Is it Morphin time? Really?
I know, there’s some snark in that statement but I am truly interested in this new version of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers coming to theatres in 2017. The tv show that held such a cult following missed the mark for me and looked, sadly, like a bunch of circus acrobats jumping around with a bunch of puppets. If I’m being honest.
And then director Joseph Kahn dropped a dark as hell short film starring Katee Sackhoff and James Van Der Beek which went viral, was flagged by Saban Entertainment (creators of Power Rangers) for copyright infringement and pulled from the internet.
This pissed off the fans of not only the source material but also the fans of the amazing and awesome work found in the short. Long story short, it was put back online and everyone walked off into the sunset. For a great interview on the matter head on over to our friends at i09 to read their exclusive interview that details it all.
What that short taught me, a non believer of the source material and show, is that it’s a very popular brand with a ton of vocal and awesome fans, clamoring for their big screen adaptation of the material. And you know, the short also taught me that there IS an adaptation in there that can and will work. It doesn’t have to be dark and gritty like the short, but it can be done and done well.
That is my long winded introduction to the current scoop Collider just dropped about the new rebooted movie, casting up now. For those that want to be Mighty Morphin free, turn away as there are spoilers abound.
The movie will be directed by Dean Israelite and has recently cast a boatload of unknown newcomers in RJ Cyler as the Blue Ranger, Naomi Scott as the Pink Ranger, Ludi Lin as the Black Ranger and Dacre Montgomery as the Red Ranger. No word yet on the Yellow Ranger. Also of note, there has been no official word on the title of the movie but it was assumed that it would be called, simply, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Not so, for according to Collider, the movie’s official titled is ‘Saban’s Power Rangers.’ This, as reported, comes as an answer to series creator Haim Saban being completely and totally involved in the process, making sure the movie matches up to his vision. He is also heavily involved with the scripting of the movie, allegedly doing a pass after original writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men First Class) turned in a draft.
Collider continues – this hands on work is reason now that the actual character names have all changed after it was first reported the movie would share the same names as their tv counterparts.
Callum Oliver – The Red Ranger/Tyrannosaurus
Priya Patel – The Pink Ranger/Pterodactyl
Brian Olson – The Blue Ranger/Triceratops
Oscar Fernandez – The Black Ranger/Mastodon
Teyana Jones – The Yellow Ranger/Sabre-tooth Tiger
Collider notes that the new names of the Rangers prove that this is a continuation of the series in movie form rather than a reboot or straight up remake and that the movie will focus on an all new team. Each team member is also paired up with the original Zords or animal vehicles from the original series so it appears the new team will take over the recognizable vehicles. Makes sense.
Collider also reveals that the original costumes will also make it into the film though they add the caveat of not knowing when or where. They do suppose it might:
…be in the big opening scene in which a massive battle between the forces of good and evil is taking place. Or it might be in some sort of flashback in which the old heroes hand off the Morphin’ powers to the new.
I’m sure every Power Ranger fan out there would be thrilled to see this happen. Again, as a non-fan of the series, this story beat adds in equal parts nostalgia and equal parts continuation that could seemingly please both old and new fans. A good move, in my opinion.
Their final bit of news:
A final exclusive detail we have for you today is the budget of the film, one which is reported to be in the $35 million range. If that sounds low to you, consider that the cast is composed of relative unknowns who don’t command the same salaries as well-established actors. Also keep in mind that the 2014 hit The Maze Runner had a similar budget, a large cast of young actors, and plenty of jaw-dropping effects; that film went on to net over $340 million worldwide.
There now is a equally smart move which Collider does comment on. Power Rangers can be viewed, essentially as a Young Adult movie along the lines of Maze Runner. So a smaller budget could hit the sweet spot, making the studio hundreds of millions later – assuring the franchise many, many sequels thereafter. And that’s what the fans want, right?
All this sounds like a no brainer to me and now, it all depends on the execution of the movie. If the fans love this version, then it’s a good bet a wider audience will to. We now just have to wait and see.
Saban’s Power Rangers comes out January 13th, 2017 .
Make sure you check back for more updates — for all things Power Rangers — right here on GeekNation.
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