The monarchy and the ruling British class are having what some might term a hot minute in the realm of pop culture: Downton Abbey got things rolling in a fine and grand fashion, capturing worldwide attention and amassing some major fan love before passing the baton on to such bellwethers as The Crown and Bridgerton. The why of it all is pretty simple to figure out – It’s just plain old wish-fulfillment and a complete fascination for how the vaunted Other Half live and exist. We’ve seen bargain basement variations of these offspring of Merchant Ivory and Upstairs, Downstairs, of course: Here in America our ruling class are the wealthy and the political, thus a proliferation of shows like Dallas, Falcon Crest, The Colbys and Dynasty. But like a grand/gaudy tapestry, it all connects and the hunger for these stories never seems to go out of style. In best snake-like fashion, these seminal characters shed their old skin for a new coat; still the same creature, but with a spritzed up wardrobe and social mores to suit the particular times. Which brings us to the news reported today from our pals at The Hollywood Reporter that yet another new look at the concept of monarchy is forthcoming, this time from actress Elizabeth Banks.
Streaming service Peacock is readying a new drama that, in best Handmaid’s Tale fashion, is set in an alternate timeline. Entitled Red Queen, this new series is based off of the best-selling book of the same name from author Victoria Aveyard and is about an alternate America where democracy goes the way of my All-Flash collection, only to be replaced by a monarchy. If that’s not enough of a catch for you Dear and Constant Readers, then hold onto your trusty bowlers for this doozy: The people overseeing this new American monarchy happen to have – wait for it – superpowers. These meta-humans lord over the non-super powered people, and why do I suddenly feel like a character making an absurd movie pitch in Robert Altman’s The Player?
Actress and director extraordinaire Elizabeth Banks of The Hunger Games fame and Max Handelman (Pitch Perfect) are both set to executive produce Red Queen, with Banks on tap to have a major role as a supporting character (Contradiction of terms? You decide.) should the pilot move to series.
Check back in with Vents for all future updates on Red Queen!