Category: Articles

Jessica Chastain star in a spy movie with Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Fan Bingbing and Lupita Nyong

Jessica Chastain star in a spy movie with Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Fan Bingbing and Lupita Nyong

DEADLINE –  Hard to imagine there will be a hotter film package unveiled at Cannes next week than 355, a large-scale espionage film that Simon Kinberg will direct with an all-star international spy cast of Jessica ChastainMarion CotillardPenelope CruzFan Bingbing and Lupita Nyong’o. They’ll play international agents in a grounded, edgy action thriller that aims to alter a male-dominated genre with a true female ensemble, in the style of spy franchises The Bourne Identity, Mission: Impossible and James Bond. The script is by Theresa Rebeck. The hope is to launch a franchise.

The actresses will be on hand with Kinberg next week to pitch their vision to international buyers at the Majestic Hotel on the Croisette. FilmNation Entertainment will sell international and CAA Media Finance Group will rep North American and Chinese distribution rights. Freckle Films’ Chastain and Kelly Carmichael are producing with Kinberg and his Kinberg Genre banner.

Kinberg just directed and Chastain starred in X-Men: Dark Phoenix. The idea for 355 came from Chastain, and she pitched it to him while they worked on that superhero film on which Kinberg made his feature directing debut. It didn’t take long for Chastain to get commitments from the filmmaker, and the actresses.

I had so much fun working on The Help that I always wanted to do another female ensemble film,” Chastain told Deadline. “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. 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 realized the incredible creative freedom we would have with that. I brought the idea to Simon, told him about the actresses I was thinking of, and he was so sweet. He said, ‘I want to do it with you.’

Then 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,Chastain said. “The one thing that felt important is that we all show up at Cannes, because that would be the beginning of our journey together. 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.

Beyond The Help, the project that most helped inform Chastain’s appetite for espionage was Zero Dark Thirty, for which she also was Oscar-nominated. Through that research, Chastain found the film’s title.

When I was preparing for Zero Dark Thirty, I had incredible resources working in the CIA I got to learn from,” she said. “We have a consultant in our film that has a lot of knowledge in espionage. This title came from one of the conversations I had with him. Agent 355 was the code name of a female spy during the American Revolution. She was one of the very first spies for the United States, and her identity is still unknown. For a lot of women who work in the CIA and other organizations like that, Code 355 is a universal slang term for female spy. It’s the invisible woman who was never named.

Kinberg said that tonally, the Bourne franchise is the touchstone, only here the agents will be women, and they will share the screen equally.

It won’t be as hyperbolic as some franchises, and unlike the other films that revolve around one main character, the goal here is the true ensemble, all these characters who have their own distinct traits, histories — fully formed and complex characters with equal weight in the film. That’s unique, as is having all female spies. We are digging into the reality of spy craft today. There are all kinds of things that seem out of a James Bond or even a sci-fi movie, but the technology is so advanced that it’s real. Having someone who knows that reality informing the script has been really helpful.

The film involves these top agents from organizations around the world uniting to stop a global organization from acquiring a weapon that could plunge an already unstable world into total chaos. They have to overcome cultural and political differences to form a bond and work together.

What we can say is, they come up against an organization larger than the established spy organizations we’ve known up to this point,” said Kinberg, long the creative spine of the X-Men franchise and who’s separately writing and producing a Star Wars film. “We are hoping to create a franchise with this, and the first film will be the agents coming together.

While the cast creates the opportunity for glamour to go along with the global locations and action set pieces, this will not be some campy outing. Those Zero Dark Thirty experiences with Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal set Chastain’s bar for reality very high.

It’s a film and not a documentary, but our goal is to make this action spy thriller as authentic as we can, with as much trade craft as we can,” she said. “So when people in these organizations, in the CIA or MI6 around the world see the film, my goal is they will say, ‘Wow, this is pretty authentic. They got it.’ That was the thing I loved the most in making Zero Dark Thirty.

The other thing that was important was to broaden the opportunities and expectations for women in this #MeToo moment, something that means a great deal to Chastain and her co-stars.

The action genre has long been dominated by male heroes, and it’s so exciting to be part of a film that will allow for not just one female action hero but a whole ensemble of very capable, fierce female characters that reject tired stereotypes,” she said. “Characters that liberate from the confines of stereotypical traits. That is something that excited me about this, the opportunity to create different types of female heroes.

