After making her directorial debut with last month's smash hit Pitch Perfect 2, Elizabeth Banks is in negotiations to direct the young adult fantasy adaptation Red Queen for Universal Pictures. The project is based on the novel of the same name by Victoria Aveyard, who scored a three-book deal just one year after graduating from USC's screenwriting program in 2012. The story is said to have "shades" of The Hunger Games, X-Men, Game of Thrones and Cinderella.
The story is set in a fantasy world where people are separated by their blood types. Those with red blood are your average folks, while those with silver blood are the elite, blessed with superhuman abilities. The plot centers on a lowly street urchin who saves her best friend, leading her to be brought before the king and queen. Surprisingly, she begins to show powers that should not be possible for a red-blooded person, which leads to the king and queen trying to cover it up. They invent a phony history for her as a silver blooded woman, arranging for her to marry one of their sons, but, at the same time, she is also helping the red-blooded folks stage a rebellion against the elite.
Gennifer Hutchison (Better Call Saul) wrote the adapted screenplay, with Benderspink's Jake Weiner, Chris Bender and J.C. Spink producing alongside Pouya Shabazian. Red Queen isn't expected to be Elizabeth Banks' next directorial effort, since the adaptation is still in the early stages of development. Her first feature Pitch Perfect 2 is already a surefire hit, taking over $250 million worldwide after just one month in theaters.