Breaking down the Charlie's Angels trailer — including that heavenly homage to the 2000 film
Did you catch this divine throwback?
Good morning, Angels! And what better way to start the day than with a fresh glimpse at a shiny new butt-kicking girl-power-fest?
The trailer for Elizabeth Banks’ upcoming Charlie’s Angels reboot dropped Thursday morning and left plenty for fans of the franchise to pick at while counting down the days to the film’s November release.
We open with new Angel Sabina — played by YA-turned-indie icon Kristen Stewart, entering yet another phase in her dynamic career — turning on the charm for a classic manipulation of a bad guy who oh-so-typically underestimates women.
“I think women can do anything,” Sabina purrs, establishing the film’s thesis right up front. “Just because they can doesn’t mean they should,” he replies, and then, with the aid of her fellow halo-wearing badass Jane (Ella Balinska), Sabina gives this chauvinist exactly what he deserves, reinforcing how much he deserves it by yelling, “who steals humanitarian aid money?!”
And so the Angels are officially back! The last time we saw them, they were played by Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu in McG’s Charlie’s Angels (2000) and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003), and the new film’s trailer pays homage to those millennial-beloved films even as it introduces a new generation of crime-fighting seraphim.
But first, we need to round out this trio. Aladdin’s Naomi Scott plays Elena, who we first see as a programmer who has developed a very powerful — but potentially dangerous — product. Based on the trailer, she goes from being protected by the Angels to joining the Townsend Agency herself, conveniently making her our guide as we enter a new era in the classic franchise.
And the ladies’ guide through the tough world of baddie-busting? That would be Bosley, as always — but with a twist. Director Elizabeth Banks introduces herself to Elena under that name, but Patrick Stewart and Djimon Hounsou go by the familiar moniker as well. “’Bosley’ is now a rank in the organization, like lieutenants,” the filmmaker told EW. “All of the Angels have been played by different women and have had different names, but the Bosley character was always named Bosley no matter who played him. We thought, ‘Well, that must mean it’s more than a name.’”
That’s a tradition continued from the McG pair of films — after Bill Murray’s introduction as the character in the 2000 entry, Bernie Mac took over as Bosley in Full Throttle (though it was explained there that he was actually Murray’s character’s half-brother).
Another tradition that must continue is the commitment to high-concept disguises, which we get a tantalizing glimpse of when Sabina and Jane take Elena on a tour of the Agency’s fashion closet — a true heaven on earth. There, we see a racecar driving suit and a heart-embroidered dirndl that fans of the 2000 film might have recognized from some of Barrymore, Diaz, and Liu’s undercover work.
But that’s not all! It turns out there’s another closet — the kind that includes bombs disguised as Altoids, etc. Over the course of the trailer, we also learn more about the individual Angels’ strengths. “Sabina runs the ground game,” Banks’ Bosley explains as we see Stewart sneaking around in a series of disguises (jockey, hotel maid, jazzerciser…?). Brainy Jane is former MI6 and has a favorite chemical (phosphorus!), the latter of which we learn when we see her flirting with — are you ready for this? — Netflix dreamboat Noah Centineo.
Banks was reluctant to tease very much about Centineo’s character other than that “he’s a friend mostly to Naomi’s character.” From the trailer, we can glean that he is a “handsome nerd,” as described by Sabina. Mysterious!
We’ve already gotten a lot to unpack, but at this point, you’ve probably found yourself wondering: what is the heavenly jam that has been playing over the latter half of this trailer? And if you thought you could pick out Ariana Grande’s divine pipes crooning “don’t call me angel,” you’d be right — the songstress teamed up with Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey for a dedicated track to rival that other one by a true trio of angels, Destiny’s Child’s 2000 soundtrack classic “Independent Women, Pt. 1.”
That, paired with tiny peeks of the sparkly-dressed Angels performing a dance routine (Charlie’s Angels do love a good dance routine) is enough to make us marvel, even all these years later: Girl, I didn’t know you could get down like that! Charlie, how your Angels get down like that?
Charlie’s Angels hits theaters Nov. 15.
Charlie's Angels (2019)