Sometime in 2012, at a wrap party to celebrate the end of filming Mad Max: Fury Road, Charlize Theron found a brief moment to herself amid the festivities to indulge in a small, secret smile. Deep inside herself, she knew that this was only the beginning. Did she know that she would, a few years later, go on to star in this movie about a bisexual superspy who kills, just in the space of the trailer, about a dozen men with her hands before making out with a hot French lady spy? Maybe not for sure, but I think she knew she could, and was just waiting for the right opportunity. Now, seven million shares of that one screenshot from Fury Road later, we have this trailer for Atomic Blonde. Here it is! I think we can all take credit for it, in a way.
You, like me, may have questions! Does the comparatively low billing of Sofia Boutella, the hot French lady spy, mean that James McAvoy as spy contact David Percival will be the ultimate love interest instead? Do the filmmakers realize that by casting James McAvoy instead of Tom Hardy, they’ve ruined the opportunity to create infinite intersecting Mad Max spinoff universes, like Tarantino’s without the racism and foot fetish preoccupation? Will the film be able to avoid the minefield of the duplicitous bisexual trope in a spy movie with two queer women in it? How many spy coats does Charlize Theron wear? I look forward to a spirited and rewarding discussion of these issues and others up to and through summer of 2017, when most of us will see this movie come hell or high water.
That’s some good spy coats.
This is progress? The trailer starts with the camera panning slowly up her lace endowed body. She then proceeds to fend off men who are hitting her, and ends up with a soft core porn fling in bed with a woman. Seriously?
That’s progress in my book. I’d watch the hell out of a Jane Bond movie too.
How great would Jane Bond be? So great
Every strong independent woman has to be either a lesbian or just not interested in men these days
you know…women have been used mostly as props in men’s story in 99% of storytelling since the beginning of time. I get you feel insanely treathened that it might get to 98%. That it fills you with a rage that cannot be contained….but you know…chill.
I am in favour of this new legislation you’re proposing
Yes Robin, that is the dream here at Autostraddle dot com.
What’s the problem here? Why can’t a woman be happy?
I hope this remains true. all independent women cannot be into men anymore. It. Is. Law.
Sign me up
I agree! Make it the law
I would comment, but I seem to have swallowed my own tongue and glued my eyeballs to the clock *shrugs*
When will it be summer again?!?
It’s also debuting at SXSW this week if you can’t wait.
Um yes please.
I’m mostly into it? But the trailer is just so male-gaze-y. Hopefully it’ll subvert that a bit in the movie like Mad Max did.
The trailer reminds me of that Margaret Atwood quote:
““Male fantasies, male fantasies, is everything run by male fantasies? Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it’s all a male fantasy: that you’re strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it. Even pretending you aren’t catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you’re unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur.”
Like can’t I just watch a lady spy murder men and have sex with another lady spy without thinking about how it is perceived by men? Ugh. Patriarchy getting in the way as usual.
how dare men exist and perceive things
Good question, Robin.
shut up robin
Woah, Margaret Atwood at it again. Thanks for that quote, it makes it sounds as exhausting as it feels.
I agree with you about the trailer too…
Margaret Atwood has such great quotes
Oh bollocks, there goes what I was going to post on “Friday Open Thread”.
Give me a minute to catch my breath.
Is London Fog sponsoring this movie?
What would I do without this website? (Miss the best of pop culture and be less of a well-rounded gay, that’s what).
I was just reading about this movie and it’s upcoming debut at SXSW. Hopefully we’ll hear more about it after the screening on Sunday.
I’M IN. it seems very gaze-y but I’m in in in.
“Do the filmmakers realize that by casting James McAvoy instead of Tom Hardy, they’ve ruined the opportunity to create infinite intersecting Mad Max spinoff universes”
I probs would have peed myself if they had cast Tom Hardy. James McAvoy is a pretty decent second choice though.
So it’s Alias raw the movie with a gay twist how can u not wanna watch that? Stop being so uprightly righeous and political correct and let a movie be what it is w/o demanding every movie that has a lgbt character to make some kind of revolutionary statement about women on film.
You’re funny. Go away.
I think Autostraddle does a great job of celebrating lady-loving characters in tv and movies while opening up a discussion of how today’s entertainment portrays women. Also, this is a website for women who like women, if you don’t want to talk about gay characters you can go read a regular movie review.
Thanks Rachel and Autostraddle!
