Elizabeth Banks is rebooting Charlie’s Angels, and after a lot of speculation and social media teases this week, the new Angels have been revealed: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska, and Banks will be doing double duty as Bosley.
KStew’s name was already in the mix, and I am in agreement with Kathleen—this is a good move for her, her first blockbuster type movie since Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (which was SIX YEARS AGO, where does time go?). But you might notice a name missing: No Janelle Monae. Along with Stewart, she was one of the early tips for this project, topping the studio’s wish list. That makes sense—Monae is cool and a good actress—but what time she’s giving to acting, so far, isn’t going to movies like this (her next project is Welcome to Marwen). A studio’s wish list and actual casting are two different things—remember when someone at Marvel wanted Tom Cruise to play Tony Stark?—and clearly in this case the wish list and actual casting did not line up.
Which means the other two Angels are comparative unknowns. Naomi Scott was in Power Rangers with Elizabeth Banks, and she’s Jasmine in Disney’s upcoming Aladdin remake, so Charlie’s Angels is getting her right on the cusp. And Ella Balinska is a British actress and this is her breakout moment. So it’s a nice mix of an established name, a rising star, and a newbie, anchored by Banks as Bosley. I like this group, and I am SO interested to see how Kristen Stewart does in an action-comedy.
Also worth noting that Banks has done a rewrite on the script. Lainey pointed out before that though Banks is the director the script was coming from the dudes who write Narcos, and she wondered if it “bug[ged] anyone’s ass”. Mine, it bugged my ass. Having a female director isn’t always enough, women need to have voices in the development and writing process, too, because you can definitely tell when a story about a woman is conceived by a dude (see also: Wonder Woman). So it’s reassuring that Banks has been that intimately involved in shaping the story. I like the 2000 Charlie’s Angels. It’s one of my go-to rainy day movies. But I am increasingly into the NuAngels, even if the whole Janelle Monae thing didn’t work out.