Focus Features has pre-bought worldwide rights excluding North America to Ralph Fiennes-Jessica Chastain starrer The Forgiven, which has finally wrapped shoot.
Joining the previously announced Fiennes, Chastain, Said Taghmaoui (La Haine) and Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class) in the drama are Matt Smith (The Crown), Christopher Abbott (The Sinner), Ismael Kanater (Queen Of The Desert), Marie-Josée Croze (Munich), Alex Jennings (The Crown) and Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road).
John Michael McDonagh (The Guard) directs and adapted Lawrence Osborne’s novel, which explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of an Anglo-American couple, their friends and the local Moroccans, who all converge on a luxurious desert villa during a decadent weekend-long party.
In the first half of 2020 the picture shot on location in Morocco before being suspended close to the end of shoot due to the global outbreak. Following disruption to air travel, the producers had to charter planes at short notice to fly the cast and crew home. With financial assistance from the BFI COVID-19 Production Continuation Fund and additional finance from the producers, LipSync Productions and Focus, the shoot restarted back in Morocco last month after a six month pause and has now completed production.
Focus Features has yet to release an official date for “The Forgiven”, but it is believed to premiere in 2021. You can see the first-look photo below:
Jessica joins the CMT Music Awards as a presenter alongside other celebrities including Brandi Carlile, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Tanya Tucker, Kelly Clarkson, Idina Menzel, Diplo and Rob Thomas. Also Taylor Swift, Ashley McBryde, Kane Brown and Sarah Hyland.
The host and presenter announcements closely follow CMT’s final reveal of performers who’ll appear on the show.
The show airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 pm. CT on CMT.
Jessica Chastain explains what it is like to quarantine with her grandmother, discusses the inspiration behind her female-centered new film The 355 and talks about what it was like filming during the pandemic.
Jessica Chastain revealed that The 355 came out of seeing little to no action films featuring women ensembles. After learning about the women involved in international espionage while working on Zero Dark Thirty, the producer and star said she knew a story about women spies was worth telling.
During the New York Comic Con Saturday panel, Chastain joined The 355 co-stars Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing to talk the impact they hope The 355 will have on audiences and the movie industry.
“My goals and dreams for The 355 is that we just accept the fact that women are awesome and tough and bada**,” Chastain said. “I’m excited for society to start acknowledging what’s happening in our world.”
The 355, directed by Simon Kinberg, kicks off when a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands. Wild card CIA agent Mason “Mace” Brown (Chastain) will need to join forces with rival badass German agent Marie (Kruger), former MI6 ally and cutting-edge computer specialist Khadijah (Nyong’o) and skilled Colombian psychologist Graciela (Cruz) on a lethal, breakneck mission to retrieve it, while also staying one-step ahead of a mysterious woman, Lin Mi Sheng (Fan) who is tracking their every move.
While the ideation of The 355 stemmed from her time working on Zero Dark Thirty, Chastain said the actual inspiration for the film’s title itself goes back to the 1860’s. She explained that the series of numbers was actually code for the first woman spy in the American Civil War, a woman who has since gone unnamed and under-appreciated. Given the significance of the numbers, Chastain said she and her co-stars think of the film’s title like a “badge of honor.”
The film, which sees the women face off against each other and eventually their common foes, required amounts of rehearsals and hours of combat training, Kruger said. While training for fight scenes is nothing uncommon for action films, especially those heavily featuring male ensembles, the stars also shared that they had to train to fight in heels and more feminine clothing than men.
Kruger said that working with a cast and crew on a film that centers women made she and her cast mates feel valued. She added that the women were even allowed to bring their children on set, which made production feel like a family. Fan, who said Chastain asked her to join the project shortly after serving on the Cannes jury, said that The 355 was an opportunity to learn from her fellow actresses.
When making a film, Chastain said she often thinks about how 13 year-old girls will feel. Citing The Martian and Interstellar, she said she’s proud to know that young girls can see women represented in impressive career paths and thrive in extraordinary circumstances.
“We all know that when you see examples of it that it’s possible, I wanted to show how important women are in society, especially in the international espionage field,” she said.
Theresa Rebeck and Kinberg wrote the script. The film is produced by Chastain and Kelly Carmichael for Chastain’s Freckle Films and by Kinberg for his Genre Films. Richard Hewitt exec produces. Huayi Brothers has Chinese distribution rights.
The Universal spy film is set to release domestically on Jan. 15.
You can also read the following articles related to New York Comic Con 2020.
The first trailer for ‘The 355’ is here, the espionage thriller that has an impressive cast immersed in action: Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Lupita Niong’o, Diane Kruger, and Fan Bingbing.
Written by Theresa Rebeck and Simon Kinberg, the story is set in motion when a top-secret weapon falls into the hands of mercenaries.
