Elizabeth Banks is weighing in on why she feels the marketing for her 2019 film Charlie’s Angels didn’t quite work.
During an interview with The New York Times that published online Tuesday, Banks — who wrote, directed and co-starred in the movie — said she felt her project was misrepresented. The Sony Pictures film starred Kristen Stewart and was a reboot of the property that launched as a TV series in the 1970s before spawning a 2000 film and subsequent sequel.
After clarifying that she’s proud of her film and referred to making it as an “incredible experience,” Banks went on to say, “It was very stressful, partly because when women do things in Hollywood it becomes this story. There was a story around Charlie’s Angels that I was creating some feminist manifesto. I was just making an action movie. I would’ve liked to have made Mission: Impossible, but women aren’t directing Mission: Impossible.”
She continued, “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.”
Banks, who has starred in such films as Zack and Miri Make a Porno and the Hunger Games franchise and made her directorial debut with 2015’s Pitch Perfect 2, said she feels “in a rarefied category” as a female filmmaker and that she isn’t able to assess whether the industry has recently become more accepting of women helming action movies.
“I’m putting my head down and showing these big corporations that if they give women the opportunity to do this job, they can make a good product that can make them a profit,” she said. “It’s a male-dominated industry. It’s a male-dominated world. That’s what I’m up against, but I can’t solve it, and I don’t really want to analyze it.”
Charlie’s Angels, which also starred Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Djimon Hounsou and Patrick Stewart, centered on three women working as spies for a boss named Charlie. The film made $17.8 million at the domestic box office and $73.2 million worldwide.
In her review for The Hollywood Reporter, critic Beandrea July called the film “a wildly entertaining action flick that also happens to expose the systemic ways that men are overvalued and women are undervalued in society, and daringly connects this pattern to nothing short of planetary annihilation.”