In case you had forgotten, the popular TV franchise Power Rangers is indeed making its way to the big screen (though likely not in the same fashion as last year’s viral short film), with a 2017 release date in mind and a whole new cast of young actors making up the iconic team this time around.
Today as well, the first official image of the team was revealed (via EW), and unfortunately not in their probably very brightly-colored uniforms.
Nonetheless, check out the first image of Becky G (Trini), RJ Cyler (Billy), Naomi Scott (Kimberly), Ludi Lin (Zack), and Dacre Montgomery (Jason) assembled for the first time below:
The film will be directed by Dean Israelite (Project Almanac), and while a majority of the characters’ races have been swapped (as well as their race-based costumed color choices), the director stressed the creative team’s drive to maintain the same kind of diversity not only included in the original, but also evident in society today:
“From the very beginning, diversity was a very important part of the whole process.We switched all of the races around, but we made sure that the essence of each of those characters are who they were in the original show, and this really will be an origin story of those characters.”
The film will be taking the same kind of camaraderie and team dynamic from the original as well, and updating it to fit the lives of kids’ today, with Israelite calling the film a coming-of-age story about a group of “disenfranchised and disparate” high schoolers that aren’t friends when the film begins.
In addition to the characters’ receiving an update though, the actual Power Ranger costumes will also be getting a bit of a revamping from Weta Workshop (famous for their work on Lord of the Rings), that will still be instantly recognizable as Power Ranger costumes, but this time with a “really modern, edgy, badass, aspirational quality,” according to Israelite:
“We’ve really pushed ourselves to make them feel different from any other superhero costume that’s out there. One key that’s different to the Power Ranger suits is that they’re not really suits that people get into. They’re suits that morph onto our kids, so they already have this almost metaphysical quality to them.”
Along with the lead group of actors pictured above, the film also includes Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa (in possibly the best or worst casting ever), who will be just as crazy and off-balanced as she was in the original series from the sounds of it:
“It’s very exciting that we got [Banks], and I think what she loves is the opportunity to really embrace the insanity and deliciousness of Rita Repulsa in terms of how weird and wonderful that character was, and really dive into and consume that character. You should always be off-balance when you’re watching her. Is she insane? Is she totally calculated? Does she know what she’s doing? Elizabeth can toe that line really well.”
Honestly, as someone who grew up with the Power Rangers property, I’m having a bit of a difficult time taking this one seriously. It sounds cool, and I appreciate the amount of effort clearly being put into it (who would have ever thought they’d see Elizabeth Banks as Rita? Seriously?), but whether or not this ends up being a successful revival, or a failed attempt to put too much stock into an inherently playful property – will have to wait to be seen.
Power Rangers is set to hit theatres on March 24th, 2017.
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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