Long before shows like "The Blacklist" or "Alias" were bringing investigative action to TV on a weekly basis, there was the classic pulse-pounding thrills of "Charlie's Angels." A franchise that’s no stranger to the world of cinema, it’s about to make its return to theatres this November, thanks to the directing skills of actor Elizabeth Banks.
But beyond this new film is a history that has kept the name of its landmark property in play over decades of existence. Most people remember CHARLIE’S ANGELS as the duology of films that starred Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore as the most recent team of Angels, but there’s a lot more to the story than those films allowed.
Running between 1976–1981, and then for another year in 2011 as a TV reboot, "Charlie's Angels" has mostly been on the small screen, as the stories of the titular Angels and their work at the mysterious Townsend Agency. Acting as a sort of hybrid of detectives and spies, the Angels work for their employer, the always-hidden Charlie, with the assistance of his go-between, typically named Bosley.
Right there marks one of the differences between Elizabeth Banks’ version of the series and its original flavor, as the new CHARLIE’S ANGELS film has several Bosleys in play. Banks herself plays Susan Bosley, while actors Patrick Stewart and Djimon Hounsou show up as Stan and Sam Bosley, respectively. Points should be awarded for the fact that all three of these stars are in the same room, keeping the Townsend Agency even more secure in its secrets.
That’s also because in the new CHARLIE’S ANGELS, that very agency has expanded to become an international franchise. So, there are multiple Bosleys and multiple Angel teams all operating under the same old Charlie — which looks to quite literally be the case, as the trailer for the film plays the familiar greeting of “Good morning, Angels” voiced by the late John Forsythe.
Of course, with a new CHARLIE’S ANGELS comes a new set of Angels, and Elizabeth Banks’ cast is probably the most diverse trio of operatives the series has ever seen. In this adventure, the established Angel team of Kristen Stewart’s Sabina and Ella Balinska’s Jane swoop in to help/recruit Naomi Scott’s Elena, a whistleblower who’s got an inside line on something that could change the balance of power in the world.
Perhaps the most amazing, and most modern, aspect of CHARLIE’S ANGELS is the fact that instead of rebooting the series, as past incarnations have been wont to do, Elizabeth Banks’ new film is a third entry that incorporates both McG-directed films, CHARLIE’S ANGELS and CHARLIE’S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE, into the timeline.
So, when audiences return to this new and modern world of the Townsend Agency’s finest, it won’t be a total overhaul, just an update that brings things forward into the here and now, which is comforting — because no matter when or where you are, it’s always good to have an Angel or three on your side in case of emergencies.
You’ll be able to see CHARLIE’S ANGELS at your local AMC theatre on November 15, with tickets now on sale!