Wild-card CIA agent Mason “Mace” Brown (Jessica Chastain) forms a team, which includes German agent Marie (Diane Kruger), the former MI6 ally, and leading-edge informatics specialist Khadijah (Lupita Nyong’o), and an expert Colombian psychologist named Graciela (Penélope Cruz) to retrieve the weapon. However, her mission is hampered by a mysterious woman, Lin Mi Sheng (Fan Bingbing), who is following her every move.
As the action rockets around the globe from the cafes of Paris to the markets of Morocco to the wealth and glamour of Shanghai, the quartet of women will forge a tenuous loyalty that could protect the world—or get them killed.
The film also stars Sebastian Stan (Avengers: Endgame) and Edgar Ramírez (The Girl on the Train). And marks Kinberg’s second directing effort after his debut with the superhero sequel ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix.’
If there are no changes, the film is scheduled to hit theaters on January 15, 2021.
It’s a weird year for in-person events, so New York Comic Con 2020 is pushing ahead with a schedule of all virtual panels about the most interesting projects in movies, TV, and (of course) comics. EW will be covering the highlights from this year’s program, but on top of that, we’ll also be involved in the proceedings. EW is teaming up with ReedPop for three panels next weekend covering The Walking Dead, Black horror, and female spies.
The panel for “The 355” will take place on October 10 at 7:50 pm ET. EW staff writer Devan Coggan sits down with the female stars of the upcoming Universal spy thriller The 355 — Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, and Fan BingBing — to discuss filming explosive fight scenes and undercover espionage.
NYCC 2020 will livestream on YouTube from Oct. 8-11. Check out the full list of panels.
Jessica Chastain is warming up her vocals for a rare TV gig: The film actress will star in Spectrum Originals’ limited series George & Tammy as the first lady of country music, Tammy Wynette.
The drama chronicles “the country music power couple, Wynette and George Jones, whose complicated relationship inspired some of the most iconic music of all time,” per the official synopsis.
Chastain — who will also serve as an exec producer on the series — is known for her work in movies like Zero Dark Thirty and Interstellar. She has also had small TV roles on Veronica Mars, Law & Order: Trial by Jury and The WB’s unaired Dark Shadows pilot.
After an almost five-month hiatus, many Hollywood productions are now starting to resume again after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. But life on set doesn’t look how it used to: With social distancing measures and strict testing procedures in place, Hollywood’s new normal is about ensuring the cast and crew’s safety while maintaining the collaborative spirit of a film production.
Jessica Chastain has recently returned to set to shoot additional scenes for her upcoming spy thriller 355, in which she plays a CIA agent. The film, which is slated to be released in January 2021, is directed by Simon Kinberg and also stars Diane Kruger, Penélope Cruz, and Lupita Nyong’ o.
Production for the film in London restarted a couple of weeks ago. Though the additional scenes only required a few days of shooting, Chastain says going back to set proved to be a whole new experience. “We had a lot of protocol and protection to make sure that everyone going back to work would go home just as safe as they were when they arrived,” she says. (She has since returned to the East Coast, where she is currently quarantining with her grandmother: “My grandma and I work out together. We do this thing called Torch’d every morning.”)
Safety protocols began well before they even picked up shooting. “A month before traveling [to London], I started taking COVID tests—Universal started sending them to all of us,” she says. “We had a month of tests that were negative before we ever flew to the U.K. through LetsGetChecked, which was super easy.” (LetsGetChecked is currently the only FDA-approved at-home COVID-19 test that incorporates a nasal swab and has an out-of-pocket cost of $119; the supply of free universal testing in the U.S., meanwhile, continues to experience shortages.)
Once Chastain arrived in the U.K., further testing was done every morning before heading to set—and extra precautions were taken once on location as well, such as getting temperatures checked and everyone wearing masks. “Once we got on set, we were in quarantine bubbles,” she says. “Everyone was in different zones.” At night, everyone involved in the project would also answer an email form asking them about symptoms, and they would be assessed as safe to show up for work the following day or not.
Despite all the steps taken to ensure Hollywood sets are safe environments, certain aspects of being on location make staying six feet apart from each other unavoidable. For one, the hair, makeup, and wardrobe teams must get up close to the actors to do their jobs. “The hair and makeup trailer was a whole new experience,” Chastain says. “They did a great job keeping everyone safe and minimizing the time that a bunch of people are together in a small space.” There’s also the question of acting once the cameras start rolling; actors must interact with each other, touch each other—all without masks. But there were plans for that too, says Chastain. “With all the other actors that I was getting within six feet from, we were all quarantined together,” she says. “I felt very comfortable that we weren’t going to pass anything to each other.” During filming, many of the crew were also put in a separate room to watch scenes from a monitor.
Chastain says dealing with Hollywood’s new normal has been a learning curve, but that it wasn’t as scary or intimidating as she thought it would be. “I feel hopeful and excited about it,” she says. “Film productions become so huge—a lot of film is so much about spectacle. I’m excited to see it become, in some aspects, more intimate. I’m hearing from studios that they’re looking more at plays and developing films where it’s just two people in a room talking. A lot of the great films from the ’70s were about that—great dialogue between actors.”