Charlie’s Angels Director Says It Isn’t A Feminist Movie

Charlie's Angels director Elizabeth Banks says the movie was not made to be a feminist film, but an action movie.

By Matthew Creith | Published

As far as female directors go, Elizabeth Banks seems to understand how to blend comedy with entertaining storylines, as she has successfully done with the Pitch Perfect series of films. Her effort to relaunch Charlie’s Angels in 2019 was met with mixed reviews from critics and a less than stellar box office return, although many moviegoers felt that Banks may have tried to make a feminist film with the newest addition to the franchise. However, Elizabeth Banks has gone on record to dispel those rumors, stating that the 2019 Sony Pictures version of Charlie’s Angels was not meant to be a feminist movie in the first place.

According to a report by Deadline, director Elizabeth Banks confirms that her reboot of Charlie’s Angels was meant to be purely an action movie akin to something like the Mission: Impossible franchise starring Tom Cruise, however, others might have viewed it as an activism attempt to make a feminist movie. Banks explained her position by saying that women aren’t being called upon to direct movies like Mission: Impossible and “I was able to direct an action movie, frankly, because it starred women and I’m a female director, and that is the confine right now in Hollywood.” The director goes on to say that the marketing of the film was geared towards depicting it as a movie for women only, even though she didn’t take on the project to just appeal to one-half of a mass audience.

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Unfortunately for Elizabeth Banks, Charlie’s Angels was not a standout financially for Sony Pictures and audiences. The film went on to gross just shy of $74 million at the box office against a production budget of $55 million and an advertising budget of $50 million, making it one of the biggest box office disappointments the year it was released. Critics weren’t too keen on the movie either, as Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks Charlie’s Angels with 52% on its Tomatometer based on 231 critics’ reviews.

The 2019 adaptation of Charlie’s Angels came after the popular television series that began in the 1970s, which progressed into two films in the early aughts starring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu. Elizabeth Banks’ addition to the franchise starred Kristen StewartAladdin’s Naomi Scott, and British actor Ella Balinska, making it one of the more diverse casts in the history of the franchise. The concept of all of the movies remained similar throughout, showcasing a group of women working for a private detective agency in order to save the world from evil-doers, although the Elizabeth Banks-directed version served as an introduction to a new generation of Angels.

Elizabeth Banks commented on the mismanagement of marketing Charlie’s Angels while on a press tour for her newest film, Call Jane, highlighting the abortion fight women have had to navigate throughout modern American history. She is following up her directing efforts with a new movie called Cocaine Bear, which is due to be released in February 2023. Cocaine Bear stars the late Ray Liotta, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Alden Ehrenreich, Keri Russell, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. and is inspired by the true story of a drug smuggler whose cocaine-filled plane crashes and is found by a black bear who eats it.