Lionsgate transported the audience at Madison Square Garden back to the '90s on Saturday. The company kicked off their New York Comic Con presentation by introducing the packed theater to the brand-new Power Rangers.
The film's director, Dean Israelite (Project Almanac), took the stage first, followed by stars Dacre Montgomery (Jason/Red Ranger), Naomi Scott (Kimberly/Pink Ranger), RJ Cyler (Billy/Blue Ranger), Becky G. (Trini/Yellow Ranger) and Ludi Lin (Zack/Black Ranger).
Israelite kicked things off by talking about how important the original Power Rangers series was to him. He grew up with the show, he said, and wanted to find a way to stay true to the original while still giving audiences a "grounded origin story."
Things turned to the cast and their experience making the film. The conversation quickly turned to the physical requirements of the film. Naomi Scott joked that Becky was the first to get hurt, though they all admitted to having bruises at some point during production. Each of the cast members praised their stunt doubles and the trainers they worked with who helped them do as much of the work as they could. Cyler joked, "We can't fight, but we can make it look like we can."
A big part of the physicality of the film, it turns out, are the Zords. If you're not a Power Rangers fan, Zords are the giant fighting robots shaped like dinosaurs (mostly) that each Ranger uses to take on their enemies. They can combine to become a Megazord, which is as awesome and ridiculous as it sounds.
Israelite told the audience that they wanted to capture what it was like inside the cockpit each of the team's different Zords. Since they are all shaped so differently, they created flight simulators that move differently depending on the Zord being piloted.
Becky G. said that her Zord, which is shaped like a saber-tooth tiger, was like riding in a rollercoaster. She even admitted that at one point in production, during a particularly rough scene, Israelite caught her praying in Spanish.
Becky also talked about working with Elizabeth Banks (Rita Repulsa), saying, "It wasn't acting. It was genuine fear. I was working with Rita Repulsa."
Banks wasn't at the panel, but did send a video message for the crowd introducing the new teaser, which had been leaked online earlier in the day.
The cast also talked about working together as a team, both on screen and off. Over the course of the panel it was obvious they had all become friends on set. Montgomery said that, since they shot the film almost chronologically, the story you see in the film was very similar to the one they were experiencing behind the scenes.
Scott talked about how the relationship between Kimberly and Trini develops over the course of the film. She said they don't like each other much when the movie begins, but describes it as "a little love story."
Israelite wrapped up the panel by promising the audience a lot more to come from future trailers, including Alpha 5, Zordon, and an actual look at the Zords.
Power Rangers opens in theaters on March 24, 2016.