Elizabeth Banks to Play Villainous Rita Repulsa in ‘Power Rangers’

Elizabeth Banks As Rita Repulsa

Lionsgate announced Tuesday that Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) has signed on to play the villain in the upcoming Power Rangers big-screen reboot.

The power-hungry alien witch Rita was originally played by late Japanese actress Soga Machiko in the Japan’s long-running “Super Sentai” series, which first aired on Fox Kids back in the 90s.

Banks joins a cast that includes Naomi Scott as the Pink Ranger, Dacre Montgomery as the Red Ranger, Ludi Lin as the Black Ranger, R.J. Cyler as the Blue Ranger, and Becky Gomez as the Yellow Ranger.

Directed by Dean Israelite (Project Almanac) from a script by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor), Power Rangers is set to debut in theaters on March 24, 2017. I hope this ends up being “good, fun dumb” and not “bad, unwatchable dumb.”

In the original series, both Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd were pacified by Zordon’s energy wave, known as the Z-Wave, but Scorpia wasn’t neutralized, promising that she would one day return. This report claims that the opening scene will feature Scorpina and her army doing battle with the Power Rangers and their robot Megazords. Since this battle will take place several years before the new story picks up, it is believed that these rangers will be the current Power Rangers Dino Charge team, who are tasked with protecting the Morphin Grid, an energy field that provides every generation of Rangers with their powers, and also allows them to access past, present and future Rangers’ memories to come up with battle strategies. The Morphin Grid cannot sustain more than two Rangers for very long, which will likely figure into the story somehow.