The new cinematic reboot of the original “Power Rangers” property has found an occupant for its director’s chair.
According to Variety, Lionsgate has tapped Dean Israelite — director of last year’s found footage time travel thriller Project Almanac — to head up the new film. Originally set to be produced by Roberto Orci before he left to focus on the development of Star Trek 3, the new film will be written by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class) and produced by Brian Casentini, Allison Shearmur, and franchise owner Haim Saban.
Expected to be based on the original incarnation of the television series that premiered in 1993, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers became a cultural phenomenon in the 1990’s and spawned two feature films, and a plethora of spinoffs and merchandising. It follows the exploits of five — later six — high school students, who are called upon by a powerful alien entity to protect the Earth from the onslaught of a recently released intergalactic criminal: Rita Repulsa. The teens, using powers bestowed upon them by their alien benefactor and inspired by the titanic dinosaurs of Earth’s prehistory, thwart and repel Rita’s constant efforts to invade the Earth using their incredible hand-to-hand combat skills and colossal assault vehicles known as “zords.”
In 1995, 20th Century Fox distributed Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, which took place in an alternate timeline from the series, sporting massively increased production value evident in the costume and set design, and the location shoot in Australia. Two years later, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie was released to kick off the new incarnation of the series, “Power Rangers Turbo,” and took place with only slightly enhanced production value from the show. While the first film was a modest box office success, grossing $66 million worldwide on an estimated (but not confirmed) $15 million budget, the second film only barely earned back its production budget of $8 million. The franchise hasn’t been seen on the big screen since.
The new Power Rangers film is expected to go into production later this year for a July 22nd, 2016 release. For more on the film as it develops, keep it locked on GeekNation!
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