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Think more class, less ass.
Sony has lined up Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Auburn to pen the latest incarnation of the Charlie’s Angels franchise, which will be directed by Elizabeth Banks.
The highbrow Proof writer might seem an odd choice to tackle a franchise that began as a TV showcase for bikini-clad detectives in the 1970s, but the move is strategic on the part of Sony and Banks, who are looking to the dramatist to create rich, fully developed characters and not just pretty faces plugged into action. In fact, the franchise has been moving away from those roots in the ensuing years.
The previous two Sony movies from 2000 and 2003 featured a more female-empowerment message, which will be further amplified in the latest outing.
“I’ve been a fan of David’s since seeing Proof on Broadway,” Banks said Wednesday in a statement. “His ability to create three new dynamic yet grounded ‘Angels’ is very exciting.”
Added Auburn: “Elizabeth Banks is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, in or out of show business, and I am thrilled to be working with her on a reinvented Charlie’s Angels that’s grounded, edgy, subversive, smart and fun.”
As with the two movies, the new version will revolve around a trio of women who work as private detectives. Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu starred in those films, which earned a combined $523 million worldwide, underscoring Charlie’s Angels‘ importance to the studio.
Banks’ husband and producing partner Max Handelman is producing alongside Elizabeth Cantillon. Andrea Giannetti is overseeing for the studio.
Though he has had a busy career on the stage, Auburn’s Hollywood work has been somewhat limited. The New York-based writer’s play Proof was adapted into a 2005 film starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins and Jake Gyllenhaal. He co-wrote the screenplay with Rebecca Miller. Since then, Auburn penned the Keanu Reeves-Sandra Bullock romance pic The Lake House (2006) and wrote and directed The Girl in the Park (2007) starring Sigourney Weaver and Kate Bosworth.
His short play An Upset debuted in April at the Sheats-Goldstein Residence in Beverly Hills.
Auburn is repped by Paradigm, Code Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein.