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Charlie's Angels Reboot - What We Know So Far

Thanks to success stories like Girls Trip, Bridesmaids, Hustlers, and more, studios are finally realizing that movies led by women can win big at the box office. Hollywood's next high profile, female-fronted effort will return to a classic framework with a familiar story, released nearly two decades after the franchise's first feature length film.

From a 1970s television series to two feature-length movies that hit theaters in the early 2000s, Charlie's Angels has remained a pop culture staple for decades, giving the spotlight to three powerful women who solve crimes and kick plenty of villainous butt under orders from their intermediary boss, Bosley, and the man who oversees the entire operation, the mysterious Charlie. The latest revival of this classic series will arrive on the big screen in the fall of 2019, so if you're curious about the latest iteration of Charlie's Angels, we've got all the details you need, including the release date, cast, plot, trailer, and more.

What's the release date for the new Charlie's Angels?

Steering clear of the enormous spring and summer movie booms — which in 2019 have produced enormous critical and commercial successes like Avengers: Endgame, Us, and another reboot, The Lion King — the team behind Charlie's Angels made the wise choice to release the film during the fall season. Just before the holidays officially start, Charlie's Angels will hit theaters on November 15, 2019, in the United States.

While it may not be summer, November is still pretty crowded with anticipated new films. The month kicks off with the release of Terminator: Dark Fate, James Cameron's long-awaited return to the franchise he created. There's also the Oscar hopeful Harriet, in which Widows star Cynthia Erivo plays Harriet Tubman. Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, the Emilia Clarke-led romcom Last Christmas, and The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep all follow. 

On the day of its own release, Charlie's Angels will face competition from The Good Liar, which pairs Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Ian McKellen. Luckily for Charlie's Angels, the two films probably won't have a huge overlap in their respective audiences, giving Charlie's Angels a strong shot at a solid opening weekend.

Who are Charlie's Angels this time?

Of course, the biggest question going into the Charlie's Angels reboot is about the Angels themselves. The core three stars of the film will either make or break its success, so naturally, the trio has to complement each other perfectly — and looking at these Angels, it looks like a mix of established stars and relative newcomers that could prove to be pretty successful.

As the most recognizable name among the Angels, Kristen Stewart is leading the charge as Sabina Wilson. You probably know her best from the Twilight film series, but you might have also seen her in blockbuster fare like Snow White and the Huntsman, Oscar winners like Still Alice, and arthouse films like Clouds of Sils Maria, for which she became the first American actress to win France's Oscar equivalent, the Cesar Award. 

Naomi Scott, who plays Elena Houghlin, is no stranger to reboots; she's best known for her starring role as Princess Jasmine in the 2019 live-action version of Aladdin and also appeared in 2017's Power Rangers movie as the Pink Ranger. Finally, the trio is completed by Ella Balinska as Jane Kano, a fledgling British performer with no other high-profile projects to make her a household name stateside; but with Scott and Stewart by her side, she'll surely be a star in no time.

Who's in the supporting cast of Charlie's Angels?

Despite a strong trio of new Angels, the film still needs a strong supporting cast. Luckily, there are plenty of great actors to back them up. Elizabeth Banks, known for her work in everything from The 40 Year Old Virgin to The Hunger Games, will play Susan Bosley, the customary go-between who helps Charlie communicate with his Angels. As Banks explains, "Bosley" has been redefined as a rank, rather than a single character. To that end Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond, Guardians of the Galaxy) will play another, Sam Bosley.

Naturally, there are a few heartthrobs in the cast to act as romantic foils for the Angels, including British star Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games franchise, Me Before You) and Netflix breakout Noah Centineo (To All The Boys I've Loved Before, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser). However, the most stunning name in the cast is definitely Sir Patrick Stewart, a legend of stage and screen whose credits include everything from performing Samuel Beckett on Broadway to roles in the Royal Shakespeare Company to his unforgettable turns as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise. He's taking the role of yet another Bosley, Stan.

Is Charlie's Angels a reboot?

It's been quite a long time since the two previous Charlie's Angels movies were first released — the original came out in 2000, and its sequel, Full Throttle, came shortly after in 2003. It would be easy to assume that this film would be a full reboot of the series, but that's not the case.

The new Charlie's Angels will still find the main trio solving crimes and fighting bad guys, keeping the roots of the franchise going. Apparently, it's more of a "continuation" of the previous films rather than a full refresh. Not much is known yet about the movie's specific heists, crimes, or plots, but Charlie's agency has definitely gotten an upgrade. As Elizabeth Banks told Entertainment Weekly, "if you were rich in 1976, you only got richer. Charles Townsend is richer than ever, so he's grown the business into a global spy agency." In any case, fans of both the original films and the television series on which it was based can expect a brand new, undoubtedly exciting story starring this new generation of Angels.

