Jessica Chastain To Lead All-Star Cast In Thriller ‘355’ | Film News
An incredible all-female cast has been assembled for a spy thriller titled 355. The idea for the film originated with Jessica Chastain, who will lead a stacked cast that includes Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard and Fan Bingbing.
The idea it reportedly to craft a grounded, edgy thriller in the vein of The Bourne Identity with the potential for a franchise to be kickstarted. Chastain has enlisted her X-Men: Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg to helm the film, while award-winning playwright Theresa Rebeck will pen the script.
The story revolves around top agents from around the world uniting to prevent an organisation from acquiring a deadly weapon that could plunge the world into chaos. While potential future films would find the ensemble working as a team, this initial movie will be about the group assembling.
So there’s a very Avengers vibe here, with superheroes replaced by spy agents, and obviously the ideal goal is to have a spy-thriller version of the MCU if possible. Chastain has stated the goal is to give equal screentime to the main ensemble players.
Speaking to Deadline, Chastain stated she was inspired to make the film after doing research for Zero Dark Thirty, where she learned the secret code name for a female spy:
“Agent 355 was the code name of a female spy during the American Revolution. She was one of the very first spies for the United States, and her identity is still unknown. For a lot of women who work in the CIA and other organisations like that, Code 355 is a universal slang term for female spy. It’s the invisible woman who was never named”.
Chastain has reportedly been eager to make another female ensemble since her work on 2011’s The Help, and pitched the idea to Kinberg while they were making Dark Phoenix. The first time director asked if he could be a part of the project, and Chastain agreed.
Kinberg mentioned that the idea is for the film to be more Mission: Impossible than Captain America, before adding: “It won’t be as hyperbolic as some franchises, and unlike the other films that revolve around one main character, the goal here is the true ensemble, all these characters who have their own distinct traits, histories — fully formed and complex characters with equal weight in the film”.
This is obviously very exciting, as Chastain has brought a supremely talented and diverse group of actors on board. A package is being assembled ahead of the Cannes Film Festival, where it will be shopped to buyers to secure financing and distribution. It will have no problem attracting plenty on interest.
Until then, the first Chastain-Kinberg collaboration, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, hits cinemas February 14, 2019.
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