Chastain has recruited Lupita Nyong'o, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, and Fan Bingbing to round out the ensemble.


Kayti Burt

May 10, 2018

Audiences are hungry for more diverse films and five of the world’s most successful actresses are teaming up to bring it to us. Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, and Lupita Nyong’o are teaming up to star in an all-female spy thriller called 355. The project was announced via Deadline, but will be looking for international buyers at the Cannes International Film Festival next week.

The idea for 355 came from Chastain, who pitched a franchise-starting female ensemble spy thriller to Simon Kinberg, who is attached to direct, while the two were working together on X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

“I had so much fun working on The Help that I always wanted to do another female ensemble film,” Chastain told Deadline. “I love the Bourne movies, the Mission: Impossible films, and wondered why, except for Charlie’s Angels, there hadn’t been a true female ensemble action-thriller spy film.”

From there, Chastain got commitments from Kinberg and her fellow actresses to sign onto an all-female thriller in the style of The Bourne Identity, Mission Impossible, or James Bond. No doubt the project will find international buyers in an instant—not only does the feature have an all-star cast, but Hollywood (and beyond) is currently looking to buy female-led spy films.

355 will feature Chastain, Nyong’o, Cotillard, Cruz, and Bingbing are international agents from organizations around the world who must come together to stop a global organization from acquiring a weapon that could plunge the world into true chaos. To do so, they must overcome their cultural and political differences and work togerher. The script is being written by Harriet the Spy screenwriter and playwright Theresa Rebeck.

The film involves these top agents from organizations around the world uniting to stop a global organization from acquiring a weapon that could plunge an already unstable world into total chaos. They have to overcome cultural and political differences to form a bond and work together.

Chastain wanted to make the cast truly international, reaching out to actresses who all origially hail from different countries.

“I called all the women, told them what I was envisioning and that I wanted it to be a collaborative process, and how we would all create this together,” Chastain said. “The one thing that felt important is that we all show up at Cannes, because that would be the beginning of our journey together. Every single actress I called said yes, on the phone call. They committed to Cannes and to everything. So far it has been a very wonderfully easy process.”

Chastain said that she hopes to make the thriller as grounded in reality as possible.

“It’s a film and not a documentary, but our goal is to make this action spy thriller as authentic as we can, with as much trade craft as we can,” said Chastain. “So when people in these organizations, in the CIA or MI6 around the world see the film, my goal is they will say, ‘Wow, this is pretty authentic. They got it.’ That was the thing I loved the most in making Zero Dark Thirty.”

More news on 355 as we hear it.