Fresh off the massive success of her feature directorial debut, Pitch Perfect 2, Elizabeth Banks is now lining up an ambitious follow-up. Per THR, Banks is in talks to helm an adaptation of author Victoria Aveyard’s YA fantasy novel Red Queen for Universal Pictures. The book takes place in a world literally divided by blood: those with the common Red blood serve, while those with the rare Silver blood are the elites, gifted with superhuman abilities. The central character is a 17-year-old Red whose once-latent magical powers draw her into the dangerous king’s palace, wherein her uniqueness is masked by marrying her off to a prince and passing her off as a lost Silver.
As described in the report, the film has shades of Hunger Games, X-Men, Game of Thrones, and Cinderella (that’s quite a stew) and will mark a major step up for Banks as the movie is much larger in scope and effects than Pitch Perfect 2. The comedy sequel was made on a modest budget of $29 million but has already grossed $250.7 million worldwide. Universal is already moving forward on Pitch Perfect 3, but if Red Queen is to take priority, Banks will likely step back into a producer role for that film.
I wrote the other day that I’d be curious to see if Banks gets the same treatment as other male first-time filmmakers who hit it big on their first swing, and I’m enthused to see Universal appears to be handing her the keys to create her own big franchise after Pitch Perfect 2.
Gennifer Hutchison, whose writing credits include Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, penned the script for Red Queen, so Banks has a very solid foundation to work from. It’s unclear how quickly the project will come together, but if Banks signs on this will no doubt be a priority for Universal.