After more than two decades on the air and numerous cast changes, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is still alive and kicking. Now entering season number 22, the long-running sci-fi/action TV franchise is about to make its big-screen debut in early 2017.
Since its debut in 1993, the story of five teenagers chosen by the wise sage Zordon and Alpha 5 to defend the Earth as the Power Rangers has resonated with young viewers (and their parents) everywhere. So it follows that the bar has been set very high for the Power Rangers movie to be helmed by Dean Israelite (Project Almanac), with a script penned by Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller (X-Men: First Class, Thor).
In a recent interview with IGN, Israelite opened up about the film’s progress, and while he couldn’t reveal anything salient about the film’s plot, or even how the reboot might tie into the original series, it’s clear the project was extremely important to the director. Without giving too much away, Israelite described an early draft of the script as "mature but still playful," and said the update will have an interesting spin to it. He even teased a new character:
"I read the script and was really surprised by it and thought there was a really cool, contemporary, mature but still playful, buoyant and fun take on the material, and was updated in a really interesting way. It had this wonderful character that's essential to going on a fantastic adventure. I was instantly drawn to it. I remember it as a kid. I grew up with it in South Africa. When I opened the script I had no idea how it was going to be updated, and I was really impressed by it. So I put a really big presentation together, because I needed to win the job. There were a lot of guys going out for it and saw the potential in it, so I put a really big presentation together and was lucky enough to get the job. We're in sort of a soft pre-production right now, doing a lot of design work and reimagining the world. It's really cool and exciting."
Power Rangers creator Haim Saban said last year that he wanted the flick to be respectful of the TV series’ continuity, and that the upcoming movie wouldn't automatically be a hard reboot. Israelite wouldn’t deny or confirm whether that was still the case, pleading the fifth on that particular topic. However, the director did open up about the tone of the new movie, revealing whether the film would be a little bit edgier -- much like his recent movie, Project Almanac -- and whether he would push for humor in the new movie:
"Oh, yes, it needs to be completely playful, and it needs to be really fun and funny. But like Project Almanac, I hope it's going to feel very grounded at the same time, and very contemporary and have a real edge to it, and a real gut to it. So I think it's going to be a fun, joyful [movie] but one that feels completely grounded in a real world, with real characters going through real things."
Dean Israelite said they were in the early stages of the casting process, so no names yet, but since they’ll be shooting soon, we’re bound to hear something in the next few months. Are you excited for Power Rangers? The movie will open on Jan. 13, 2017.