With the remaining 2020 release calendar all but wiped clear, aside from November’s “Soul” and a handful of December tentpoles (including “Free Guy,” “Death on the Nile,” “Wonder Woman 1984,” and “Dune”), Universal Pictures is getting a jump on rolling out its 2021 slate by debuting the first trailer for its January spy thriller “355.” The project hails from longtime “X-Men” producer and writer Simon Kinberg, marking his directorial follow-up to “Dark Phoenix.” Theresa Rebeck, creator of the cult favorite NBC musical series “Smash,” wrote the script.
“355” originally exploded with buzz when it was announced at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival market with stars Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Fan Bingbing, Marion Cotillard, and Penelope Cruz attached to star. Universal jumped on the project in a deal reportedly worth $20 million. Diane Kruger eventually replaced Cotillard and supporting actors Sebastian Stan and Édgar Ramírez boarded the project to round out the cast. The film centers around a team of female spies from around the world who are forced to come together to stop an evil plan. The group goes by the code-name 355 in honor of Agent 355, the first female spy in the American Revolution.
Kinberg directed Chastain in “Dark Phoenix,” one of the final Fox-distributed “X-Men” movies that was a critical and commercial failure. The two hope to rebound with this star-studded action tentpole, which went into production with a budget in the $75 million range. “355” was filmed in 2019, but Chastain revealed in August that the team got back together for five days over the summer to shoot additional scenes for the project. A second round of filming was intended to take place in April but was delayed because of the pandemic.
“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,” Chastain told Vogue. “A month before traveling [to London], I started taking COVID tests — Universal started sending them to all of us. We had a month of tests that were negative before we ever flew to the U.K. Once we got on set, we were in quarantine bubbles. Everyone was in different zones.”
Universal Pictures is set to release “355” in theaters January 15, 2021. Watch the first trailer for the spy thriller in the video below.