It was all the way back on Halloween 2015 that the upcoming Power Rangers movie confirmed that the original cast of characters from the beloved 90s television series would be returning for the big screen adventure, and now it's been confirmed that one of the show's classic villains is going to be front and center as well. It looks like the infamous Rita Repulsa is going be a key player in the 2017 blockbuster, and she will be played by none other than Elizabeth Banks.
This news was confirmed today by the official Power Rangers Twitter channel, which broadcast the news this morning, posting a picture of the actress with a "Elizabeth Banks Is Rita Repulsa" label:
Thus far, Elizabeth Banks is by far the biggest name to be attached to the new Power Rangers movie, as the entire titular team is made up of newcomers. Dacre Montgomery will be playing the team leader as Jason Lee Scott/The Red Ranger, and he is joined by RJ Cyler as Bill Cranston/The Blue Ranger, Naomi Scott as Kimberly Hart/The Pink Ranger, Becky G. as Trini Kwan/The Yellow Ranger, and Ludi Lin as Zack Taylor/The Black Ranger. The film is being directed by filmmaker Dean Israelite, who broke out just last year with his feature debut - the underrated found footage time travel movie Project Almanac.
Elizabeth Banks is a fascinating choice as Rita Repulsa, if not just because it could be amazing seeing her take on a super over-the-top villainous role. She has the right kind of comedic background to make the part silly in the right ways, but also the dramatic talent that may just allow us to take the character somewhat seriously. We already know thanks to her role in the Hunger Games movies that she can put on a great performance while completely caked in makeup and ridiculous wardrobes, and that's practically half of who Rita is right off the bat.
For those of you unfamiliar with the original Power Rangers show, Rita Repulsa was a sorceress who wanted nothing more than complete intergalactic domination. Played by actresses Machiko Soga and Carla Perez in the show (with voice dubbing by Barbara Goodson), each episode featured the character summoning some kind of monster for the Power Rangers to fight, and then making it grow with the help of her magic wand.
What do you think of this casting? Do you think Elizabeth Banks is a good fit as Rita Repulsa in the Power Rangers movie? Hit the comments below with your thoughts!