by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent
“You have cameras in your jewelry,” is one line you won’t hear from Q in 007, but Mr. Bond has nothing on these five eyes in THE 355, starring Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Fan Bingbing ,Diane Kruger, Lupita Nyong’o, from Universal to drop in Jan. 2021.
Chastain is the driving force behind this one as producer/star. And there’s a spy-twist-worthy plot here in the mix as Chinese beauty Fan BingBing, who ranks as the top grosser among actresses in China, returns to the big screen following a mysterious “disappearance” during 2018. The official word was tax-related, but many feared for her during this radio silence.
Luckily, by 2019, the willowy star had reemerged on Social Media. According to the South China Morning Post, the whisper is that all is marginally forgiven regarding her tax accounting on personal income.
Thankfully Jessica Chastain spearheads the perfect vehicle for her and for worldwide politics now, as these fierce five women, who represent a global coalition, strive to take down the hidden destabilizers in the coded climate we all live in online.
In a way, THE 355 is a response to anachronistic dramas like THE HELP for Chastain, whose Freckle Films in NYC can count this as a first major outing in the big leagues of production.
Remarkably, next this multi-talented hyphenate will play Tammy Faye Bakker in THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE, also set for 2021, and directed by Michael Showalter.
But now back to the five fingers on this Simon Kinberg-directed beautiful fist that is Chastain, Cruz, Fan, Kruger, and Nyong’o. Universal’s tagline is, “Five rival agents. One elite team. We are The 355.”
Oh, incidentally? George Washington apparently employed a female spy during the Revolutionary War at the founding of the United States, known as agent 355. She, who shall remain unknown perhaps, was part of The Culper Ring, which is a nice slice of Americana embedded in this franchise-hopeful thriller.
Here’s How Universal Lays Out The Plot
A dream team of formidable female stars come together in a hard-driving original approach to the globe-trotting espionage genre in The 355. When a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, wild card CIA agent Mason “Mace” Brown (Oscar®-nominated actress Jessica Chastain) will need to join forces with rival badass German agent Marie (Diane Kruger, In the Fade), former MI6 ally and cutting-edge computer specialist Khadijah (Oscar® winner Lupita Nyong’o), and skilled Colombian psychologist Graciela (Oscar® winner Penélope Cruz) on a lethal, breakneck mission to retrieve it, while also staying one-step ahead of a mysterious woman, Lin Mi Sheng (Bingbing Fan, X-Men: Days of Future Past), who is tracking their every move. As the action rockets around the globe from the cafes of Paris to the markets of Morocco to the wealth and glamour of Shanghai, the quartet of women will forge a tenuous loyalty that could protect the world—or get them killed.
The Grrls Can Take It From Here
The film also stars Édgar Ramirez (The Girl on the Train) and Sebastian Stan (Avengers: Endgame).
The 355 is directed by genre-defying filmmaker Simon Kinberg (writer-director-producer of Dark Phoenix, producer of Deadpool and The Martian and writer-producer of the X-Men films), from a script by Theresa Rebeck (NBC’s Smash, Trouble) and Kinberg, and is produced by Chastain and Kelly Carmichael for Chastain’s Freckle Films and by Kinberg for his Genre Films. The film is executive produced by Richard Hewitt (Bohemian Rhapsody).
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Bingbing Fan, Diane Kruger, Lupita Nyong’o, with Édgar Ramirez and Sebastian Stan
Director: Simon Kinberg
Writers: Theresa Rebeck, Simon Kinberg
Producers: Jessica Chastain, Kelly Carmichael, Simon Kinberg
Executive Producer: Richard Hewitt
Visit the shebang (with an emphasis on “she”) here.
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