Actress and filmmaker Elizabeth Banks may be following up her massively successful Pitch Perfect 2 directorial debut by directing a big screen adaptation of the Victoria Aveyard fantasy sci-fi novel Red Queen. The project is being likened to The Hunger Games, X-Men and HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Geared toward young adult readers, the novel is set in a deeply divided society with a rigid class system. There are two different colors of blood—red for ordinary people and silver for elite individuals who possess supernatural powers. A shocking discovery is made when Mare, a 17-year-old street urchin who saved her best friend, is brought before the King and Queen and displays special powers, previously thought impossible for a red blood. The king attempts to hide this revelation and to keep the young woman under control by fabricating a past for her, passing her off as a lost princess, and then arranges for her to marry one of his sons.
Although her lot in life seems greatly improved, rising from peasant to noblewoman, Mare feels conflicted as she becomes part of the privileged class while simultaneously aiding the red rebellion.
The screenplay was written by Gennifer Hutchison, best known for writing TV’s Breaking Bad and the new series Better Call Saul.
The film is being produced by Chris Bender (We’re the Millers), Jake Weiner (A History of Violence), and J.C. Spink (Monster-in-Law) via the production company Benderspink. Pouya Shahbazian of the Divergent film franchise is also on board to produce.
Elizabeth Banks’s next onscreen role is in Magic Mike XXL, to be released July 1.