NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock has landed for development Red Queen, a series based on the best-selling YA fantasy novel of the same name by Victoria Aveyard. Elizabeth Banks has been tapped to direct and play a major supporting role in the potential series, to be co-written by former Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz and Aveyard.
First published in 2015, Red Queen is set in a near-future, alternate America where democracy has been dismantled to give way to a monarchy. Those in power have silver blood and supernatural abilities, while red-blooded humans have no such abilities and are thus treated as second class citizens.
The series centres around Mare Barrow, a young Red woman born in poverty and without powers… or so she thought. The shocking discovery that she has electrokinetic powers leads her on a path to becoming the face of a revolution for the oppressed, while trying to uncover how she became so powerful in the first place. It’s very Katniss Everdeen meets X-Men.
The fantasy novel proved so successful that it was closely followed by three sequels: ‘Glass Sword’, ‘King’s Cage’, and ‘War Storm’, as well as a series of spinoffs. Banks had previously been attached to direct a film adaptation of Red Queen, but there has been no update on the project since it was announced six years ago. Likely that if the series goes ahead, the film will be shelved permanently.
Banks has been busy with a number of television gigs lately, hosting the Press Your Luck revival on ABC since 2019, co-starring in the limited Hulu series Mrs. America, and will soon voice Pebbles in an animated Flintstones sequel currently in the works at Fox. Aveyard's latest book, Realm Breaker, released just this month and is the first of her works not to be set in the Red Queen universe.