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The 355 Release Date, Cast And Plot - What We Know So Far

Hollywood has long been criticized for a lack of representation in films, and movies like "The 355" are hoping to bring about long-needed change. "The 355" is an upcoming female-led spy thriller that stars Jessica Chastain, who reportedly came up with the idea for the film specifically as an answer to decades of male-dominated spy movies, like the James Bond franchise. "My goals and dreams for 'The 355' is that we just accept the fact that women are awesome and tough and badass," Chastain told Deadline. "I'm excited for society to start acknowledging what's happening in our world." Even the film's title is a nod to its feminist mission – it's named for Agent 355, a legendary Revolutionary War spy for George Washington whose identity is still unknown (via History of American Women).

Universal Pictures released the trailer for "The 355" on Oct. 6, 2020. And based on the trailer, it looks like "The 355" more than lives up to Agent 355's legacy. Here's everything know so far about "The 355."

What is the release date for The 355?

According to the film's distributor Universal Pictures, "The 355" will arrive in theaters on January 7, 2022. Like many films, the original release date was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was initially scheduled for a premiere during Martin Luther King Day weekend of 2021 until Universal pushed it back to Martin Luther King Day weekend 2022. At that point, Universal's plan was to release it on January 14. But in December 2020, the company moved the release up a week to the weekend of January 7, where only one other film is currently scheduled for a premiere (via Deadline). 

As reported by Variety, Chastain came up with the original idea for the film and pitched it to director Simon Kinberg while both were in production on "Dark Phoenix" in mid-2017, envisioning it as a female-led counterpart to franchises like "Mission: Impossible" and the Jason Bourne series. Kinberg is also directing "The 355."

Who's in the cast of The 355?

"The 355" has an all-star cast that includes multiple Academy Award nominees and winners. Jessica Chastain plays Mason "Mace" Brown, a CIA agent tasked with recovering a stolen piece of military hardware. She's the team leader but also a loose cannon. Lupita Nyong'o plays Khadijah, an MI6 computer expert. Diane Kruger plays Marie, a capable agent from Germany and Mace's rival. Penélope Cruz rounds out the main quartet as Graciela, a psychologist from Colombia.

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing plays Lin Mi Sheng, an enigmatic character who's assigned to follow the squad and report on their activities — although it's not clear yet if she's the film's antagonist or if she has another role in the story. Finally, Sebastian Stan and Édgar Ramírez both have supporting roles as Nick and Luis, two intelligence agency employees: Nick works for the CIA, while Luis works for Colombia's National Intelligence Directorate.

What is the plot of The 355?

According to the movie's website, the basic premise of "The 355" is a classic spy-thriller setup. As a spy story, it shies away from the subjects of earlier espionage movies like the Cold War and the War on Terror: Instead, it takes place in a modern world where malicious non-state groups can threaten the world's superpowers from anywhere in the world as long as they have an Internet connection.

The story begins when a mercenary steals a piece of top-secret military technology. The trailer doesn't specify what the gadget is, but does indicate that it's capable of starting World War III if it falls into the wrong hands.

CIA Agent Mace Brown (Chastain) is assigned with recovering the device, and she recruits three experts with special skills to help with the task. Khadijah is an MI6 agent and an expert in computers — a crucial skill, given what they're up against. Graciela is a Colombian psychology expert, while Marie is Mace's counterpart from Germany. Based on the trailer, Khadijah and Graciela both have important people in their lives whom the mercenaries will presumably target — Khadijah has a long-term partner while Graciela has two kids.