The Charlie's Angels trailer promises plenty of action

The first full trailer for the Charlie's Angels reboot was released in June of 2019 to plenty of excitement, giving fans of the original Angels film their first full glimpse at the next generation of fierce female fighters. The opening shot features Kristen Stewart, the trio's most recognizable star, clad in a blonde wig while she seduces and then attacks the Angels' latest target, showing off a serious set of skills. However, there's a problem with the squad — Stewart's Sabina Wilson and Ella Bakinska's Elena Loughlin are two Angels in need of a third. Lucky for them, Jane Kano (Naomi Scott), a brilliant programmer, is ready to join the team.

As Elizabeth Banks' Bosley explains in the trailer, "We exist because traditional law enforcement can't keep up," and it definitely seems like the Angels are pretty unstoppable once you see shots of them fighting, flirting, and generally getting things done. Thanks to strong chemistry among the three Angels and a peek at an incredible supporting cast that includes Banks, Djimon Hounsou, and even Sir Patrick Stewart, the trailer gave fans high hopes for the upcoming film.

Who's directing this version of Charlie's Angels?

In previous iterations, men have always helmed Charlie's Angels — Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts crafted the TV show, and both films were directed by McG. However, this time around, a woman is taking the wheel. Elizabeth Banks is wearing as many hats as possible in Charlie's Angels; in addition to directing, she also wrote the screenplay, is credited as a producer under the umbrella of her production company (Brownstone Productions, which she runs with her husband Max Handleman), and is, of course, playing Susan Bosley on screen. Banks, who made her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2, is building her directing career with films about strong women, and Charlie's Angels was clearly another perfect opportunity. 

As she told Entertainment Weekly, "It's a really exciting moment for female-driven films... Audiences are really looking for those aspirational stories about real and relatable characters, and I think the women in my movie are definitely real and relatable, but most importantly, I think they're really fun." She also wanted to make sure she portrayed the Angels as realistically as possible, noting, "It was important to me to make a movie about women working together and supporting each other, and not make a movie about their romantic entanglements or their mother they don't call enough... it felt important to do that for the Angels, to treat them with the respect their skill set demands." 

The history of Charlie's Angels

None of this would be happening in the first place without the original television series, which started its run in the fall of 1976 and spanned five seasons and over a hundred episodes until it wrapped up in June of 1981. Originally, the three angels were played by Kate Jackson (as Sabrina Duncan), Jaclyn Smith (as Kelly Garrett), and Farrah Fawcett (as Jill Munroe), but the show went through a number of casting changes during its tenure. Fawcett departed after the first season (which led to a protracted legal battle), and after an extensive search for her replacement, Cheryl Ladd stepped in to play Jill Munroe's sister Kris. Kate Jackson was fired after expressing dissatisfaction with the show and its shooting schedule (Jackson was ultimately replaced by Shelley Hack), leaving Jaclyn Hill as the only original Angel to last the entire show's run.

The feminist legacy of Charlie's Angels had long been the subject of debate — the original show was frequently derided for its overt sexualization of the three lead characters, with critics referring to it as "jiggle TV." Certainly, it didn't exactly set a gold standard for the adaptations to come, but at the very least, it gave future actors, directors, and writers the story of Charlie and his Angels, laying a framework for plenty of stories concerning powerful women that would come along in the years that followed.

The first two Charlie's Angels movies

The original series may not have set much of an enduring standard for feminism, but the films that followed did an excellent job of utilizing the series' campy attitude, sense of humor, and basic plot foundation while proving that women could play action stars just as well as their male counterparts. In 2000, superstars Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore stepped into Charlie's office as Natalie, Alex, and Dylan, respectively, alongside Bill Murray as Bosley. The film's sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, kept the original Angels but replaced Murray with Bernie Mac (apparently, he and Liu had some trouble working together, and Murray didn't exactly get along with director McG either). As an added bonus, both films featured the voice of John Forsythe, who voiced the unseen billionaire Charles Townsend in the original series, reprising his role as Charlie.

Diaz, Liu, and Barrymore are undeniably gorgeous, and the films did a good job of balancing their pride in their looks and sexuality with their strength and power. The first movie received above average reviews thanks to its fun attitude, strong leads, and stylish action sequences, as well as a strong outing at the box office. Unfortunately, Full Throttle faltered, with dismal box office returns and a bleak critical reception. Still, these two films laid excellent groundwork for a future adaptation, giving the new Charlie's Angels film a strong foundation to build upon.

