Actress, producer and director Elizabeth Banks has plans to take Earth as her own. Yes you read that right. Today Banks was announced to take on the role of the iconic childhood villain Rita Repulsa in the 2017 movie reboot of Power Rangers. Banks tweeted and confirmed that she has taken the role with a quote from the premiere episode of the series.
If you grew up in America in the 90's and you didn't live under a rock, you HAVE to be familiar with Rita and The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise. Debuting in the summer of 1993, the series about a group of teenagers turned into a superhuman fighting force to defend Earth against alien antagonists is a worldwide phenomenon. The team's original "Big Bad" and perhaps the most memorable is the evil alien witch Rita Repulsa.
The villain is known for her high pitched cackling, outlandish wardrobe and her animated personality. The original Rita was played by Japanese actress Machiko Soga who sadly passed away in 2006 at the age of 68. The role would be continued to be played multiple actresses throughout the series and and two previous feature films. But one thing most viewers probably didn't realize is that the English voice of Rita was a completely different actress by the name of Barbara Goodson for the characters' run on the show and in the films. While Machiko's final appearance as Mystic Mother in Power Rangers Mystic Force was voiced by Susan Brady. So this means that Elizabeth Banks will become the first actress to fully articulate the character while giving a physical and vocal performance for American audiences.
Details about the rebooted version of the character have not yet been revealed.Banks recently completed her run as Effie Trinket in the the Hunger Games franchise to great critical acclaim. Banks was able to provide depth and bring great emotion to a character that could have just come off as flashy and one dimensional to casual viewers. Not to mention she has great comedic timing which Rita Repulsa is also known for.
So if her take on Rita is anything like what she managed to do with the character of Effie, then fans will surely not be disappointed.Adding an actress of Bank's star power is sure give the film the needed jolt to get people talking and get people who weren't fans of the series interested, especially since the rest of the cast are relatively unknown.