EXCLUSIVE: 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 Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Fan 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?

Courtesy photo/REX/Shutterstock

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 a Bourne 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.

Fan Bingbing Lupita Nyong'o
Courtesy photos

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.