See Jessica Chastain Lead A Trio of Dangerous Spies In First Look At The 355

By Cristina Alexander | 18 seconds ago

jessica chastain

Jessica Chastain has been making some serious girl power moves both onscreen and off the set for most of her acting career. Most of her filmography consists of movies with feminist themes, like The Help, Miss Sloane, Molly’s Game, Ava, and even X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the 12th film in the X-Men series, which is one of her favorites because it placed more emphasis on female characters than its predecessors. Now she’s kicking her female empowerment up a notch by starring as a spy in her upcoming film, The 355.

Empire Magazine released a photo giving a first look at Jessica Chastain leading a trio of dangerous female spies from all around the world. Among the badass women are Lupita Nyong’o, who plays former MI6 ally and computer specialist Khadijah, and Diane Kruger, who plays rival German BND agent Marie Schmidt. The 355‘s name is derived from a codename given to a female spy for the Patriots during the American Revolution, whose true identity remains unknown to this very day.

jessica chastain
Photo by Empire

Jessica Chastain told Empire that The 355 was a passion project, pitching the idea of a female-led spy film to Simon Kinberg after working with him on X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which led him to become both writer and director of the project. She believes that the movie industry has been getting female spies wrong, saying that they’ve been seeing them more as bombshells rather than intelligent women, like the Bond Girls in the 007 films or Charlie’s Angels (both the 1970s Farrah Fawcett TV show and the 2000s films led by Cameron Diaz; never mind the Minka Kelly-led 2011 show.) “They’ve portrayed them as honeypots, and that’s not the reality of the situation,” she said. “Women weren’t being used for their bodies, they were being used for their minds, which is a more interesting concept.”

In Jessica Chastain’s mind, The 355 is an opportunity for her to turn the film into a political act, as she aims to allow kids and teens of all genders to see women taking up action hero roles. While searching for more challenging female roles — as well as looking at the roles she’s played so far and the movies she signed onto in the last seven years, asking herself what difference she’s making and how she can shape conversations of her audience and society as a whole — she never dreamed of being an action hero until she pitched The 355 to Simon Kinsberg. “I never really had the dream of being an action hero at all, but the reality is that I’m excited to have 13-year-old girls and 13-year-old boys see women in these roles. It’s very important for society. We’ve moved against the status quo, and we’re creating our own narrative for it. This film is, in some sense, a political act.”

It’s unknown if The 355 will be a one-off film or the beginning of a new spy thriller franchise. Although the idea for the movie was inspired by an unnamed historical figure, it’s not based on any original source material about spies like the 007 films and Charlie’s Angels, which, according to ScreenRant, might make establishing The 355 as an IP franchise quite difficult. But with Chastain taking the lead to show that female spies are more than bombshells, that might make a difference.