Comic-Con 2011: CHARLIE’S ANGELS Panel Recap: “We’re Angels, Not Saints”

     July 23, 2011

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While it was billed as Sony TV’s highly anticipated action-packed series, the Charlie’s Angels panel was woefully under-attended. Perhaps it was due to poor scheduling at the end of a long day of Con events. Regardless of the reason for the lack of interest, the cast and creative team of Charlie’s Angels gave the audience more than enough reasons to tune in when the pilot airs on ABC this September. Not just a reboot of the 1970s franchise or a continuation of the Drew Barrymore movies, this iteration of Charlie’s Angels promises to bring something new to the table. Stars Annie Ilonzeh (General Hospital), Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights), Rachael Taylor (Grey’s Anatomy) and Ramon Rodriguez (The Wire) were joined by executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar of Smallville fame. Hit the jump to see why this new reboot may be worth watching.

Rachel Taylor, Minka Kelly and Annie Ilonzeh CHARLIE'S ANGELSThe 1970s TV series of Charlie’s Angels was iconic for its portrayal of female empowerment and setting of fashion trends (as well as the late Farah Fawcett’s gravity defying hair). The features starring Drew Barrymore came at a time just before superhero movies were starting to take off and put kick-ass women in the driver’s seat. Gough and Millar know that their new reboot has a lot to live up to:

“We’re acutely aware that we have a big target on our backs. We hope that when you tune in, you’ll be surprised at what you see and keep watching.”

Though Barrymore was instrumental in getting the new project off the ground and was quite insistent in her casting decisions, the new series is making some pretty significant changes. Rather than Charlie calling upon three police cadets, as was the case in the original version, these Angels will come from a more sordid past. Taylor, who plays cat burglar Abby Simpson, has a great line in the trailer when she says:

“We’re angels, not saints.”

Her partners in crime-fighting also have some moral ambiguity in their pasts. Kelly plays adept car thief Eve French (and looks gorgeous behind the wheel, boosting some expensive vehicles) and Ilonzeh joins the team as a crooked cop. This paints a different picture of the Angels from the outset and gives them more a redemptive arc with Charlie as their second-chance benefactor.

The other interesting change to the canon of this series is the casting and portrayal of Bosley, the Angels’ advisor and liaison to the mysterious Charlie. Played by David Doyle in the 70s’ series and by Bill Murray in the movies, Bosley has only ever been sort of a creepy uncle to the Angels. Now, with the casting of Rodriguez, Bosley has the chance of becoming a fourth angel, as he is a tech-savvy hacker who is more than capable of joining in the fights. Asked about his opinion on the new interpretation of Bosley, Rodriguez put it this way:

“I remember the old Bosley because my three older sisters made me watch the show. I guess you can say I’ve been preparing for this role my whole life.”

charlies-angels-tv-show-image-abc-01But not everything has changed. Gough and Millar are keeping the action, though they’re moving it from L.A. to the South Beach of Miami. Perhaps this is why, when they showed the trailer, I got the sense of watching an episode of Burn Notice recast with female beauty queens in place of Michael and Sam. But that’s not to take anything away from Ilonzeh, Kelly and Taylor, who sell both the subtle stunt sequences and breakneck combat scenes. It’s a perfect combination of beauty, brains and toughness that seem to be so prevalent in today’s “gritty, realistic” action-dramas.

Also, Gough and Millar will be expanding the Charlie’s Angels’ mythology to include more backstory on, not only the Angels, but on Charlie and Bosley as well. Although Robert Wagner provided the voice of Charlie for the pilot, a scheduling conflict will prevent him from voicing him in the future. Since casting is now open for the role, why don’t you leave your suggestions in the comments. (At the panel, people suggested Patrick Stewart, Nathan Fillion and Scott Bakula.) Tune in for the pilot on ABC this September and let us know what you think!

Click here for all our Comic-Con 2011 coverage.

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