partner at Freckle Films, and Kinberg, came up with the idea for the film and presented it to the director while they worked together on X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
“I had so much fun working on The Help that I always wanted to do another female ensemble film,” Chastain told Deadline. “I love the Bourne movies, the Mission: Impossible films and wondered why, except for Charlie’s Angels, there hadn’t been a true female ensemble action thriller spy film.
“That got my wheels going, along with the idea of casting actresses from all over the world to truly make it an international project. I realised the incredible creative freedom we would have with that. I brought the idea to Simon, told him about the actresses I was thinking of, and he was so sweet. He said, ‘I want to do it with you’.
“Then I called all the women, told them what I was envisioning and that I wanted it to be a collaborative process, and how we would all create this together. The one thing that felt important is that we all show up at Cannes, because that would be the beginning of our journey together. Every single actress I called said yes… They committed to Cannes, and to everything. So far it has been a very wonderfully easy process.”
The Help star insists the film could be a breakthrough for actresses who want to lead more action films in an era of empowerment movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up.
“The action genre has long been dominated by male heroes and it’s so exciting to be part of a film that will allow for not just one female action hero, but a whole ensemble of very capable, fierce female characters that reject tired stereotypes,” she added. “Characters that liberate from the confines of stereotypical traits. That is something that excited me about this, the opportunity to create different types of female heroes.”