Jessica Chastain Pitches All-Female Spy Film, 355

Saving the world is absolutely possible, as are all things when your favs come together. And actress Jessica Chastain confirms that to be true in her new proposed movie project 355. Chastain will be pitching the film at Cannes Film Festival this week. Variety reported that the film will lead at the helm by an all-star female cast consisting of Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, and Marion Cotillard. Based on an original idea by Chastain, the storyline of the spy thriller will follow five international spies who put aside their differences to unite against a global organization for the greater good of saving the world. The five coin their merger 355 after the first female spy from the American Revolutionary War.

The film will be produced by Chastain’s studio Freckle Films and directed by her X-Men: Dark Phoenix colleague, Simon Kinsberg (the film will mark his directorial debut) in which Jessica also stars. You may recognize Kinsberg from his work as a writer on movies such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Sherlock Holmes. The script will be written by Theresa Rebeck, a playwright whose television works include Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

 Left to right: Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, and Fan Bingbing, at the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival. Source: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock via Indiewire

Left to right: Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, and Fan Bingbing, at the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival. Source: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock via Indiewire

In a conversation with Variety, Chastain states, “I see creating something like 355 as an opportunity and privilege to assemble a diverse group of women, all of whom have greatly influenced the film industry through their work, to join together equally and explore the badass world of international espionage and thrillers. I have always loved films in this genre: Three Days of the Condor, the Jason Bourne franchise to the Bond films, and having the opportunity to create this world with these stellar actresses and Simon Kinberg is truly a dream.”

This is not the first time that Chastain has spoken on the power of diversity and her desire for more rounded female leads. In an interview with Radio Times in 2017, she spoke out against the hypersexualization of female action stars. “If you look at films like Elektra and Aeonflux, the problem that studios have is that they try to make kickass women very sexualised. They have to be in some catsuit.”

Chastain went on to tell Radio Times that “Studios have misjudged it in the past, and thought audiences weren’t interested in seeing a woman in an action role who’s a capable, intelligent woman and isn’t only leaning on her sex.”

It’s a fair assumption to make that we’ll get a full ensemble of capable intelligent women in 355 so 007 can step aside, they’ll take it from here.