ByElle McFarlane, writer at
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

Roll over, Harley Quinn, there's a new badass villain in town — and she's not rocking hot pants, fishnets and pigtails. In the role that she was born to play, Elizabeth Banks is set to dominate our screens as the deliciously depraved Rita Repulsa in the upcoming Power Rangers movie — and judging by the trailer, she's holding absolutely nothing back.

Charting her career from her first big movie role in Wet Hot American Summer, to Scrubs, 30 Rock and Slither, all the way up to The Hunger Games, it seems that since the beginning, all of Banks's roles have led to her grand portrayal of the Power Rangers' most notorious archenemy. So let's shift into turbo and take a look at why is the perfect Rita Repulsa.

1. Like Rita, Banks Is A Force Of Nature

Let's face facts. — a humanoid alien witch who desires nothing more than complete galactic domination and who boasts a string of conquered planets to her name — is a high achiever compared to most. The same can also be said for Banks.

"Power Rangers" [Credit: Lionsgate]
"Power Rangers" [Credit: Lionsgate]

With more than 50 film and 20 TV credits to her name, Banks is all but repulsing Tinseltown with the following staggering achievements:

  • One Screen Actors Guild nomination
  • Two MTV Movie Awards
  • Three nominations for Primetime Emmy Awards

If that's not an appetite for dominance worthy of Rita's respect, then we don't know what is.

2. Rita's Origin Story Mirrors Banks's Aggressively Determined Character In 30 Rock

Elizabeth Banks as Avery Jessup in "30 Rock." [Image: NBC]
Elizabeth Banks as Avery Jessup in "30 Rock." [Image: NBC]

In her role as right-wing Avery Jessup — the ambitious and confident financial reporter who's not afraid to challenge despotic dictators like Kim Jong-un, and meticulous, powerful network heads like Jack Donaghy — Banks proved she's got what it takes to play a woman who knows what she wants and who isn't afraid to go out and get it.

This is a perfect parallel to Rita Repulsa's origin story. The daughter of Master Vile and an unknown mother, when she was younger Rita's parents gifted her, naturally, with a fire-breathing dragon. Having instead wanted a "cute little planet," Rita was disappointed with her dragon gift, and so in an act of vengeance used it to burn down the family home.

Whether it comes in the form of an NBC news desk or a dragon, both these independent women are perfectly adept at expressing how they feel, regardless of the fiery consequences.

3. She Proves That Role Models Come In All Shapes And Sizes

Starring as Master Builder Wyldstyle in CGI comedy The Lego Movie, much like her Power Rangers character, Banks plays a fearless visionary and veritable army of one who is more than capable of rallying the troops behind her.

Yep, whether fighting on the side of good or evil, Banks chooses dynamic characters who offer up a dash of humor while simultaneously stopping at nothing to smash the patriarchy. So no matter how evil Rita Repulsa is set to get, surely there is an element of fearlessness to her personality that will make her a role model worthy of admiration.

4. Banks Is Set To Conquer The World — Of Cinema

 [Credit: Richard Cartwright/Universal Studios]
[Credit: Richard Cartwright/Universal Studios]

Not satisfied with one stellar career as a genre-busting actress who has appeared in musical comedies like Pitch Perfect, nail-biting crime dramas like The Next Three Days, and edgy horror flicks like The Uninvited, Banks has now made the leap behind the camera.

Following her first-time success as a director with Pitch Perfect 2 — the highest grossing musical-comedy of all time — Banks is set to reboot the cinema and TV classic Charlie's Angels. And with male directors numbering their female counterparts almost 24 to one, we have high hopes for Banks making bank following her early filmmaking success.

It's clear that she gets her inspiration for Hollywood dominance from none other than power-hungry femme Rita Repulsa, who has herself conquered many worlds throughout the galaxy, despite stiff competition from villains including Lord Zedd and Master Vile. And call us crazy, but something tells us that Rita would be right at home with the likes of Charlie's Angels' three butt-kicking detectives.

5. Rita Repulsa And Effie Trinket: Two Fashion Icons With Seriously Sassy Attitude

The role that has undoubtedly prepared Banks to tackle Rita Repulsa above all others is that of her most memorable character to date, Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games series. The synergy between Rita and Effie is quite astounding.

Both are incredibly tenacious women with impressively distinctive wardrobes who are unafraid to try out bold new makeup looks. Effie and Repulsa would make wonderful additions to any dinner party — but would certainly have something to say about anyone who dared not pass the salt.

"Power Rangers" [Credit: Lionsgate]
"Power Rangers" [Credit: Lionsgate]

In effect, Effie is the gateway drug to Rita Repulsa, and the 's icon provides perfect channel for all of Effie's prim and proper sass, biting wit, and indomitable shade. With Banks's Repulsa being revealed as a former Green Ranger who has transformed into her evil form, we're sure to be entertained by the ultimate good girl gone bad who rocks an emerald reptilian one-piece, golden talons and the rage of a thousand vengeful mockingjays like nobody's biz.

Power Rangers is set for cinematic release on March 24.


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