Universal Pictures has dated its spy thriller “355,” starring Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, Fan Bingbing and Penelope Cruz, for a Jan. 15, 2021, release.
Simon Kinberg is set to direct from a script he co-wrote with Theresa Rebeck. The movie follows a group of spies from international agencies around the world. These women must bond together, overcoming their suspicions and conflicts, to stop an event from occurring that could thrust the world into chaos. A new faction is formed – code-named “355,” a name they adopt from the first female spy in the American Revolution. Sebastian Stan and Edgar Ramirez also co-star.
Producers are Chastain and Kelly Carmichael for Chastain’s Freckle Films and by Kinberg for his Genre Films. The film is executive produced by Richard Hewitt (“Bohemian Rhapsody”).
Chastain proposed the idea for a female-led spy film while working with Kinberg on this summer’s “Dark Phoenix.” The cast came together during 2018 with CAA Film Finance brokering the deal and Film Nation handling international sales.
“355” hit a hurdle, however, when a whistleblower accused Fan of tax evasion. The actress stepped out of the limelight in her home country of China, and admitted to wrongdoing on social media. The spy thriller will mark Fan’s first big-screen role since the scandal.
Universal had already dated the film for Jan. 15, 2021, as an untitled Universal event movie. It’s currently the only release on the date.
Moving from one strong role to the next frequently takes Jessica Chastain into the inspiring territory of time and space which, she tells Sarah Edworthy, we can all use to explore what we are truly capable of.
Like many kids growing up in the 1980s, Jessica Chastain’s first watch was a Swatch. “That was the big collector’s item, and we would wear more than one at a time,” she recalls. “I had a bunch of them. One was lime green, one was pink… I took pride in my watches. They made me feel like a grown-up, especially going to school where you feel like you have no control of your time, when your schedule is laid out in front of you each day. With a watch, I was master of my calendar.”
Her first timepiece instilled an enduring love of punctuality. “I actually set my watch ahead of time so I can always arrive early,” she says from LA, over a phone line crossing several time zones and, fittingly for this Space issue, as crackly as a radio signal to an orbiting space craft. That early sense of being in control of time, of being aware of its constraints, also informs Chastain’s film work. Drawn to playing strong, single-minded, driven women who want to influence destinies on a social, historic or galactic scale, hers is a career in which timepieces have added a special dimension to the story. “My characters definitely wear watches,” she concurs. Sometimes they are badges of personality or mission, such as the heavy-duty, functional watch she wears when playing an indefatigable CIA operative hunting down Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty. In the dystopian sci-fi Interstellar, a wristwatch is the device on which the entire plot turns.
Off-set, Chastain at 42 says she now simply wears a watch to complete an outfit. “In my everyday clothes or my eveningwear, I always think whatever I’m wearing could benefit from something on my wrist. I choose a watch to ground my outfit. Watches now are like jewellery pieces to me.” She took this watch-as-detail sensibility into Miss Sloane, the 2017 political thriller directed by John Madden in which her character is a ruthless, work-all-hours political lobbyist in Washington DC, a ticking timebomb of a powerbroker adorned with Piaget wristwear.
“It was important to me that we presented Elizabeth Sloane as someone who wore a watch all the time because she is very structured with her agenda,” she says. “She doesn’t allow herself any time when she is not moving forward in her desire to outsmart the opposition. Her wardrobe is sharp and elegant: the way she presents herself is the armour she wears in a man’s world. And she has really cool watches.”
Eagle-eyed horology experts will appreciate the Piaget watches. By day, Chastain/Sloane wore the Dancer watch in white gold, set with 36 brilliant-cut diamonds, with a sapphire caseback and white gold bracelet. For evening, she wore a traditional oval watch in white gold, set with 24 brilliant-cut diamonds, on a white gold bracelet. She is never without one or the other. As Chastain says, “The engine keeps running on this character.”
