Elizabeth Banks Looking to Direct YA Adaptation ‘Red Queen’

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ElizabethBanksAs much as I want to support Elizabeth Banks‘ endeavors jumping behind the camera, between her non-distinctive touch to Pitch Perfect 2 to her equally unremarkable short in Movie 43, I can’t quite say I’m a fan of what she’s brought to the table thus far. But I like to think of myself as a pretty open-minded guy, and maybe she can turn my opinion with what looks to be her sophomore feature, an adaptation of Victoria Aveyard‘s YA novel “Red Queen“.

Banks currently is in negotiations to helm the project for Universal, called a mix between “Game of Thrones,” X-Men, Cinderella and her own Hunger Games. This would be a much bigger production than the $29 million budgeted one she spearheaded before, but based on her sequel’s impressive box office numbers (they’ve already greenlit Pitch Perfect 3 as well), she’s likely got enough clout to get herself in the door.

[amz asin=”0062310631″ size=”small”]Red Queen, part of Aveyard’s three-book deal from 2012, is set to tell the tale of a world divided by blood color. Ordinary people like ourselves have red blood, while the elites have silver blood and supernatural abilities. But when a red-blooded normal saves her best friend and is presented before her king and queen, they are shocked to discover her special powered capabilities, and, in an effort to keep everything under control, the king invents a past for the young woman as a long-lost princess and sets her up to marry one of his sons. The former street urchin’s life grows complicated as her new silver-blooded lifestyle interferes with her aiding a red rebellion.

Breaking Bad” scribe Gennifer Hutchinson wrote the movie’s screenplay and Jake Weiner, Chris Bender, JC Spink produce under Benderspink. Also on board as a producer is Pouya Shahbazian, while Christopher Cosmos co-produces. There’s no word yet on when production is expected to start, or when Universal hopes to release the movie, but Banks is also attached to direct the ABC pilot “The Greater Good” in addition to this new movie.

What struck me more than anything else about Banks’ work on her recent movie was the lack of style she gave. So how she’ll do with something that likely requires a stark vision like this is a little worrisome to me. But if she can do something engaging and worthwhile with the property, I’m more than willing to be surprised. Show me what you can do on your throne, Queen Banks. [Deadline]