'Charlie's Angels' Returning to the Big Screen with Elizabeth Banks Directing

'Charlie's Angels' Returning to the Big Screen with Elizabeth Banks Directing

Sep 16, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2

Elizabeth Banks is in talks to direct a new version of Charlie's Angels, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She would also produce the movie with her partner Max Handelman.

The roots of the project stretch back to 1976. Charlie's Angels, starring Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors and Jaclyn Smith, became a smash hit when it debuted on network television that fall, in part because it featured three strong women as private investigators, and in part because it featured three lovely women who frequently wore as little as possible on their undercover assignments.

Charlie's Angels

Fawcett-Majors departed after the first season and was replaced by Cheyl Ladd, and the ratings remained high. Eventually, the ratings fell, and the cast changed, and the series ended its run after five years. But its cultural influence was felt long afterward, eventually leading to two big-screen adaptations.

Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu starred in Charlie's Angels (2000) and its sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003). The same premise was used, but the tone was far more comic than the TV show ever was, making fun of a multiplicity of costume changes, for example, and empowering the women with martial arts skills that defied belief.

The new formula worked effectively with the first installment, but the more expensive sequel was a bit less successful at the box office, and the decision was made that two movies was enough. As much as the TV show was a product of its era, so were the movies.

With the passage of a dozen years, the idea of a reboot makes sense, and Elizabeth Banks sounds like a great choice as a director. As an actress, she's appeared in action movies like Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and the Hunger Games series. As a director, she made two short films and helmed a segment of the comic anthology Movie 43 before making her feature debut on Pitch Perfect 2 in 2013, which made more than $285 million at the box office worldwide, far more than doubling the performance of the first film.

If the deal goes through, Banks' first assignment as producer and director will be to help choose a writer to draft a script that presents her vision of Charlie's Angels in the modern day. A somewhat more serious approach might be the way to go, an action-adventure that still has a sense of humor but delivers more heart to go with the butt-kicking. We can't wait to see what happens.

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