A life based around the rigours of film schedules calls for a certain amount of laissez-faire. Each film involves stepping into a time warp. “Everything gets turned on its head,” she says. “We could have our lunch break at 6pm or at midnight, depending on what we’re shooting. For me, it’s usually a question of ‘do I have enough time to do all the things I want to do?’ Last year I made four films and my personal and work life was very scheduled. It was important that it matched up and that there was time to do every-thing in a manner that would benefit the film and myself.”
To many, Chastain seemed to rocket into recognition in 2011 with the release of six films, including Coriolanus with Ralph Fiennes, The Tree of Life opposite Brad Pitt, and The Help, a role for which she won multiple award nominations. The reality, she says, was a slow, steady ascent, fuelled by a packed CV. “It took a long time before I got the chances to audition for films that I was excited about being in,” she says. “Films hovered. Or stalled. It took a while for films to come out… And then I was busy, busy, busy making up for the opportunities I had missed.”
Around the same time as her Swatch-watch phase, Chastain recalls watching Alien. She has often described Sigourney Weaver’s performance as a kickass crew member aboard the spaceship Nostromo as a lightbulb moment: “I realised for the first time that there could be more than one kind of role for an actress—that a woman could be this fully realised, active, multi-dimensional character. And she couldn’t only be all of that, she could also be a hero.” Thirty-odd years later, Chastain got the call from Ridley Scott herself, for The Martian, and was cast as Melissa Lewis, the captain of a mission to Mars.
From being master of her school schedule, Chastain time-travelled to being a master of the universe, drawn to sci-fi roles in Interstellar and The Martian because of directors Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott. “I was already interested in space, but I knew those directors were going to tell a fascinating story and I was going to learn a lot,” she says. “Interstellar ignited my interest, opening my mind to the idea that space is the great unknown and there is so much we can learn about ourselves when we explore the galaxy.” She recommends The Science of Interstellar, a book by Kip Thorn, a theoretical physicist who helped with the concept of the movie. “It explains all the space-time theories in our film and how they interconnect, and I found it fascinating.”
By showing Einstein’s theory of relativity as a human story, Interstellar achieves the actress’s goal: to make you see the world in a different way. Professor Brand, the architect of the NASA mission exploring alternative planets for human survival (played by Michael Caine), is not afraid of death, only of time. The crew consider time as a resource on a par with food or oxygen: it will run out. Like all good thrillers, the denouement is a down-to-the-wire race against time or, in this case, a race to the gravitational flickering of the second hand of a wristwatch.
To prepare for her role in The Martian, Chastain met with “some incredible astronauts and scientists” at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. She was also dismayed by the low profile of women throughout the Space Age. “At NASA, there was a hall-of-fame type wall of all the astronauts who had left Earth and spacewalked. I was really disheartened to see how few were women. Like every industry, the space industry discriminates against women. That is pretty clear when you see the history, visually, up on the wall. We have a real long way to go to make that up.
“All you have to do is research the Mercury 13 programme,” she continues, referring to the 13 American women who were privately funded to participate in the same physiological screening tests as the astronauts selected by NASA in 1959 for Project Mercury.
“You discover that the United States actively discriminated against women. There were female pilots who were scoring much higher on the astronaut tests than the men, and yet they had to go and lobby for the inclusion of women in front of Congress. In 1962, John Glenn, one of the Mercury Seven [the military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA as the nation’s first astronauts], testified against the women, saying ‘the fact that women are not in this field is a fact of our social order’. Great strides are being made now, but we have a long way to go to make up for the discrimination of women who were never allowed to achieve their ambitions.”
Chastain hopes that a young girl could see her in The Martian and be inspired to join NASA. “Or not just join NASA, but maybe be a leader, the commander of a mission to Mars,” she says. “When you see these depictions of strong women in the media then the idea of a woman leading a space mission doesn’t seem like it’s out of reach. I feel a responsibility in the roles I take. My goal is for a young girl to see that and step forward herself.”
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Photoshoots & Portraits > 2019 > #004 Vanity Fair
Inclusion. Representation. Diversity. Agency. Equality. On-screen and off-screen, these women are shaping the future of Hollywood.
