Alongside her close buddies Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu is one-third of one of the most beloved action trios ever, but does the Charlie's Angels star think that that iconic threesome will ever return for a third edition of the 2000s movie franchise?
Liu portrayed the highly skilled crime fighter Alex Munday opposite Diaz's Natalie Cook and Barrymore's Dylan Sanders in the 2000 action-comedy, a film adaptation of the famous 1970s television series. The original Charlie's Angels film was successful enough at the box office to warrant a sequel, 2003's even more action-packed Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, but there hasn't been a follow-up featuring Liu and Co. in the two decades since.
And the actress says that Charlie's Angels 3 is unlikely to happen, as she recently told Variety while at Sundance this week to promote her new Steven Soderbergh’s new film Presence:
I honestly don’t know how that’s going to be feasible. There have been so many iterations, even after the fact…in some ways, it’s such a strange thing to think about it. Times have changed so much since then.
Liu is seemingly referencing that other Charlie's Angels film that cropped up in the years since the original movies: the 2019 Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska as the new generation of Angels. Despite decent reviews, that film flopped at the box office, and leading lady Stewart even admitted she "hated" making it.
The Shazam! Fury of the Gods star went on to say that at the time of the original film's release, "it was such a strange thing for women to collaborate" onscreen and that novelty has shifted ever since:
At that time, when we were doing publicity, they had never before had three women on a magazine cover. They didn’t even know how to do it. It was such a strange thing for women to collaborate and be seen as colleagues and friends. It was such a big moment in time, and now it’s shifted. Even when I was doing ‘Ally McBeal,’ there had never been a lead woman in that way. Obviously, there was Mary Tyler Moore and things like that, but really the focus has changed. I’m not in charge of that, but I always enjoy they time that I had and then I move on. I never really dwell on anything like that. But I really would be shocked if that happened.
However, McG, the director of the first two Charlie's Angels movies, was singing a slightly different tune when he discussed the possibility of a third film with Entertainment Weekly in August 2023. First, the filmmaker said it would require "a long discussion" with Liu, Barrymore and Diaz:
It would take a long discussion with those three wonderful performers who I adore. I was very happy to see Elizabeth Banks take the helm and do what she did, which was fun. There always seems to be chatter about that. I'm very happy to discuss it with Drew and Cameron and Lucy, but at the same time, I'm very happy to pass the torch.
But he also added that maybe the original team has "got one left" in them and praised his leading ladies for breaking the mold with that franchise:
Who knows? Maybe we've got one left in us that tells a very compelling story if the opportunity presents itself. I love the three of them so much. They put me on the map. They looked out for me when I was a first-time filmmaker. I was very nearly fired off that film on many, many occasions, and Drew stood up for me and I'm forever indebted to her. And obviously, those are three performers where God broke the mold. They don't make 'em like that. I mean, those are three special ones.
Heck, we'd take any possibility of seeing the iconic combination of Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore onscreen again. So although Lucy says a third film is unlikely, we've still got our fingers crossed.
For now, if you want to see the original movie trio, you can stream the 2000 Charlie's Angels with a Paramount Plus subscription.