Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz to Star in 355, the Spy Thriller of Our Dreams

Chastain. Nyong'o. Cruz. Cotillard. Bingbing.

"Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala - After Parties
Raymond Hall

America’s Jessica Chastain, Kenya and Mexico’s Lupita Nyong’o, France’s Marion Cotillard, Spain’s Penélope Cruz, and China’s Fan Bingbing are coming together from all corners of the world to save it. That’s the premise of their planned film 355, which sounds like the spy thriller dreams are made of as well as a suitable complement to the upcoming Ocean’s 8.

According to Variety, the film would see the fivesome “stop a global organization from acquiring a weapon that could thrust the teetering world into total chaos.” The trades adds, “Along the way, these strangers and enemies become comrades and friends, and a new faction is formed—code-named ‘355’ (a name they adopt from the first female spy in the American Revolution).”

The kernel of the film’s plot was dreamed up by Chastain herself, and her Freckle Films will produce the project. Simon Kinberg will direct the film. He’ll make his directorial debut with the upcoming X-Men film, Dark Phoenix, but you may already know his work as the writer behind Mr. & Mrs. Smith and X-Men: Apocalypse. Screenwriting duties for 355 will be handled by the playwright Theresa Rebeck.

The world clearly could use more films featuring female leads and people of color. According to a recent study on diversity in Hollywood from UCLA, women make up only 31.2 percent of film leads. Obviously, there’s no shortage of love for female heroes, as the box-office-crushing success of Wonder Woman showed. There’s also hope that this project could lead to a full-on franchise. They’ve got most of the world covered in this one, but perhaps there’s room for Australia and South America in the sequel. Are Margot Robbie and Daniela Vega busy?

Chastain, whose Freckle Films venture is committed to bringing more diversity to the silver screen, said as much in her statement to Variety. “Some of my greatest experiences are being part of an ensemble, both onstage as well as in films,” she said. “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.” Her dream and ours.

Related: All the Female Spy, Assassin, and Super-Thief Movies in Development

Lupita Nyong’o’s Best Red Carpet Moments, from 12 Years a Slave to Queen of Katwe

Lupita Nyong’o stole the show in a dramatic vermilion Ralph Lauren cape dress and minimal jewelry at the 2014 Golden GLobes.

Photo by Getty Images.

Following her red carpet hit at the Golden Globes, Nyong’o chose a similarly dramatic take on a simple silhouette for the 2014 Critics’ Choice Awards. The combination of her white Calvin Klein Collection dress, Paul Andrew shoes, and Kimberly Macdonald jewelry was simply stunning.

Photo by Getty Images

For the less formal Producers Guild Awards, the 12 Years a Slave ** star looked smart in a beige cutout dress and strappy black sandals by Stella McCartney. She added a bit of texture to the otherwise simple look with a snakeskin-printed Chesneau Heltzel Minaudières clutch and Jamie Wolf jewelry.

Photo by Getty Images

Though nothing could diminish our love for Nyong’o, her outfit of choice for the SAG Awards—a turquoise Gucci dress and matching makeup—was a little too blue for our tastes.

Ethan Miller

Nyong’o’s pretty vintage Valentino dress at Entertainment Weekly’s SAG Awards Pre-Party demonstrated her masterful style.

Nyong’o looked sweet at the Oscar Nominees Luncheon in a light pink, printed Dior dress and Paul Andrew blue velvet pumps. Mise en Dior blue pearl earrings (the trendiest accessory of the season) and a Judith Leiber clutch polished off the pretty look.

In a glamorous green Dior at the BAFTAs—accessorized with a gold metal belt and cuffs, no less—the star reminded us what Hollywood is all about.

Lupita Nyong’o in 2014.

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada at the 2014 Met Gala.

Lupita Nyong’o at the 86th Annual Academy Awards in 2014 wearing Prada.

Lupita Nyong’o at the Oscars in 2015.

Lupita Nyong’o in Gucci at Cannes in 2015.

Lupita Nyong’o at the 2015 Golden Globes.

Lupita Nyong’o in Alessandra Rich in 2015. Photo by Getty Images

Lupita Nyong’o in Dior and Sophia Webster in 2014. Photo by

Lupita Nyong’o in Gucci in New York, New York, March 2016.

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Lupita Nyong’o in Balmain on Late Night with Seth Meyers, March 2016.

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Lupita Nyong’o in Dolce & Gabbana at Variety’s Power of Women lunch in New York, New York, April 2016.


Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala for Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology in New York, New York, May 2016.

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Lupita Nyong’o in Boss at the 70th annual Tony Awards in New York, New York, June 2016.


Lupita Nyong’o in DPipertwins at the Fem the Future Pre-VMAs Brunch hosted by Janelle Monáe in New York, New York, August 2016.

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Lupita Nyong’o in Carolina Herrera at the premiere of Queen of Katwe at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, September 2016.

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Lupita Nyong’o in Mary Katrantzou at the Vanity Fair and Tiffany & Co. dinner in her honor in Toronto, Canada, September 2016.

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Lupita Nyong’o in Erdem on Jimmy Kimmel Live, September 2016.

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Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo attend a screening of Queen of Katwe on September 25, 2016 in New York City.

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Lupita Nyong’o in Kibonen NY promoting Queen of Katwe at Sirius XM Studios in New York, New York, September 2016.

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Lupita Nyong’o in Elie Saab at the premiere of Queen of Katwe in Hollywood, California, September 2016.


Lupita Nyong’o in an Escada coat at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, September 2016.

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Lupita Nyong’o in Monse leaving The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, September 2016.

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Lupita Nyong’o at the 2016 Met Gala.