Elizabeth Banks to Play Iconic Villain in Power Rangers Movie

The Pittsfield native is ready to conquer Earth.

From left to right: Elizabeth Banks ("Effie Trinket," left) and Jennifer Lawrence ("Katniss Everdeen," right) star in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's THE HUNGER GAMES. Photo credit: Murray Close

From left: Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lawrence ‘The Hunger Games’ Photo by Murray Close / Lionsgate

The new Power Rangers movie just added an A-list star to the cast of the upcoming big screen reboot.

Pittsfield native and Hunger Games star Elizabeth Banks has reportedly signed on to the project to play Rita Repulsa, the iconic villain who would try to take over the world every week with her army of Putty Patrollers and other monstrous creations in the original television series.

That’s right, Banks will be trading in her Effie Trinket duds for some equally fashionable space witch gear.

The Massachusetts born actress will join a group of budding young stars in the Power Rangers reboot, including RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludy Lin, Naomi Scott, and Dacre Montgomery. The film is also being helmed by Project Almanac director Dean Israelite.

Previously, Rita was played by Julia Cortez in the non-canon film Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. Barbara Goodson voiced the character in several seasons of the show, although the role was physically played Carla Perez in footage shot in the United States.

The legendary Machiko Soga played the evil empress in the original Japanese series Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, which was later adapted into Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

It will be interesting to see how the film updates Rita’s story for new audiences. In the the show, the fearsome sorceress was trapped in an outer space dumpster for 10,000 years before a group of astronauts unwittingly set her free.

Regardless of how this movie turns out, they just better recreate this memorable scene.

The Power Rangers reboot will hit theaters on March 24, 2017.