Power Rangers is a film that is happening. After various TV iterations and reincarnations, network switches, and two live-action films, we are finally getting a new reboot with an all new cast. The principle story stays the same where five teenagers with attitude and skills are recruited by Zordon to stop an evil alien force from ruling the world. Now the five young recruits consist of a young and relatively unknown cast. But one of Lionsgate’s major goals was to cast an A-list star to attract fans of the franchise and generate new ones.
The studio didn’t have to look too far as they have cast Elizabeth Banks to play Rita Replusa.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to confirm the news. Banks was a part of Lionsgate’s highly successful adaptation of the YA trilogy The Hunger Games, which grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide. Her character can easily be considered a fan-favorite because of that spirited energy she channeled into playing the always stylish Effie Trinket. So now it’s time to channel that same energy but into a villainous form.
For those who may not remember or may not have been even around to see the first incarnation of the Power Rangers, Rita Replusa was an evil alien witch who was imprisoned inside a dumpster buried beneath the surface of the move. When astronauts opened the dumpster, she and her cronies were released and set their sights on ruling Earth. The event forced Zordon to recruit five teenagers and endow them with powers to call upon powerful weapons and mighty robots called Dinozords, which when put together could form the great Megazord.
Banks’ own brand of comedy is sure to bring in some fans of hers and the franchise to theaters. She certainly has experience wearing some crazy clothing from the Hunger Games franchise, and Rita Replusa was known for having an odd fashion sense. As aforementioned, it was one of Lionsgate’s goals to get a bankable (no pun intended) star in the film. I think Elizabeth Banks pretty much covers that criteria. She has proven time and again that she can balance out comedy and drama, but being in Power Rangers is something a little bit different.
Now it’s time to see who director Dean Israelite casts as Rita’s cronies like Goldar, Baboo & Squatt, Scorpina, and Finster.
Power Rangers is set for a March 24, 2017 release date.
Here’s a small video of when the American version of Power Rangers first introduced Rita Replusa.