Penélope Cruz and Lupita Nyong’o’s New Film The 355

MOVIES

On January 7, the world will get to meet The 355, a group of female agents who are brave, cunning, and have different motives for doing what they do.

Penélope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, Jessica Chastain, Diane Kruger, and Bingbing Fan will take us on an action adventure around the globe, from the cafés of Paris to the markets of Morocco to the opulent auction houses of Shanghai on a mission where they will forge a tenuous loyalty that could protect the world—or get them killed.

The 355. Penelope Cruz

Luis (Édgar Ramirez) and Graciela (Penélope Cruz) Photo Credit: Robert Viglasky/Universal Pictures Copyright © 2021 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

The 355 is the first movie of its kind: an intriguing action film with an all-star cast of internationally renowned actresses that’s empowering and real. The characters’ personal stories have a kind of complexity that we don’t always get to see across the board in a spy thriller.

However, one mystery remains: Why are these agents called “The 355?”

355 was a real-life female operative who played a pivotal role in George Washington’s Culper Spy Ring, helping to convey vital information about British troop movements to American generals.

The numeric signifier was part of an elaborate system developed to keep all the agents’ names and locations secret — and it worked well. In fact, hundreds of years later, the woman’s name is still unknown, but her groundbreaking accomplishments haven’t been forgotten; women working as intelligence professionals today still sometimes refer to one another as 355.

“The title is really important because there are so many women who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes that have never been recognized in any field,” says producer and star Jessica Chastain. “Even when you look through history books, it’s very rare to find the stories of women and what they’ve accomplished. The film being called The 355 is a tip of the hat to the women who were unrecognized. It’s amplifying their power, their strength, their accomplishments, and it’s saying ‘Thank you.’”

The jet-setting story spotlights the disparate talents of its eclectic mix of female characters, each a gifted specialist in some facet of spycraft, be it combat and field ops, cutting-edge tech, marksmanship, or psychology. As a collective, they are smart, savvy, and when necessary, lethal. Together, they are unstoppable.

The 355 also stars Edgar Ramírez and Sebastian Stan and premieres on January 7, 2022.

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