Next up for director Elizabeth Banks: A bloody YA adaptation

It seems as though Elizabeth Banks has caught the directing bug. Though she’s made a name as an amazing actress (and a pretty great motivational speaker), she dipped her toe into the directing waters with Pitch Perfect 2 and now it seems she has every intention of keeping the effort up. Banks’s next foray into the director chair: An adaptation of popular YA novel Red Queen, the first book of a trilogy written by Victoria Aveyard.

While Pitch Perfect 2 was a relatively (all things considered) easy directing project, with very little special effects or action involved, Red Queen will have more in common with another one of Banks’s projects — The Hunger Games. The fantasy world of Red Queen is divided into a caste system based on blood, with red-blooded commoners serving the silver-blooded magic elite. Its protagonist: A teenage girl with a symbolic name (Red) who’s just not like the rest of them. It’s a script we’ve heard before, but never with two women in leading behind-the-scenes roles: Along with Banks as director, the project also boasts Breaking Bad writer Jenny Hutchinson as its screenwriter.

Though Banks has been in front of the camera for decades now, it’s clear that her passion for directing isn’t a passing interest. Rather, Pitch Perfect 2 was her gateway into the larger business and effort of making films:

And honestly? It’s about time Hollywood recognizes a willing, winning, fresh female director. (Especially since her first directorial feature made almost $70 million at the first weekend box office and is getting a sequel.)

It’s no secret that there are very few active, marquee female directors — the gender split situation in the industry as a whole is so bad that Hollywood is actually being investigated by the American Civil Liberties Union. While first-time directors like Gareth Edwards and Colin Treverrow are handed huge series right off the bat (Godzilla and Jurassic World, respectively), it’s still very rare that a female director has that kind of a break, if ever.

And of course, there are the troubling revelations coming out every day from the Tumblr Sh*t People Say to Women Directors (and Other Women in Film), which chronicles the daily sexism that women at all positions in the entertainment industry face.

But all isn’t lost: More and more women inside the industry are fighting for representation, and more and more people outside of the industry are clamoring for it. Wonder Woman, after some internal turmoil, landed Patty Jenkins as a directorCaptain Marvel has two female screenwriters, and is reportedly in the market for a female director; actress and funnywoman Rose Byrne launched an all-woman production company.

The changes keep on coming, and we’re so excited to see them happen. Red Queen can’t open soon enough; we hope to hear more stories like Banks’s this year, and all the rest.

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