Kinberg is repped by CAA and attorney Karl Austen; Chastain is CAA, Mosaic and Hansen Jacobson; Cotillard is CAA and Adequat; Cruz is CAA, Untitled and Kuranda Management; Bingbing is CAA and Nyong’o is CAA and Del Shaw.

Jake Gyllenhaal And Jessica Chastain To Star In ‘The Division’ From ‘Atomic Blonde’ Director David Leitch

Jake Gyllenhaal And Jessica Chastain To Star In ‘The Division’ From ‘Atomic Blonde’ Director David Leitch

Variety – “Deadpool 2” director David Leitch has set his sights on his next project, signing on to helm Ubisoft’s “The Division” movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain.

The news comes just months after it was announced that he’s also on board to direct the “Fast and Furious” spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Sources stress that the Universal spinoff will shoot first, as that film is already set to go into production this fall, and the hope is that Leitch would move on to prep “The Division” some time in 2019.

“Gold” director Stephen Gaghan was previously attached to helm the video game adaptation, but has since left the project.

Leitch’s producing partner, Kelly McCormick, will produce along with Leitch through their 87Eleven banner, as well as Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker of Nine Stories and Chastain and Kelly Carmichael of Freckle Films alongside Ubisoft Motion Pictures.

Based on the best-selling video game, the story is set in a near future where a pandemic virus is spread via paper money on Black Friday, decimating New York City and killing millions. By Christmas, what’s left of society has descended into chaos. A group of civilians, trained to operate in catastrophic times, is activated in an attempt to save who and what remains.

Developed and published by Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment with assistance from Red Storm Entertainment, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, the third-person shooter quickly became the fastest-selling new IP in video game history after its initial launch. Ubisoft recently announced that the game reached the milestone of 20 million players and a sequel is in development with more details to be unveiled at E3 next month.

Gyllenhaal and Chastain have been with the film project since its conception and have been persistent in making sure that it matches the tone of the video game, while also reaching audiences who appreciate the actors’ own past work.

As for Leitch, the stunt coordinator-turned-director has been a rising star on the action scene after he and his stunt partner, Chad Stahelski, broke out with the cult hit “John Wick.” Stahelski took the reins for “John Wick 2” as Leitch moved on to the Charlize Theron action movie “Atomic Blonde,” the film that helped land him the job of “Deadpool 2” after that sequel lost its director.

The early buzz around “Deadpool 2” proved so impressive that Johnson aggressively pursued Leitch for his “Fast and Furious” spinoff before the in-demand director could land his next film.

Leitch is repped by WME and attorney Tara Kole.

Fox Pushes ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ to 2019

Fox Pushes ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ to 2019

Deadline – 20th Century Fox is doing some major shuffling of some titles for this year and 2019. The release date for the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which has been going through some speed bumps with its directors, has been pushed up from December 25 to November 2 — the original release date for the X-Men sequel Dark Phoenix. Fans of the comic book franchise will have to sit tight as that one will now open on February 14, 2019.

The adaptation of Don Winslow’s The Force was originally scheduled for March 1, 2019. That movie is still in formation, as director James Mangold will first helm the untitled Ford Vs Ferrari period film that has Matt Damon and Christian Bale circling. Mangold will direct The Force, to follow, as the director is working on a rewrite with his Logan co-writer Scott Frank. Fox has dated the Joe Cornish epic medieval adventure The Kid Who Would Be King to the March 1, 2019 slot, moving from February 14, 2019.

Fox also announced that the Roxann Dawson’s faith-based pic Breakthrough starring Chrissy Metz and Topher Grace will be released on April 12, 2019 alongside the animated feature Spies in Disguise which was originally slated for January 18, 2019.

Finally, fanboys and fangirls will also have to wait a little longer for Fox’s horror-driven adaptation of The New Mutants (whose characters exist in the X-Men comic books). Originally slated for a February 22, 2019 release date, the pic will now debut on August 2, 2019.

