Category: Movies

Jessica Chastain Joined ‘It: Chapter Two’ Because She’s a Stephen King Fan Who Loves How Horror ‘Empowers Women’

Jessica Chastain Joined ‘It: Chapter Two’ Because She’s a Stephen King Fan Who Loves How Horror ‘Empowers Women’

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“I remember reading ‘Pet Sematary.’ Ohhh, I was so young when I read that book, and I got so scared,” Chastain recalled in a recent interview with IndieWire.

It was the kind of casting that seems preordained: When Jessica Chastain was officially tapped in February to play the adult Beverly Marsh in the much-anticipated horror sequel “It: Chapter Two,” the news came only after months of fans dream casting the redhead for the role, drumming up enough chatter that Chastain herself happily admitted to wanting the role in November of last year. The chance to take on the part of grown up Beverly (played by Sophia Lillis in the 2017 horror hit) also appealed to Chastain because it would reunite her with two of her favorite collaborators: director Andy Muschietti and his producer sister Barbara Muschietti.

But that wasn’t the only element that spoke to her. Like plenty of other genre fans, Chastain grew up reading Stephen King’s books and watching the movies they inspired, even if she was perhaps a smidge too young to dip into his brand of terror.

“Oh, yeah. I remember reading ‘Pet Sematary,‘” Chastain said in a recent interview with IndieWire. “Ohhh, I was so young when I read that book, and I got so scared. And I watched that movie so many times. I read ‘The Shining.’ I really like his writing.

The actress, who is currently promoting this week’s release “Woman Walks Ahead” (more on that, including an interview with Chastain and her director Susanna White, to come), is also a big fan of the horror genre, one she believes has often provided the kind of empowered parts for women that still aren’t prevalent in Hollywood.

I actually love the horror genre, because I found that in the past — I think things are changing now — but in the past the horror genre [in particular] really has great female characters,Chastain said. “I’m very happy to work again in a genre that actually has empowered women. And in that genre, you usually see the person surviving at the end being the lady. Do you know what I mean? She conquers the monsters or the bad guys, and she walks away at the end.

As Chastain also noted, the film is her third foray into the genre, including “Mama” and “Crimson Peak.

In King’s original 1986 novel, young Beverly and her friends battle the terrifying clown Pennywise, before growing up (and apart) into very different adults, forever linked by the horrors of their childhood in fictional Derry, Maine. Beverly, the lone girl in the self-professed Losers Club, escapes Derry for big city life in Chicago, going on to become a successful fashion designer.

Yet the scars of her early life run deep, and adult Beverly has spent much of her life in abusive relationships that harken back to her childhood with her evil father. When Pennywise appears again in Derry, the Losers are forced to come back together to take him out once and for all, just as they vowed so many years before.

The “It: Chapter Two” cast also includes James McAvoy, Xavier Dolan, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, and Isaiah Mustafa. Bill Skarsgård is returning in the role of Pennywise. Production is now underway in Toronto.

Warner Bros. Pictures will release “It: Chapter Two” in theaters nationwide September 6, 2019.

New stills of “Woman Walks Ahead”!

New stills of “Woman Walks Ahead”!

New stills of Jessica in her upcoming film “Woman Walks Ahead” were realesed.

Jessica Chastain plays 19th century painter Catherine Weldon, who travels to North Dakota to paint a portrait of Chief Sitting Bull.

A clip was also released by A24, in which Jessica‘s character is accused of being a spy by an US Army officer.

 

The period drama from director Susanna White that is available now on DIRECTV and opens in theaters on June 29.

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 Movies > Woman Walks Ahead (2017) > Stills

Jessica Chastain Powers Female-Fronted Market Titles

Jessica Chastain Powers Female-Fronted Market Titles

Big-budget, women-led projects like the $75 million-plus spy thriller ‘355’ are tempting buyers with an of-the-moment spin on genres normally reserved for men.

When it comes to big-budget, high-level fare, the Cannes market has always been a man’s world. But at this year’s incarnation, there’s a slew of female-fronted genre films that are upending that paradigm.

Led by the James Bond-esque spy pic package 355, which will star Jessica Chastain, Fan Bingbing, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyong’o, the market appears to be catching up with the larger cultural phenomenon of women demanding their equal place amid the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

The five actresses joined 355 director Simon Kinberg for a Thursday presentation at the Majestic Hotel — easily the most glamorous event thus far at this year’s otherwise sleepy Cannes. Festival glitz typically takes place on a red carpet and involves a finished film. Such was not the case with the 355 presentation, whose collective star power easily eclipsed any other event of the festival to date.

Adding to the intrigue, the five women were transported by boat to a photo op near the famed Hotel du Cap. After the presentation, Chastain, who is producing the film, headed to a lunch reception at the Majestic, sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter and DirecTV on the Grey Goose Terrace.

The standing-room-only crowd of 300 included top buyers — both domestic and international — to hear the pitch. Sources say the film’s budget will exceed $75 million, making it one of the priciest Cannes market titles of all time. Chastain, who served as a Cannes juror last year, was disheartened by the female representations in the films she screened. So, she handpicked and enlisted Fan, Cotillard, Cruz and Nyong’o — “Luckily they all said yes,Chastain told the buyers — as well as her X-Men: Dark Phoenix director Kinberg.

There’s no script yet, but according to Vanity Fair‘s Rebecca Keegan, who accidently was allowed into the no-press, top-secret presentation before she was kicked out while live tweeting, the plot revolves around five spies from agencies around the world who form their own team, dubbed 355. Theresa Rebeck (Catwoman) is writing the screenplay.

FilmNation, which is selling the film internationally, already is seeing brisk business, quickly landing a deal with SND for France. In the U.S., the filmmakers are looking for a theatrical distributor and see 355 as a franchise starter.

