Important YA fantasy movie checklist:
-a “common girl” in an unforgiving world
-a “twist of fate” that catapults her into a new class
-some kind of magic (??)
-then some dangerous stuff
-a rebellion or something
Check, check, check, check, and check! Pitch Perfect 2 director Elizabeth Banks hasn’t signed up for another spin right round on the a cappella franchise, but the newly-minted helmer is circling another story with major series appeal. Deadline reports that Banks is in talks to direct Red Queen for Universal, a big screen version of Victoria Aveyard’s YA novel of the same name. Breaking Bad writer Gennifer Hutchison has already penned a script for the film, based on Aveyard’s 2015 novel, which has (of course) been imagined as a trilogy-starter.
Aveyard’s story sounds like it hits some pretty familiar beats (common girl, restrictive world, magic, rebellion, danger), but at least its setting is a smidge different, as it takes place in a sort of twisted medieval setting (oh, wait, Game Of Thrones, dammit). The world is rigidly divided between “Reds” and “Silvers,” a caste system literally built on blood. Reds are red-blooded and common (oh, so common), while Silvers have silver blood and “are gifted with superhuman abilities.” Our heroine is Mare Barrow, a scrappy Red who, through a series of contrivances (typical), ends up in front of the Silver court, where it is revealed “she has an ability of her own, and her once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace.”
Maybe she has blue blood?
From the sound of the book’s Barnes And Noble page, however, it seems as if Mare is secretly a Silver, or at least has the ability to perform supernatural type things (like summon lightning from her fingertips), which is billed as “an impossibility” that forces the King to pretend that Mare is some sort of long-lost Silver princess, now betrothed to one of his sons. There also appears to be a subplot about a best friend who has been thrown into the military and also a lingering rebellion, so I guess it’s time to pick this one up, because I have zero idea what is going on here.
Banks would also produce the film alongside her Brownstone Productions partner (and real-life husband Max Handelman), and alongside Benderspink, which has recently produced films like Vacation and Horrible Bosses 2.