The star and director of Pitch Perfect has been confirmed for the cast of the upcoming Power Rangers movie as Rita Repulsa.
Power Rangers is one of those peculiar 90’s franchises were you’re not totally sure if they’re good or not. I mean, you know it’s not good, but you daren’t say it out loud say for fear of a twenty-something slapping you across the mouth. So it’s hard to gauge whether or not a movie adaptation is something we really want to be shouting about. But now we’ve got some casting and character news, and things aren’t looking quite so worrying. Not only do we know that the rangers will be taking on old villain favourite Rita Repulsa, but we also know that Elizabeth Banks will be taking on the role.
The news from Deadline is that the star of Pitch Perfect will resurrect the evil space witch in the upcoming big screen rangers adventure. The news was broken on Twitter by both Banks and the production:
— Power Rangers (@PowerRangers) February 2, 2016
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) February 2, 2016
The character first appeared in the original series of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and made regular appearances from then on. Repulsa was played by Carla Perez in the American series and Machigo Soga in the original Japanese show, and now Banks will join the grand cackling tradition. In the grand tradition of Power Rangers villains, Rita Repulsa is hell-bent on galactic domination after being imprisoned for thousands of years.
It may still look unclear, but this is good news. Elizabeth Banks has made some good franchises choices in recent years. She made a strong showing in the Hunger Games films as the theatrical Effie Trinket, and her work directing and starring in Pitch Perfect has been solid. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we should expect straight comedy or young adult action from the Power Rangers reboot. Given Banks’ fantastic performance as Melinda Ledbetter in the Brian Wilson biopic Love and Mercy, she could still take the Rita Repulsa role in a darker direction. Having said that, her name is Rita Repulsa, so don’t hold your breath for straight drama. Also her tweet on the news suggests a very tongue in cheek approach.
Power Rangers is scheduled for release by Lionsgate on March 24, 2017. Watch this space for all the latest Power Rangers movie news.