SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Making a re-reboot of the iconic girl-power franchise “Charlie’s Angels” that initially caught fire on TV in the 1970s and morphed into two movies in the 2000s takes a certain degree of creative moxie.
But having courage, utilizing skill and being aggressive — all characteristics of muscled-up moxie — seems appropriate for the upcoming “Charlie’s Angels” that is being pitched as an action-adventure show for a new generation of TV audiences.
The first TV show starred Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith as three, sexy private investigators working for a man named Charlie, who would send them on dangerous missions to catch crooks. Trendsetting in its time, today it seems quaint.
Next came Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz in the “Angel” roles, but the two movies featuring trio — “Charlie’s Angels” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” — had a decidedly campy, comic edge to the action.
This third time around in a TV show set to debut this fall on the ABC network, new ‘Angels’ Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh and Rachael Taylor are serious-minded detectives with the muscles to match in a crime show filled with action.
“I’ve never been able to play a girl with a set of balls,” Minka Kelly told Reuters of her new “Angel,” Eve French.
Kelly, who is mostly known for her role as the ever yearning Lyla Garrity in TV series “Friday Night Lights,” was decidedly happy about taking on the new, powerful role.
The Angels turned up at the giant Comic-Con International convention in San Diego late Saturday to show off footage from their TV pilot episode and take questions from fans curious for a glimpse of the newest incarnation.
Barrymore, who spearheaded the movies, is a key producer on the new TV show, and she was able to wield what the program’s creators called “Jedi mind tricks” in order to bring the three new “Angels” onto the program.
Shouldering much of the responsibility for getting the program in good shape are executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, known for their success with TV’s “Smallville.”
“We were hesitant, but then our wives, who both loved the show when they were girls said ‘well you two shouldn’t do it,’ so that meant absolutely we’re going to do it” said Gough.
Gough and Millar said they initially were troubled by the same question anyone might pose: how do you remain faithful to the tenets that made the “Angels” memorable while making the new show fresh and interesting enough to be engaging?
“This is more like a cine-real version of the show, it’s much more grounded, credible” said Millar.
The show’s makers said the campy humor in the movies, which subtly pokes some fun at, not just the sex appeal of the original, but also the idea of three beautiful women pulling of action sequences normally reserved for men, is mostly erased from this new version.
“We’re not going there,” said Ilonzeh.
But “Angel” Taylor added that just because the show will offer fans a tougher edge, doesn’t mean the women won’t be having some fun on-screen.
Put it this way: “If Jack Bauer (action-packed “24”) and Carrie Bradshaw (comedy “Sex and the City”) had a love child, then it would be this series,” said Taylor.