Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyong’o To Form a Spy Sisterhood for Simon Kinberg’s ‘355’
When you think of movie spies names like James Bond, Jason Bourne, or one of those British agents from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy come to mind. Rarely do fictionalized female spies pop up in the cultural conversation around the genre. But Jessica Chastain is here to change that.
While working on the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix with director Simon Kinberg, it dawned on Chastain that there aren’t too many female-fronted espionage thrillers out there, beyond Charlie’s Angels. So why not make her own? Chastain pitched the idea to Kinberg, and thus 355 was born. The spy thriller will star Chastain in an awesome and diverse ensemble of women including Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o (it’s a great day for awesome Nyong’o casting news!), Marion Cotillard, and Fan Bingbing (X-Men: Days of Future Past). All five women will appear at Cannes together next week to kick off sales for the film.
The Hollywood Reporter describes the project as “a globe-trotting adventure with the five A-list actresses playing spies from international agencies that come together and overcome suspicions and conflicts as they battle to stop a global organization from thrusting the world into chaos.” And there’s some pretty cool history behind the film’s title too. As Chastain told Deadline, Agent 355 was real-life female spy during the American Revolution. “She was one of the very first spies for the United States, and her identity is still unknown,” Chastain said. “For a lot of women who work in the CIA and other organizations like that, Code 355 is a universal slang term for female spy. It’s the invisible woman who was never named.”
It’s not every day you hear about a project coming together like this, one that isn’t a remake or a part of an existing franchise, but simply began as an idea in an actress’ mind. Kinberg, who will direct from a script by Theresa Rebeck, says the film’s tone will resemble the Bourne films but be a true ensemble piece. He even hopes it will launch a franchise. With a cast this awesome, you can consider this critic excited.