Dark Phoenix will now open on February 14, 2019

Sequins and Push-up Bras: How Jessica Chastain Became Molly Bloom

Sequins and Push-up Bras: How Jessica Chastain Became Molly Bloom

VULTURE – The first time Molly Bloom walked into Barneys, the sales associate thought she was a sex worker. Dressed in a Denver Broncos sweatshirt and cut-offs, the ex-athlete from Colorado was trying to fit in at a new night gig that had her rubbing shoulders with Tobey Maguire and Ben Affleck: running the numbers for an exclusive poker game at the Viper Room. It wasn’t exactly the environment for what she considered her “best look” at the time — a floral dress from J.C. Penney that her new boss referred to as “ugly.” So, to Barneys she went, in search of something shorter, tighter, and sexier. Once she found a dress she liked, she paid in cash (because that’s how the poker players tipped her). Cue the eyebrow raises.

Molly’s Game, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, tells the story of Molly’s (Jessica Chastain) rise, fall, and eventual redemption in the high-stakes world of celebrity poker. But the sleek minidresses and evening gowns Molly wears throughout are as important to the story as the costumes from Gossip Girl or The Devil Wears Prada: Running the world’s premiere “decadent man cave” requires a strict uniform of cleavage-baring dresses and sharp blazers, dressed up for professionalism, but also designed to appeal to the male gaze. The movie’s parade of looks comes courtesy of costume designer Susan Lyall, who either found, designed, or tailored the costumes for Sorkin’s label-conscious heroine. “I spoke to Molly a few times, and obviously appearance is very important,” Lyall tells Vulture. “We talked a little bit about how she judged what was an appropriate thing to wear. She was kind of concerned about always looking a little bit businesslike — even if she had a plunging neckline, she’d throw on a blazer, just some element to suggest no-nonsense.

The final costume count ended up being a little over 90, with about 70 dresses. “Aaron made it very clear that she should always be incredibly sexy,” says Lyall. “The real Molly Bloom claims to have never worn the same outfit in front of the same players. Thus every game Jessica had to have a different costume.

Below, we lay out exactly how Lyall turned Jessica Chastain into Molly Bloom.

Amplify the cleavage
Chastain spends scene after scene in dark dresses with deep Vs or push-up bras — or both. But Lyall made sure it was never too much. “There were a lot of things we had to check off to make each costume appropriate: Was it sexy enough, which is a very subjective thing? In our case, that usually meant was there enough cleavage showing, but without looking trashy,” Lyall says. “She always had cleavage at a game. When she met with her attorney or someone else or was at her real-estate office, there wasn’t so much. But it was like going to war, like putting on her armor.

Sequins improve everything
One of the movie’s greatest dresses is a strapless pink DSquared minidress that Molly wears when she pulls over on Sunset Boulevard to take a call from a disgruntled player. “That dress was saved for that moment,” says Lyall. “We went back and forth, but Jessica thought it would be really strong to use in the shot on Sunset Boulevard standing outside the car.” In real life, Molly wasn’t so into sequins, Lyall says, but it was an effective way to keep the parade of Jessica’s black dresses interesting. The early games that Molly runs for her boss are set in the Viper Room’s dimly lit basement, and a little glitter helped her stand out. “[Sequins are] more photogenic,” Lyall adds. “It brings the attention to her a little bit, it just gave her more life.

Reading the room
In order to keep her poker table stacked with movie stars, finance bros, and pros, Molly has to recruit players everywhere, from glitzy benefit dinners to the aggressively beige Commerce Casino, lit by harsh fluorescent lights. One of the real Molly Bloom’s greatest gifts was adapting her style to any environment — even a casino in the suburbs. It was something Lyall wanted to re-create for the film. “She was good at her camouflage. She was bringing just enough attention to herself. She goes in once wearing a coral-colored top and jeans. Just a pretty woman going in there, she wasn’t overdressed, she wasn’t underdressed, just strikingly dressed,” Lyall explains. “It’s definitely a conscious decision on her part to both fit in, and yet catch the eye of the guy overseeing the whole place.

Don’t fear frills
Maybe the most important dress in the movie is the one Molly wears to pitch her big game. All of her men arrive to a suite at the Peninsula, and Molly calls them all to attention: She’s starting a new game with the same top-level service; play tonight and you’re guaranteed a chair for a year, or leave now and there’s no hard feelings. Initially, Lyall wasn’t into the dress — nude with black ruffles on the front — but Chastain insisted on it. “I thought it was a sort of ridiculously feminine dress, but it just nailed it! I thought at first that it was too much, but Jessica loved it,” Lyall says. “She thought it was the perfect attention-getting dress to keep all men’s eyes on her while she made that proposal. How could you resist that? It’s incredibly calculated.

