Let’s be very clear about one thing: Elizabeth Banks is a total genius. This has been evident ever since she starred in and co-produced Pitch Perfect, a little comedy about a collegiate women’s acapella group that quickly and deservedly reached cult status and spawned a couple of lukewarm sequels.
That franchise almost certainly made her more aware of how starved audiences are for genuine camaraderie between women in blockbuster movies, because now she’s gone ahead and directed, produced and written the script for the rebooted Charlie’s Angels movie, which won’t come out until November but will keep a certain kind of viewer slobbering with anticipation all summer.
The first trailer dropped today, and it’s a total grab bag of things to be excited about in cinema.
I’d argue that Banks has a very keen way of understanding of what young viewers are looking for—no, demanding, in movies today. We’ve been clamoring since time immemorial for representation of people onscreen who aren’t white men, and this movie features women of color right at the fore. Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska shine as a programmer and a terrifying assassin-type in the trailer (respectively), but the unequivocal star of the bunch is Kristen Stewart, who looks as though she’s been dying to unleash this kind of unfettered energy for years. Banks knows we’ve wanted to see her like this: happy to be doing something untraditional.
“She’s a world-famous beauty, a style icon, but I think what she’s most known for is living authentically. Just being herself all the time,” Banks told People. “I felt that I could surprise audiences with a Kristen performance. And I think that people will be delighted by just how much fun she’s having in this movie.”
Let me translate that for you: Kristen Stewart is one of the biggest stars in the world, and for years she’s dated women while operating on a very public stage. That’s a big deal, made bigger by the fact that her roles have gradually tended to more closely mirror her intellectual openness and playful sexuality. Stewart’s 2016 supernatural drama Personal Shopper is a ghost story for sure, but it’s also a showcase for exactly what I’m talking about. This new mainstream, rock-em-sock-em trailer shows Kristen Stewart essentially playing herself—randy, spirited, witty and continually chameleonic. Where can I pre-order tickets?