red queen series

The ever-busy Elizabeth Banks has yet another project on the way. Banks will direct and co-star in the Peacock series Red Queen, based on the book series by Victoria Aveyard. The story is set in “an alternate near-future America where democracy is replaced by a monarchy led by a group of humans with superpowers who rule with an iron fist over those without powers.”

Deadline says that Peacock has picked up the rights to the YA fantasy novel Red Queen, and that Elizabeth Banks will “play a major supporting role” and direct the series. Victoria Aveyard, who wrote the book, is handling the script along with former Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz. Banks will executive produce with Max Handelman.

Red Queen was published in 2015, and it’s the first in a series of books set in an alternate future where a super-powered monarchy rules America. Here’s the synopsis:

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction.

One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Red Queen was followed by the sequels Glass SwordKing’s Cage, and War Storm. It’s easy to see Peacock sticking with this and adapting the other books for future seasons, Game of Thrones-style. At one point, Better Call Saul writer Gennifer Hutchison was hired to write a feature film adaptation of Red Queen for Universal, with Banks in talks to potentially direct that. Now, the project has moved to streaming. Banks has several different irons in the fire right now. She’s supposed to direct Invisible Woman for Universal, as well as Cocaine Bear, a movie based on a true story about a bear that ate some cocaine.

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