Wear white
Once Molly moves cross-country to New York, everything becomes more luxurious and pricey. No more of those bright Los Angeles colors; instead, in a scene where she’s leaving the Plaza after the game, Molly dons a white fur coat. “That fake fur was just a fun fur,” Lyall says. “You could hardly see what she had on underneath [in the scene], so the coat had to be something that could read well on camera, read wealthy, and also read nouveau riche. White got that.” According to Lyall, white communicates an exclusive, impossibly fancy lifestyle: “If you have a white suit, that means you probably don’t really wear it that much, and when you do, a car is picking you up and taking you somewhere and you’re never going to get it dirty. We had a beautiful white La Perla suit in the lawyer’s office because it looked kind of professional, but clearly she’s not a human rights attorney… The business of a white suit is not the business of a navy suit, that’s for sure.

Chanel pearls
A lot of big-name accessories get a shout-out in Molly Bloom’s book, which inspired the film. But Bloom’s favorite piece was a Chanel pearl necklace — not the single-strand subtle type, but layers of pearls, the kind that inspired knockoffs from J.Crew and Claire’s. This necklace, which appears twice in the film, was the hardest item for Lyall to pin down. “In the book, she talks about buying Chanel pearls,” says Lyall. “They’re the interlocking Cs, they’re not subtle.” Lyall eventually found them on the internet.

The dark side
Key to turning Chastain into Bloom was marking her transitions: She’s nearly a ski pro when she leaves Colorado for Los Angeles, and by the time she makes it to New York, she’s taking uppers and downers and staying up all night. The color palette gets darker, and the dresses get a little more severe. Instead of the sequins and bright-pinks and reds from her L.A. days, Molly sticks to dark grays and blacks, with added details that make the whole look feel a little bit gloomier (just like Molly herself).

She went from dressed to impress to dressed to depressed,” Lyall says. “She did get harder — lots of black dresses with heavy zippers, dresses with more hardware … Her makeup got heavier, her clothes got darker, [and the neckline became] oppressively plunging sometimes.” But in the movie’s present-day timeline — where Molly is meeting with her lawyer (Idris Elba) and preparing her case — she tones it down in muted but luxe Montclair sweaters. “That’s a little Azazie Aliya twinset. That look is taken from research,” Lyall says. “She looked kind of demure for her sentencing. That was her version of looking respectful of the law. But she still had those pearls on!

Jessica Chastain in Talks to Star in ‘It’ Sequel

Jessica Chastain in Talks to Star in ‘It’ Sequel

VARIETYJessica Chastain is in negotiations to star in New Line’s “It” sequel as the adult version of Beverly, sources tell Variety.

Director Andy Muschietti is expected to return, though his deal to helm has not yet closed. Gary Dauberman will pen the script. Beverly was played by Sophia Lillis in the 2017 horror hit.

Sources stress that negotiations are early and that the script is still being worked on, but both sides have officially begun discussing her coming on to the project. Bill Skarsgard is also expected to return as Pennywise. The sequel will bow on Sept. 6, 2019, with production expected to start this summer.

Chastain has been linked to the sequel for some time following its monster opening weekend, as the Muschiettis mentioned her in an interview with Variety as a top choice to play adult Beverly in the sequel. Rumors even surfaced of a post-credits scene in which Chastain could have made a cameo, though that never came to fruition.

Another layer to the rumors: Chastain has worked with Muschietti before, having starred in his first studio hit, “Mama.”

Despite the speculation, New Line and Chastain had not been in official talks until recent weeks. The studio sees the “It” sequel as a big priority, however, as it was one of the top movies of 2017 and became the largest-grossing horror film of all time.

Chapter One” of “It” followed the first half of Stephen King’s eponymous novel, telling the story of a group of children who are terrorized by Pennywise the Clown and forced to face their own demons to defeat him. “Chapter Two” will follow the last half of the novel, when the characters return to their hometown years later as adults to face Pennywise once again. Chastain would be the first big star attached to the sequel, though the Muschiettis have said that they would hope to bring back the original young stars for flashback scenes.

Chastain is coming off a Golden Globe-nominated performance in “Molly’s Game,” and is expected to star in “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” later this year. She also recently became attached to a Universal comedy opposite Octavia Spencer. She is repped by CAA and Mosaic.