I’m super jealous of that French actress…
*gestures wildly* TAKE ALL OF MY MONEY
Ladies kissing, gorgeous coats, cool fight scenes and Queen? I’m in
I. Love. Her. I would see that even with a rotten tomatoes rating of 2%.
the best part of that trailer, tho? The 2 women making out and then it cuts to men looking totally confused. that’s the best part.
Heels + Vest = Bi Fem Radar act1vate!
Heels + Vest + Gun = Movie I Have 2 See.
She should join the organisation from Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood music video. “The Atomic Blonde” would fit right in with “The Crimson Curse” and whatnot, and she wouldn’t have to deal with her greyscale boring bosses. It’s even British.
Oh, I see now that this movie takes place in 1989 – so maybe she FOUNDED the organisation from Bad Blood! /headcanon
I may have already watched the trailer a half dozen times tonight.
just chiming in to say ‘making out’ aka full on having sex (depending on yr definition of sex but in my book uh that’s doin the do) and I love y’all
I’ll be honest, my first thought was about how I could never be a kickass super spy if taping things to one’s own body was involved because I have a mild adhesive allergy. Obviously that is the only thing holding me back.
Well, presumably super-spy Ashley would have some super hot science/tech person that would make you skin-friendly tape and customized hacking tools and have witty banter with you and worry when you’re on missions. Dude super heroes get that counterpart sometimes, so why shouldn’t you?
This should really be a whole short story, you know. Autostraddle really needs a regular article where readers kick ass and do cool stuff, as written by other readers.
Am I the only one visualizing Riese as this main character?
I hope to see Riese rank these deaths by lesbianism after this movie comes out.
bless this idea
This is my new favorite movie that I haven’t watched yet.
I am probably being over skeptical, but the stuff with the French lady being put into the trailer perhaps (or probably and most likely) means…
1) It’s more of a marketing ploy and being used in the trailer because it’s just easy material to pre-reveal as gives nothing away about the more important aspects of the overall narrative, nor really says much about the deeper depths of the character’s identity and purpose in the film.
2) There is not much else to put in the trailer (to entice potential film goers) and will be like those types of trailers where all the best bits are contained and the film on complete viewing proves it.
I’d love to see Charlize play a bisexual, but I have a feeling this bit with the other woman is just part of the spy aspect (to extract info or use in some way for the job) and likely won’t be a personal thing regarding her away from the job. Or, even if there is a genuine same sex attraction, just like most of James Bond’s hookups, they rarely mean much beyond sex and are still more handy for the long term job goal rather than a personal one.
Maybe I’m underestimating that the twist is that they show Charlize kissing a woman in the trailer (and we presume she’s bi or queer), and we find in the full film viewing that she (and perhaps even the other woman) are both in fact straight and just using each other and perhaps will even try to kill one another. And of course she and McAvoy are romantic leads with each other, even with her action heroine identity. Remember, woman can’t exist on TV without the validation of male characters (romantically or as her saviour, or both) esp if the director is male.
I would love to be proved wrong, but I doubt we’ll see Charlize Theron fufill anything but the negative stereotypes of a bisexual woman (esp if on the film she isn’t actually one).
You are wrong. The movie has been showned at SXSW and nothing happens sexually with McAvoy. Yes, Theron’s character is bisexual. But this is still a spy movie, so, yes…everybody is trying to screw everybody else.
For all those people commenting about the male gaze, go see the movie Haywire. It’s not perfect, but it’s about a kick-ass female assassin tearing her way through her betrayers. Very basic, little or no exploitation.
As for this movie, the action here looks like it was choreographed by the peeps who did John Wick, which is never a bad thing. Can’t wait!
This is based on a graphic novel called ‘The Coldest City’.
In that book Lorraine’s love interest is a male French agent so they’ve gender swapped the character for the movie. She also didn’t have a prior relationship with the dead agent, but does in the movie.
Almost all the action scenes have been added for the movie, in the book there are only two that I recall (one being shown in the trailer where she is fighting the guy with blonde hair).
The character McAvoy is playing has been changed as well. In the book he is an old-school misogynist and someone who wants to do things by the old tried and true methods. Lorraine is more like a civil servant in the book, not an action hero.
Don’t read the book if you plan on seeing the movie, you’ll spoil the ending.
Personally, I LOVE this trailer and absolutely cannot wait for the film. Finally an unapologetic female lead who kicks ass and – oh yeah – she’s bisexual. Sign me up, tell me where to be — jk, I’m already there.