Elizabeth Banks broke out the “Lady Ghostbusters” playbook to promote her “Charlie’s Angels” reboot.
Banks, a versatile talent who made a smooth transition to directing with “Pitch Perfect 2,” landed a killer second gig behind the camera.
Bring “Charlie’s Angels” to the big screen. Again.
The frothy TV show already made that jump, twice, courtesy of Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz. Now, the IP was ready for more, and Banks would make that happen.
Except the culture changed dramatically since the last time Barrymore’s “Angels” lit up the screen in 2003. A new “Angels” couldn’t be about titillation or other tropes common to the source material.
The reboot had to be empowering to the core. Woke, one might say.
And Banks was eager to play along. She pushed that narrative to the press, much like the 2016 “Ghostbusters” team did in 2016 (It didn’t work).
The “Angels” reboot downplayed glamour and sex appeal, two key elements of both the TV show and the feature film franchise.
Banks doubled down on that woke sentiment in various press interviews.
“I just could not stop thinking about how I felt I could bring the themes of sorority and sisterhood and camaraderie and women working together as a team into an action movie if I did a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ movie, and that ‘Charlie’s Angels’ already had that built into its DNA…”
“I think it’s important as a woman and as a filmmaker and as a feminist to recognize that I stand on the shoulders of the women that came before me… the inclusivity and openness of those scenes really matters to me, and I think it really speaks to women about how we should be conducting ourselves.”
She expounded on that thinking in a separate interview, sharing how she tweaked the movie to be more empowering.
“One of the ingredients of this movie was supporting and believing women … we literally have a character who is essentially working at a big corporation and is not being believed or listened to by her bosses.”
Banks didn’t stop there.
“One of the statements this movie makes is that you should probably believe women,” Banks adds. “We have as much validity in what we’re feeling and how we want to go about living in the world, being in the world, and that was really important to me, that we felt like we had characters that were being taken seriously and given a chance to live their best life.”
Now, three years after “Charlie’s Angels” became an infamous flop that stopped the franchise cold, Banks is changing her tune.
Banks opened up to The New York Times about the movie’s failure in a way that suggests she didn’t mean what she said back in 2019.
Or, more likely, she regrets those interviews.
“There was a story around Charlie’s Angels that I was creating some feminist manifesto. I was just making an action movie…”
Next, she simultaneously plays the Victim Card while betraying everything she said about her film the first time around.
“I would’ve liked to have made Mission: Impossible, but women aren’t directing Mission: Impossible. I was able to direct an action movie, frankly, because it starred women and I’m a female director, and that is the confine right now in Hollywood. I wish that the movie had not been presented as just for girls, because I didn’t make it just for girls. There was a disconnect on the marketing side of it for me.”
Turns out she led the way in that “disconnect” but isn’t keen on remembering it.