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.