queen for a day movie

Elizabeth Banks is set to bring the true story of Lisa Barber to the big screen in Queen for a Day. In 1986, Barber won a date with Prince – yes, the Prince – via an MTV contest. His Royal Badness swooped into Barber’s home town of Sheridan, Wyoming and whisked her away to a premiere of his new film Under the Cherry Moon. And that was just the beginning.

We all miss Prince, but the Purple One lives on through the legacy of his music. And now, apparently, through the movie Queen For a Day. Deadline reports Elizabeth Banks will star and produce the film, which is based on a Daily Beast article about a woman who won a date with Prince in 1986. The date was part of an elaborate MTV contest, and the winner was Lisa Barber, a young chambermaid from Wyoming. Barber was the 10,000th caller for the contest, and MTV (and Prince) made good on the deal.

Prince brought his entire entourage to town, swept Barber off to a premiere of his new film Under the Cherry Moon, and then staged a concert. It all sounds very charming, like something out of a fairy tale, but as the Daily Beast story indicates, “Behind the scenes, coke-fueled chaos reigned.” The film will likely play up the surreal nature of this story, and show how Barber’s town of Sheridan, Wyoming became “the unexpected nexus of all things Prince for one unforgettable night.” Here’s a video of Prince landing in Wyoming for the date to further prove this wild story really happened.

Prince in Wyoming 

Queen For A Day won’t just focus on Barber. It will also tell the story of “the Manhattan PR exec responsible for the event’s success.” Deadline doesn’t indicate if Banks will play Sheridan or the PR executive. And if you’re wondering who is going to play Prince – don’t. The musical legend won’t be played by an actor, but “his presence will hover through the film.” I’m not quite sure how that’s going to work, since the hook of this story is about winning a date with Prince. But I’m sure they’ll figure it out.

The Deadline story doesn’t mention the PR exec by name, but the Daily Beast story reveals her as Robyn Riggs. Here’s an excerpt from the story contrasting Barber and Riggs:

The two women could have hardly been more dissimilar: one the fast-talking, gimlet-eyed epitome of ‘80s hipsterdom; the other, a naif who had barely ventured beyond the Wyoming border. But a genuine rapport began to develop between them…And in quieter moments, Riggs gave Barber her first makeover. “She’d never had makeup touch her. She would blink and jump when I would touch the brush to her face,” says Riggs. “I’d say, Lisa, trust me! Then I’d make her look in the mirror. And I’d say, See? And she’d say, ‘Well, that looks nice. But I don’t want to look all trampy, made up!’ I said, ‘I wouldn’t do that to you.’ I curled her hair and she looked pretty. She’d never had her hair done before. I took her measurements. I called the wardrobe people. I said, ‘We need to get her some clothes.’”

Flora Greeson has been hired to re-write a draft of the script penned by Josh Stolberg. Greeson has no screen credits to her name, but was recruited to write the script by Banks and the other producers. This is a great premise overall, and while I’m still uncertain on how they’re going to get around showing Prince in the movie, I look forward to seeing how this all turns out.

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