The revival of beloved movies from the 80s and 90s have come with additional storylines that reflect our woke times, so it was only a matter of time before ‘Charlie’s Angels’ got a well-deserved reboot. The path-breaking TV series from the 70s, which became a hit movie in 2000, followed the crime-fighting adventures of three women working as private detectives for a mysterious man called Charlie.
For its 2019 return, 16 years after 2003’s ‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle’, the franchise not only gets a cast update, but also stays on script with our current socio-political climate. For starters, the film is directed by a woman, Elizabeth Banks, who also plays Bosley, a character that has always been played by a man.
With a diverse cast featuring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska as the angels, and sisterhood as a central theme, the 2019 ‘Charlie’s Angels’ could be the feminist action reboot we really need.
Ahead of its release this Thursday, here are all the TV shows and movies that came before:
Charlie’s Angels TV show (1976 to 1981) — The beginning
Created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts the series followed three female crime-fighting private detectives working for Charlie Townsend. The show originally starred Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith in the lead. Despite critics accusing it of playing up the show’s sex appeal, the show was a ratings success. But Fawcett soon left after the first season and was replaced by Cheryl Ladd. Jackson dropped out after season three, after reported disagreements over script, and was replaced by Shelley Hack. By season four however, the show was already losing its popularity, leading to the firing of Hack, who was replaced by Tanya Roberts in season five. The show was eventually cancelled in 1981 after five seasons and 110 episodes.
Charlie’s Angels (2000) — The movie
Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu fronted the big-screen adaptation of the hit show, directed by McG, who was then best known for directing music videos. In true 2000 style, the angels are hot on the heels of a software genius who might not be putting his gifts to the best use. Despite earning mixed reviews, the film was hit, warranting a sequel.
Charlie’s Angels (2003) — The sequel
Diaz, Barrymore and Liu return for this sequel, in which they investigate a series of murders which occur after the theft of a witness protection profile database. But they soon find out that one of them could be the main target of a dangerous assassin. The film received worse reviews than its predecessor and, despite making money, could not match the first movie’s collections, effectively putting another film in cold storage.
Charlie’s Angels (2011) — The TV reboot
ABC network made an attempt the revive 'Charlie’s Angels' for the small screen, based on the original series, starring Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor. But after the fourth episode, the network decided to stop production due to low ratings. Viewership numbers were so bad that the first series didn’t event air completely.
Charlie’s Angels (2019) — The movie reboot
Elizabeth Banks, best known for directing ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and for her role as Effie Trinket in ‘The Hunger Games’, promises a wild ride with her girl-power take on the franchise with Kristen Stewart (‘Twilight), Naomi Scott (‘Aladdin’) and Ella Balinska (Casualty) leading the charge. Banks also stars (she also co-wrote the script), playing Charlie’s assistant Bosley.
“Charlie’s Angels, for me, is one of the original brands to celebrate the empowered woman since its debut in the 70s,” Banks told The Guardian last year. “This film honours the legacy of Charles Townsend and his agency while introducing a new era of modern and global Angels. I couldn’t be more excited to work with Kristen, Naomi and Ella to bring this chapter to fans around the world.”
Don’t miss it
‘Charlie’s Angels’ releases in the UAE on November 14.