It's a sad, sad day for Power Rangers fans everywhere: Adi Shankar's incredible bootleg, Power/Rangers, has been removed from the internet. Like the rest of us, he's pretty disappointed right now.
The short movie was uploaded last week and dazzled everyone with its booming explosions, impressive CGI effects, and all-round swaggering attitude - it was Power Rangers as we've never seen it before.
It was insanely good.
But as I reported yesterday, a vicious legal storm was sprawling around the video and its creators - and oh boy has it done some damage.
The issue was that a company called SCG [Power Rangers](movie:1408875) LLC, who own all of the rights to the legendary franchise and is collaborating with major studio Lionsgate for a feature-length Power Rangers movie set for release next year, didn't like Shankar's movie stealing their thunder.
Which (and I say this with gritted teeth) is kind-of fair enough. If this short film was garbage it could've ruined the franchise's entire reputation. They own all the copyright; fair has to be fair.
But still, I'm gutted, and by the sounds of it so is Shankar. He posted this statement to his Facebook page earlier today:
"Today, I was deeply disappointed to learn that Saban Brands decided to attack my Power/Rangers 'Bootleg Universe One-Shot' film,
"To all the viewers that enjoyed this film, I consider this an outright infringement on freedom of expression and individualism. I set out to make this film because I am a childhood fan of the Power Rangers. As children our retinas are burned with iconic images and as we grow older these images come to represent crucial moments within the trajectories of our own lives.
Should Power/Rangers have been banned?
"This film is a homage to the original creators of the Power Rangers, and a parody of a television series we all grew up loving. Films like my Power/Rangers 'Bootleg' are vital expressions of creativity in our troubled world. If we suppress this creativity and become passive participants in the consumption of the culture we live in, we implicitly allow a dangerous precedent to be set for the future of the internet."
It's a great statement, and I'm sure everyone reading it will empathize with the situation he's in.
A missed opportunity?
It's a shame, really, because although Shankar clearly broke the rules, his movie was probably the best interpretation of Power Rangers we've ever seen.
In my books, this is a missed opportunity by Lionsgate and the guys who hold the copyright. All it would've taken was a kind and courteous statement to say how much they loved Shankar's movie, while reminding everyone that their (probably awesome, too) movie is out next year.