Will 2019’s Charlie’s Angels Be Funny or Gritty?

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A new Charlie’s Angels film is scheduled to hit theaters the summer of 2019.  Elizabeth Banks will direct the film and co-produce it with her husband Max Handelman.  They successfully produced the Pitch Perfect franchise and Banks directed Pitch Perfect 2.  Another movie with a female ensemble seems like the perfect fit.  Naomi Scott joining the cast does raise questions on the tone of the movie. 

PITCH PERFECT COMEDY

Elizabeth Banks’ Pitch Perfect films are light and fun.  Even though characters passionately pursued their goals, the drama is usually overshadowed by physical comedy or off-color humor.  2000’s Charlie’s Angels and 2003’s Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle had over the top action and broad comedy.  Although one franchise is about an a cappella group and the other about crime-fighting adventurers, the Charlie’s Angels films would seem a close match to Banks’ previous work.

DARK & GRITTY

Naomi Scott is an English actress and singer who played Kimberly Hart, the Pink Ranger, in 2017’s Power Rangers film.  She also starred in the Steven Spielberg produced television show Terra Nova.  And will play Princess Jasmine in the upcoming live-action remake of Aladdin.  Scott will be joining Kristen Stewart and Lupita Nyong’o (who is still in talks) in Charlie’s Angels.

Scott has starred in many film and television dramas.  Even the Power Rangers movie was darker and grittier than fans were expecting.  Scott’s casting alongside Stewart and Nyong’o in the new Charlie’s Angels suggests a more serious tone like the James Bond or Mission: Impossible franchises.  Comedic moments are in both franchises. But the threats to characters are taken seriously.

The original Charlie’s Angels television series was a crime drama.  So Elizabeth Banks might use her experience from the Hunger Games trilogy and try something different.  An action-packed thriller with characters in a constant life or death struggle.  Maybe Elizabeth Banks would like to helm an action blockbuster.

PREDICTING THE FUTURE

If the new Charlie’s Angels takes the comedic route, it will want to look at those that proceeded it.  The best director and casting does not guarantee a hit film.  Paul Feig had great success with his R-rated comedy Bridesmaids.  But his Ghostbusters remake did not find an audience.  Bridesmaid’s stars Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy weren’t enough to overcome the vitriolic fans of the original.

A better example for the new Charlie’s Angels might be Ocean’s 8.  The all-star cast of Ocean’s 8 brought flair and wit to their comedy.  Ocean’s 8 charmed their audience instead of overwhelming it.  Therefore, Charlie’s Angels might succeed best as a smart and witty comedy.

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