How the new Charlie's Angels came to the screen

After Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle produced diminishing returns, to say the least, a third film featuring Diaz, Liu, and Barrymore seemed pretty impossible. Clearly, what the franchise needed was just a little time to recover and figure out the best way to keep the Angels going. 

The film took a few years to fully come together; Banks and Handleman were announced as co-producers in 2015 (with Banks as director), and the core cast — specifically, Scott, Stewart, and Balinska — weren't chosen until 2018. In a statement distributed by The Hollywood Reporter, Banks announced that she was thrilled to bring the original story to the big screen, saying, "This film honors the legacy of Charles Townsend and his agency while introducing a new era of modern and global Angels. I couldn't be more excited to work with Kristen, Naomi, and Ella to bring this chapter to fans around the world." 

This particular Angels film has been a long time in the making. Come November, audiences will be able to make a definitive call as to whether or not it was worth the wait.

Another Angel is working behind the scenes

This film might feature all-new stars as the Angels, but it still is inextricably linked to the 2000 film in one big way — specifically, one of its producers. On the film's official site, Drew Barrymore is listed as one of the executive producers. That makes sense for a number of reasons; not only did Barrymore play Dylan Saunders in the two previous films, but she works frequently as a producer. Through her production company, Flower Films, she produced the original Charlie's Angels films, as well as projects Barrymore starred or appeared in like Never Been Kissed, He's Just Not That Into You, the short-lived 2011 television reboot of Charlie's Angels, and Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet.

Out of the original film's three Angels, it feels exactly right that Barrymore is the one with creative input in the new film, especially considering how much influence she wielded over the first two. Her biggest contribution to the series was her strict no-guns policy, in that she wanted the Angels to show their strength without glorifying firearms. It's interesting to note, then, that the trailer for this new film features plenty of guns. In any case, fans can expect that weapons will be wielded carefully under the actress' watchful eye. 

A theme song with its own trio of Angels

Brian Tyler, known for scoring huge movies like Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Crazy Rich Asians, is scoring Charlie's Angels, but the movie's big single was released ahead of the film's debut, hitting the charts in September of 2019.

Fans of the original film will always associate Destiny's Child with 2000's Charlie's Angels, thanks to the movie's hit single "Independent Women Pt. 1," written specifically for the film. Now, it looks like this generation of Angels will get their own anthem. Destiny's Child has remained firmly split up, apart from notable appearances at the Super Bowl and Coachella, so for the new single, pop superstars Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, and Lana Del Ray came together for "Don't Call Me Angel," dropping the single and video simultaneously. Nobody will ever be able to top "Independent Women," but at the very least, the new Angels film boasts three bona-fide pop sensations singing a signature song.

The exotic locales of Charlie's Angels

Traditionally, the main events of Charlie's Angels, including Charlie's main offices, have been set in California — specifically, Los Angeles — and though this film likely won't dispense with this classic location, the Angels have been spotted all over the world, filming in some seriously exotic and beautiful locations.

After production officially kicked off in late 2018, eagle-eyed fans and foreign outlets caught sight of Stewart, Scott, and Balinska's Angels filming in some of the world's most beautiful and famous places. In addition to filming at the stunning Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, Germany, the Angels were seen at Istanbul's world-famous Spice Bazaar, the ancient city's Veliefendi horse racing track, and in the Istanbul neighborhood of Sultanahmet. By the time filming wrapped up in December of 2018, the Angels had clearly traveled extensively throughout the world, which will make for some seriously gorgeous setpieces upon the film's release.

Angels aren't always perfect

Kristen Stewart is fairly infamous for her deadpan, low-key expression — which was on particularly full display during the Twilight saga — but in the years since her teen drama phase ended, Stewart has shown off an impressive range, from her Cesar Award-winning performance in Clouds of Sils Maria to a hosting stint on Saturday Night Live. Banks told Entertainment Weekly that as a director, she "wanted Kristen to show off a side of herself you don't often see in her movies," noting, "she's really funny in this."

As it turns out, Stewart is pretty funny off-screen too, a quality that resulted in a somewhat embarrassing first impression on her two fellow Angels. Apparently, Stewart was both nervous and excited to meet her co-stars, and since she was so determined to genuinely like them, she showed her immediate affection for Naomi Scott by "lightly [stroking] Scott's chin," which Scott later recognized was a "super cute" physical gesture. Balinska was initially nervous after watching this all go down, saying that when she arrived, she thought to herself, ”OK, I've got four months of this now,'" but in the end, they all became close friends. Still, it just goes to show that nobody's perfect — not even Angels.