Jessica Chastain's All-Female Spy Thriller '355' Moves Forward; Here's Everything We Know




Early this month, Deadline reported that Jessica Chastain was pitching a new movie project at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Titled 355, the idea centers around a diverse cast of women stars playing an international team of spies. Now Deadline is also reporting that Universal Pictures has won a bidding war for the forthcoming action blockbuster.


The studio will release the movie stateside when it’s ready, while foreign distribution is still in the works for what will surely have tons of global appeal. While the movie still has to be written, let alone produced, it does have a director and stars attached and should be ready to go soon enough. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about 355.


What does the title mean?


355 refers to the universal slang term “Code 355,” which means female spy. Chastain learned about the term, which originated as a code name during the American Revolution, while doing research for her Oscar-nominated role in Zero Dark Thirty


What is the plot of 355


Five accomplished female secret agents from various countries around the world need to get over their political differences and team up to fight a common enemy that has aims to aquire a devastating weapon. Chastain hopes for something entertaining but also very true to the reality of the spy world. She told Deadline:


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. 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.



Who are the five female stars? 


Alongside Chastain, the spy sisterhood will consist of Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, Marion Cotillard and Fan Bingbing, stars who respectively hail from America, Spain, Kenya, France and China. Chastain hand picked them all and got them to board the project via phone call before joining together at Cannes for the big sell. 


Who is directing the movie? 


Simon Kinberg, the longtime X-Men franchise writer and producer who is making his feature directorial debut with X-Men: Dark Phoenix, will be at the helm of 355. Chastain had pitched him on the project while working with him on that upcoming X-Men installment. 


Who is writing the script? 


Theresa Rebeck, who is best known for a story credit on Catwoman and the creation of the musical TV series Smash, is writing the 355 script based on Chastain’s own idea. 


When will the movie be out?


That’s still to be determined.