ByEmily Browne, writer at
Twitter: @emrbrowne
Emily Browne

When James Van Der Beek isn't attending Dawson's Creek reunions and being a total DILF, he's out and about starring in awesome TV shows — and amazing fan-films. Most notably, Van Der Beek starred in Adi Shanker's R-rated Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers short as a former team member who turned the Rangers over to the Machine Empire.

The incredibly popular fan-film from 2015 was the brainchild of Castlevania's Adi Shankar, a Rangers superfan who wanted to produce a dark, fresh, and futuristic perspective of the Rangers lives that dealt with the fallout of war and the hell that followed. Speaking to Inverse, Shankar said:

“I want to take a complicated idea and explore it and present the question to the public, using these very accessible characters or universes. You say ‘Hey, would you want to watch a deconstruction of the impact of PTSD on being a child soldier?’ Most people are like, ‘No, I don’t want to see that movie.’ But you throw in the context of Power Rangers, people are like, ‘Yo, it’s dope!’”

'Power/Rangers' [Credit: YouTube / Saban]
'Power/Rangers' [Credit: YouTube / Saban]

Shankar teamed up with director Joseph Kahn to make the bloody and gritty fan movie Power/Rangers, based on Saban's popular franchise. He also snagged some star power in the form of Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff and Dawson Creek's Van Der Beek, who was quizzed by the magazine on how he got involved in the project:

“I was having dinner with Adi, and I think his father and I asked him what he was up to, and he was like, ‘Dude, I’m going to make a super dark, hard R re-imagining of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I think my exact response was, ‘That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, I’m in.’”

Van Der Beek was then given the opportunity to work on the script before it was passed on to Sackhoff, who agreed to play the captured Pink Ranger Kimberly. In the short, Sackhoff's character is interrogated by Van Der Beek's Rocky — a former Red Ranger.

Van Der Beek now considers Shankar one of his best friends, and has praised the producer for being crazy enough to beat the system and get his ideas made — the recent success of Adi and Netflix's Castlevania is an example of this:

“Not to get too high minded about it, but history is made by the people who seem crazy at first. Now Adi is in this transition phase where he used to be the crazy guy on the outskirts, with only a few people listening to him. Now, because he’s gotten stuff made without really going through the system and getting the edges worked out, now all of a sudden the business has sort of moved towards him.”

Check out the Power/Rangers short here:

Despite receiving universal praise as a totally new imagining of the franchise, Saban briefly removed the film from both Vimeo and YouTube, before returning it a couple of days later after the film's popularity came to light. Both Shankar and Kahn are also interested in turning the short into a TV show. However, the filmmakers would need the full rights from Saban to ever make that a possibility.

Would you love to see James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff reprise their roles in a TV show based on Power/Rangers? Let us know in the comments!


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