After letting the franchise lie fallow for 12 years, Sony is aiming to reboot Charlie’s Angels, with Elizabeth Banks in talks to produce and direct.
The reboot would be the fourth incarnation of the franchise, which started with the hit 1970s television series originally starring Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith. The show followed a trio of female police officers whose careers were marginalized by institutional sexism. Hired by a reclusive millionaire, Charlie, only ever seen as a voice on the other end of a phone, the three work as private investigators, often with the assistance of Charlie’s assistant Bosley.
Following a frequently changing cast lineup and declining ratings, the show was cancelled in 1981 but revived with 2000’s Charlie’s Angels, directed by McG. The updated version starred Lucy Lui, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore as the Angels, with Bill Murray as Boswell. Notable for emphasizing the close familial relationship between the Angels, and for establishing that the team refused to ever use guns, the 2000 film was a hit. It was followed up in 2003 with Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, but the film’s tepid critical reception and smaller earnings than its predecessor led to Sony shelving any sequels. A new TV series was attempted in 2011, but cancelled after only 4 episodes by ABC.
No details about the direction of the reboot are known, but Banks would produce along with her husband and production partner Max Handelman. Banks enjoyed a huge hit this summer with her feature directorial debut Pitch Perfect 2, which raked in $285 million worldwide on a $29 million budget. Subsequently she’s been in demand, recently said to be close to directing an adaptation of the YA novel Red Queen.