A little over a year ago, as revelations of misbehavior by powerful men sparked a global reckoning, a group of women in entertainment came together to talk about what they could do to prevent abuse and ensure equity for working women.
The result was Time’s Up, an organization committed to building a world that insists on safe, fair, and dignified work for women of all kinds. What started in Hollywood has grown to a coalition of women spanning industries and geographies, with more women meeting and organizing every day.
Time’s Up Entertainment is now just one of the many affiliates working to solve industry-specific challenges, and the women involved are united in their unwavering commitment to keep fighting until their female peers have the opportunity to reach their full potential at work.
Here, some of the organization’s most engaged women share what inspired their participation, what keeps them motivated in their activism, and how they plan to create lasting change. Please read these stories, and join us on this journey at TimesUpNow.com.
—Nithya Raman, Executive Director of Time’s Up Entertainment
Hello guys! After some speculation we finally have the confirmation that Jessica has become a mother ♥ She was seen with baby Giulietta going to the set of her new movie and in the streets of Boston and New York, we are very happy for Jessica and Gian and we wish all happiness the new family!
Jessica Chastain and her husband Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo have a new bundle of joy.
The actress, 41, and Passi de Preposulo welcomed baby Giulietta Passi Chastain via surrogate, Page Six has learned.
The now-family-of-three was spotted on the Upper East Side this week on their way to a pediatrician’s office. Chastain carried Giuletta in a baby carrier as they walked the streets of New York and were joined by a woman who is possibly the baby’s nanny.
The “Zero Dark Thirty” star, who is known to keep her personal life private, was also seen pushing a stroller in Boston a month ago while filming her upcoming movie, “Eve.”
We’re told the baby girl is about four months old – and is already quite the traveler. She joined her mom and dad in Paris, as Chastain appeared at an inaugural Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the upscale department store Galeries Lafayette last week.
Chastain and Passi de Preposulo — a fashion exec who comes from a well-known family in Italy — tied the knot in 2017.
A rep for the actress did not immediately respond to our request for comment
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Candids > 2018 > Nov 13 │Out and about with her daughter and husband in NYC
Exact plot details are still scarce on Eve, the action flick starring and produced by Jessica Chastain, but if the bloody official first look image from Voltage Pictures is any indication things do not go well for the two-time Oscar nominee.
Tate Taylor (The Girl on the Train) is directing a script from Who We Are Now writer Matthew Newton, who was originally slated to direct himself before dropping out amid reports of his 2007 domestic violence charges. Chastain will both produce and star as Eve, an assassin on the run from her own former employers. Here’s the official logline, courtesy of Voltage.
Eve (Jessica Chastain) is a deadly assassin who works for a black ops organization, traveling the globe specializing in high profile hits. When a job goes dangerously wrong she is forced to fight for her own survival.
Joining Chastain on the project is Colin Farrell, who is coming off Steve McQueen‘s Oscar-buzzy heist drama Widows. Chastain has a hefty slate of high-profile projects in front of her; the actress is currently shooting Andy Muschietti‘s It: Chapter Two alongside Bill Hader and James McAvoy, and is also set to appear in next year’s X-Men blockbuster Dark Phoenix from writer/director Simon Kinberg.
Nicolas Chartier and Dominic Rustam are producing Eve for Voltage Pictures, with Chastain and Kelly Carmichael co-producing for Freckle Films. Jonathan Deckter, John Norris, Erika Hampson, and William Earon are on-board as executive producers.
“Matt Newton wrote a wonderful new character in Eve and Jessica Chastain will once again deliver an amazing performance,” Chartier said in a statement back when the film was first announced.
Check out the image below. Voltage Pictures is set to shop around Eve—which also stars John Malkovich, Geena Davis, Common, and Joan Chen—to buyers at the 2018 American Film Market, which runs from October 31 to November 7.
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Movies > Eve (2019) > Production Stills