Given how the trend of nostalgia continues to dominate the entertainment world, there’s no shortage of reboots, remakes, and long-awaited sequels. The trick to making these projects work is providing something new to say, rather than simply repeating past incarnations. Movies like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle succeeded this way, and Elizabeth Banks’ Charlie’s Angels also has some new takes for the franchise. Most obviously, by creating an origin story and having the three Angels start off as strangers. And actress Kristen Stewart is particularly happy about this dynamic.
Charlie’s Angels is a property that originated with the 1976 TV series. The Townsend Agency was eventually adapted for the big screen in the 2000 blockbuster of the same name, and it’s sequel. While those movies focused heavily on the already established friendship of the three Angels, the 2019 version starts their dynamic from scratch. And it’s a choice that both Kristen Stewart and Elizabeth Banks are passionate about. I had the chance to speak with the cast of Charlie’s Angels ahead of its release, and you can see my conversation about the Angels’ origin story below.
Well, that makes a great deal of sense. While Charlie’s Angels is tasked with adapting to the modern world in the wake of the #MeToo movement, this process began by making the three Angels strangers, and allowing their friendship and partnership to develop organically on the screen.
Elizabeth Banks’ Charlie’s Angels is different from the preceding film franchise in a variety of ways. But the difference in the Angels’ relationship is perhaps one of the most obvious. While the movie continued the franchise of bringing together three very different women, they also showed the inception of their trio being formed. And by the film’s end, they become a truly effective force against evil.
While Charlie’s Angels may deal with high stakes and over the top action, Kristen Stewart’s above comments simplify things, and focus on the human side of the movie. She’s interesting in how people meet in real life, as origins of friendships and romantic relationships often lead to the best stories. That’s exactly the case with the upcoming blockbuster, which follows the trio as they team up for the very first time.
At the film’s opening, both Kristen Stewart’s Sabina and Ella Balinska’s Jane are official Angels, working in the massive Townsend Agency. But Naomi Scott (Aladdin, Power Rangers) plays Elena, who is a scientist and whistleblower. She’s unexpected brought into a larger conflict, and must put her faith in the agency, and especially Sabina and Jane. Elena’s perspective mirrors the audience’s, as we observe just how far reaching Charlie’s operation has become since we last saw the Angels on the big screen.
Elizabeth Banks also opened up about her process as writer and director, and the decision to show the trio of women coming together on the big screen for Charlie’s Angels. She thought it was important to show how women working together always makes things better. And indeed, the three Angels had very different skills to bring to the mission.