People has unveiled our first look at an almost unrecognizable Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, the power-mongering alien set to torture Lionsgate’s band of Power Rangers in 2017.
Donning a viper green costume that wouldn’t look out of place in the Mortal Kombat franchise, Lionsgate is clearly gunning for an entirely different take on the infamous, cackling baddie. Speaking to the outlet, Banks herself teased that this particular version of ol’ Rita is both “modern” and “edgy,” with plans in place to outline the villain’s backstory so that it dovetails with the Rangers themselves.
“It’s definitely a modern and edgy re-imagining of the original Rita Repulsa,” Banks tells the outlet, before teasing: “We wanted to give her a backstory that connects her to the new Rangers.”
Among those Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers tasked with saving the planet are RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Naomi Scott and Dacre Montgomery. As five unassuming high school teenagers from Angel Grove, Lionsgate’s live-action reboot bestows an extraordinary power on our roster of heroes, before donning those iconic, color-coded costumes to battle evil head on.
Dean Israelite of Project Almanac fame is behind the lens, working in collaboration with Haim Saban of Saban Films – who reclaimed the Power Rangers rights from Disney six years ago – alongside producers Brian Casentini and Allison Shearmur.
Dean Israelite will assemble the Power Rangers in time for their live-action debut on March 24, 2017.