LONDON – The new Charlie’s Angels movie was directed for the first time by a woman as the franchise revived the classic action film.
“I loved the original and I loved the movies and I wanted to make an action movie and I wanted it to star women and this is one of the few franchises in Hollywood that checks those boxes,” said Elizabeth Banks, who directed, acted, produced and wrote the script for the movie.
Taking on such diverse roles for the film came with some challenges but Banks said it also offered advantages.
“I really felt like actually doing those jobs streamlined the process for me as a filmmaker, it felt like I was able to hold the whole vision together,” she added.
The moviemaker said she had always been a fan of the TV series created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts in the 1970s and the subsequent movies from 2000 and 2003.
She conceived of her contribution as a continuation of the existing narrative.
“What was great about the inspiration for this movie is I was able to look at real women around the world who are standing up to things they believe in,” Banks continued.
“Whether it’s Malala or Greta Thunberg, or the women in the military, protestors, there is a real sense that the women’s collective power can be really meaningful right now, and that is certainly one the themes that I brought to bear on the film,” she added.
Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska take over from Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, as the protagonists.
“We all grew up with the first two movies, and I think that was obviously why even just the idea of a Charlie’s Angel’s movie excited me without even having to read the script,” Stewart told Efe.
The new film tells the story of Elena Houghlin (Scott) who has created a revolutionary invention to create sustainable energy but, if it ends up in the wrong hands, could be used as a lethal weapon.
To prevent chaos from unleashing, the young engineer goes to the Townsend Agency for help where she meets Jane Kano (Balinska) and Sabina Wilson (Stewart).
The chemistry among the cast was obvious during an interview with Efe.
“We were really lucky that we liked each other,” Stewart said.
“I just wanted to make an action movie that was really fun and funny, and exciting,” Banks added.
“I think people think I have made some sort of feminist statement because I have made a Charlie’s Angel movie and I’m a woman, but I truly just followed the exact same formula that’s been followed in Charlie’s Angels since 1976 which is it’s about three women who work together to take down bad guys.”
And the action element of the movie was one of the most challenging elements for the crew.
“The weather conditions made it quite taxing, especially the outdoor metal shoot sequence was freezing cold in that backless waistcoat that I wear,” Balinska, who was nicknamed Ninja during the production owing to her stunts, said.
“And then hanging there for a while was pretty tough indeed, but it was great fun,” she added.
When asked if the sector had caught up with the demands for equality among men and women, Stewart said things had improved but there was still more work to be done.
“I hope that there is more and more quality opportunity for women across the board and that women just get to tell the stories that they are excited to tell,” Banks concluded.