“It’s an interesting concept and definitely timely,” says eOne’s Benjamina Mirnik-Voges, who was at the presentation and buys for Germany. “The question is whether it will appeal to both female as well as male audiences, which still make up the main audience for action movies.”

Regardless, 355 isn’t an outlier this year. The market also boasts such titles as the Mila Kunis-Kate McKinnon buddy action pic The Spy Who Dumped Me, which Lionsgate is selling internationally. The Salma Hayek vehicle The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, a female spin on the Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson action film The Hitman’s Bodyguard, is being shopped here by Millennium, which also is putting together The Expendabelles, a spinoff on its hit action franchise The Expendables.

“It’s great to see female-driven films being championed,” says Millennium’s Jeffrey Greenstein. “There are so many talented women that deserve the opportunity. It’s an exciting time.”

The 355 presentation arrived two days ahead of what is expected to be a headline-grabbing moment for women in Cannes. On Saturday night, before the world premiere of director Eva Husson’s competition title Girls of the Sun, 82 women will walk the carpet in solidarity, representing the 82 female filmmakers who have had films in the main competition in its 71 years — a paltry representation.

Still, the box-office performance of female-led genre films will dictate whether that trend is here to stay. One key test will take place June 8, when Warner Bros. releases the female ensemble heist film Ocean’s 8, starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway. Recent films like the Scarlett Johansson action film Lucy, which earned $463 million worldwide, have defied the conventional wisdom that genre films should be an XY affair. Says Kinberg: “I feel lucky to be able to do something that will shake up not just the spy genre but also Hollywood to show that an ensemble of women are as commercially viable as any ensemble of men.”

The Hollywood Reporter 

Jessica Chastain joins to Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o and Fan Bingbing to promote their spy thriller 355 in Cannes

Jessica Chastain joins to Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o and Fan Bingbing to promote their spy thriller 355 in Cannes

On May 10, Jessica Chastain joined to Penelope CruzMarion CotillardLupita Nyong’o and Fan Bingbing at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival to promote their upcoming spy thriller 355.

Deadline reported last week that the idea for the project came from Chastain wanting to start a Bourne-like franchise about top secret female spies from around the world coming together to fight some bad guys.

The five ladies attached to the film all come from different countries — Chastain was born in California; Cruz is from Spain; Nyong’o was born in Mexico and grew up in Kenya’ Cotillard is French, while Bingbing is from China.

Chastain said that she wanted to make the film after having “so much fun working on The Help with its star-studded ensemble of high-profile actresses — almost all of whom have gone on to win Academy Awards since the 2011 film. She’s listed as a producer on the upcoming project, which has yet to start filming. No director has been announced as of yet.

I love the Bourne movies, the Mission: Impossible films, and wondered why, except for Charlie’s Angels, there hadn’t been a true female ensemble action-thriller spy film,Chastain told the outlet. “That got my wheels going, along with the idea of casting actresses from all over the world to truly make it an international project. I called all the women, told them what I was envisioning and that I wanted it to be a collaborative process, and how we would all create this together.”

 And the Zero Dark Thirty actress wanted to make sure Cannes was the place they announced their movie, which is currently shopping for distribution at the annual event.“The one thing that felt important is that we all show up at Cannes, because that would be the beginning of our journey together,” she explained. “Every single actress I called said yes, on the phone call. They committed to Cannes and to everything. So far it has been a very wonderfully easy process.

Jessica was wearing a dress by Wolk MoraisPiaget jewelry and Jimmy Choo shoes. Check the pictures in our gallery:

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 Appearances & Public Events > 2018 > May 10 │The Hollywood Reporter And DIRECTV Celebrate ‘355’ At The Grey Goose Terrace at the 71st Cannes Film Festival

 Appearances & Public Events > 2018 > May 10 │’355′ photocall during the 71st Cannes Film Festival

Spy Film ‘355’ Scores Big Deal With French Distributor SND

Spy Film ‘355’ Scores Big Deal With French Distributor SND

DEADLINE – The all-star spy thriller 355 has scored its first major territorial deal, with FilmNation Entertainment and CAA Media Finance Group setting a whopping deal in France with SND this evening.

That deal was made before tomorrow’s affair at the Cannes Majestic where director Simon Kinberg will be on hand with Jessica ChastainMarion CotillardPenelope CruzFan Bingbing and Lupita Nyong’o to discuss their ambition for the spy ensemble, before a crowd of international and domestic buyers. Deadline revealed the project last week and this week placed it atop the most anticipated list of star packages unveiled at the Cannes Market.

SND was particularly passionate and aggressive and the filmmakers decided, why wait to make the first deal?

As Deadline reported last week, the film has a script by Theresa Rebeck and the hope is to launch a franchise based on an idea by Chastain to construct aBourne Identity-like thriller revolving around five accomplished secret agents from countries around the world. They have to overcome suspicions and political differences to form a spy sisterhood to thwart a common enemy.

When Chastain described her idea to Kinberg while they worked together on X-Men: Dark Phoenix, he said yes immediately, and the actresses followed suit and agreed to come to Cannes tomorrow (Cruz is already here for the opening night film Everybody Knows, which sold to Focus Features). FilmNation is selling international and CAA Media Finance Group is selling North American and Chinese distribution rights. Freckle Films’ Chastain and Kelly Carmichael are producing with Kinberg and his Kinberg Genre banner.

Chastain wove some of the spy craft she learned starring in Zero Dark Thirty, and she has brought in some intelligence experts to inject cutting edge technology to help shape the narrative. That inside baseball stuff included the title, which was the code name of the first female spy in the American Revolution and became jargon for a female intelligence agent. It certainly feels like the filmmakers will be going home with a slew of deals on this one.