Saban and Lionsgate really want Adi Shankar's bloody and hyper-violent Power Rangers fan film removed from the internet.
But why? Any press is good press, wouldn't you agree? Is it really damaging the brand, or is actually giving it an adrenaline boost? Hard to really say, but if for some reason you still haven't seen it to judge for yourself, you can watch it below. Keep in mind it is not work safe!
As of the timing of this publication, Joseph Kahn's grimdark portrayal of the Power Rangers franchise has amassed over 11 million views on YouTube since its release early Tuesday morning. It doesn't look like it's slowing down either. Crazy, right?
It's blatantly clear that myself and many others love the new direction and are huge fans of the short film. We also know for sure Haim Saban likely despises what Adi Shankar and Joseph Kahn have done to his franchise, but what did some of the original Power Rangers think of it?
Jason David Frank
The original Tommy Oliver and Green/White Ranger posted his reaction to the brooding interpretation of a franchise he's been a part of for decades on his Facebook page. I've copied his video response below:
While JDF does make some good points that also doubles as an explanation as to why Saban and Lionsgate would not want to have a mature, dark, and violent iteration of their franchise be freely available for everyone to watch, there are a few things to consider:
- Look at the direction that most comic book movies have gone: they've seen success in taking on a dark and more mature tone.
- The grounded, serious take on otherwise silly or fun material is the kind of content general audiences respond to better.
- The short film has drawn the attention of even non-Power Ranger fans all across the world, and Saban wants to take it down?
- As I mentioned, any press is good press. Millions of eyes have been on Power Rangers in the last 48 hours.
Amy Jo Johnson
Jason David Frank didn't give his blessing on this more adult take on the famed franchise, but the original Pink Ranger seemed to be more receptive towards it. The Power Rangers veteran recently took to twitter to express her thoughts on the Shankar/Kahn production, as well as how she felt about Katee Sackhoff taking on the role of Kimberly:
Johnny Yong Bosch
Much like Amy Jo, Bosch—who played Adam, the 2nd Black Ranger—was also pretty keen on the short film, giving it a warm response, and even expressing interest on joining a possible sequel! Though, it'd likely be a prequel if it were going to actually feature Adam.
This former Red Ranger replacement might have been passive aggressively upset that James Van Der Beek from Dawson's Creek was cast as the future version of Rocky, but despite that, it seems like he still enjoyed the short film.
Ashley, who portrayed Aisha, the 2nd Yellow Ranger, posted her lengthy but thoughtful response to the short film on Instagram, even though her character was not showcased in the short:
People keep asking me my thoughts on the PR Fan film released today. I commented a few places but thought I would give my thoughts since that is the question of the day...
I liked it. I hate Aisha was left out especially since Rocky and Adam were depicted. But I liked it a lot. I liked what they did with all the other characters especially Rocky and Zach. I enjoyed seeing something so different from what we all are expecting. Super dark and extremly gritty. Not saying that is right, thats just what I like... lol
When I think of PR, I think family film--Kids show. This was not for kids and I think some of the edgy stuff could have been skipped and this still would have been amazing. I didn't really see it as a true depiction of what Saban/Lions Gate would do but if I took that out of the equation, I really liked it for what it was.
I loved the production quality and I am all about people being creative and doing what they visualize. I like seeing things flipped and I love being surprised. with that being said, I enjoyed it.
Keep the fan films coming! I have watched almost all of them and have been very impressed with "Your" creativity.
Jones played Zack/the original Black Ranger. He recently posted his thoughts of the short film on Twitter and his Facebook page, where his sentiments mostly mirrored the response from his former teammates. Though, I do wonder what he really thought of future Zack being a drug-using adrenaline junkie. Here's what Walter posted on Facebook:
I wont be posting the video of the Power Rangers deboot video because I stillhave fans that are kids. I will say... I thought it was very well done and entertaining. I am looking foward to other interpretations of this amazing show. I am blessed to have had the pleasure of helping to create here in the states! Its Morphing Time!!
And on Twitter:
Austin St. John
The actor who played Jason, the original Red Ranger, kept his thoughts strictly professional on his Facebook page regarding Joseph Kahn's Power Rangers deboot. Rather that delving into what he personally thought about it, he offered a levelheaded critique of the short film's execution on a technical level instead. I've copied his video response below:
David Yost (Billy/Blue Ranger) seems to be pretty active on social media, but as of right now he is the only original Ranger who has yet to express his feelings about the gritty reboot.