Elizabeth Banks has reportedly beat out several other high profile actresses for the female lead role in Welcome To People, the directorial debut of Star Trek and Transformers co-writer Alex Kurtzman. She’ll co-star with Chris Pine in the family drama co-written by Kurzman, Roberto Orci and Jody Lambert. Steven Spielberg is set to produce. Read more about the film, and the actresses who were circling the role, after the jump. In the film, Pine stars a young businessman who flies home for his father’s funeral and finds out that, in his will, it’s stipulated he deliver $150,000 to an alcoholic older sister he didn’t know he had and her 12-year-old son. He does so without revealing who he is. The title refers to an anger management program the 12-year-old is enrolled in in the film.

The Wrap broke the news of Banks’ casting in the role.

The Playlist, however, has quotes from several actresses such as Amy Adams – who we knew was circling the project – and Hilary Swank, who were interested in the obviously meaty role. At a Hollywood Reporter Actress’ Roundtable, both actresses talked – in veiled terms – about the project.

Here’s two time Best Actress winner Swank’s quote:

There was a script I fell in love with just back in August that was sent to me. It’s a first time director but a well known writer and I read the script and I said ‘I want to meet you’ and he was like ’ oh wow, great.’ I went in and I didn’t get it.

And here’s what Adams, who can soon be seen in The Fighter, had to say:

I felt that—at this time—with my daughter being a baby, I couldn’t go there emotionally and still be there for her in a way an infant deserved… it’s hard to like to let go with something that’s really good that you feel emotionally attached to but I felt like this was my first my first career/mom decision where If I went to work and played this girl every day and came home, I’m not going to have the experience [I want].

It sounds like the role is fairly intense and Banks is surely an actress who has been regularly taking on broader and more challenging roles, including one in the upcoming The Last Three Days and in her recent stint on 30 Rock. Knowing that this is a role that Swank really wanted and Adams was intimated by, it sounds like Banks has a shot at a little gold man if she can pull it off.

What do you think of Banks’ casting in this role? And how you think Kurtzman and Orci – so well-known for their genre writing – will make the transition to drama?

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