When Lionsgate first announced that it was planning a big-budget reboot of the popular '90s franchise Power Rangers — which is still trucking on in television land today with Power Rangers Dino Charge and Dino Super Charge — it's safe to say that those of us who grew up with the shows and original films were a little skeptical about this new prospect.
After all, it's the original series (adapted from the Japanese show Super Sentai) that captured our hearts and cemented it as an enduring cult classic, even today.
It's been 20 years since Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (feel old yet?) and news on the upcoming Power Rangers reboot has started coming in as production began this week in Vancouver.
We've known the identity of our five Rangers for a few months now, with all being relative unknowns, thus keeping in line with the tendency to introduce new talent as the Rangers in each new series. Here's the full list:
Dacre Montgomery — Jason Lee Scott/Red Ranger
Naomi Scott — Kimberly Ann Hart/Pink Ranger
Ludi Lin — Zack Taylor/Black Ranger
Becky G. — Trini Kwan/Yellow Ranger
R.J. Cyler — Billy Cranston/Blue Ranger
But perhaps the most exciting piece of news was that A-list Hollywood star Elizabeth Banks had been cast alongside the five unknowns as series villain Rita Repulsa (I wonder if they'll include her 10,000 years of imprisonment in a space dumpster).
Fans of the original series will remember Rita Repulsa as the main Big Bad of the first season, played by the late Japanese actress Machiko Soga, who provided a villain that has become as emblematic of the series as the Power Rangers themselves.
Of course this got a lot of chatter going, with fans wondering just how exactly Banks would look in an updated version of Rita Repulsa's flamboyant outfit. Well wonder no longer, dear Internet, because thanks to the folks at ComicBook.com and talented Internet Photoshop artist BossLogic, we've got a pretty nice idea of how she could look when the Power Rangers reboot rolls around in 2017.
While rebooting Power Rangers as a big-budget film might seem like an odd choice, it actually makes a lot of sense to strike now while the entertainment world is still in the grip of superhero mania.
Thanks to the Marvel/DC offerings over the past decade, the traditional hero character has been redefined for modernity as the superhero, and the Power Rangers certainly fit into this genre. This is likely why Lionsgate had Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz write the screenplay; Miller and Stentz wrote the screenplays for both Marvel's Thor and 20th Century Fox's X-Men: First Class, so they know what they're doing when it comes to writing modern heroes.
We're really excited not only to see Banks taking on the role of the witchy Rita Repulsa, but also the prospect of the Power Rangers of our childhoods coming back to the big screen. Fingers crossed it all plays out well, and if Banks looks half as good as in the fan art, then we're totally sold on her casting.
And finally, we have our official synopsis for the film now, check it out below:
"Saban’s Power Rangers follows five ordinary high school kids who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove – and the world – is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover that they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so they will have to overcome their real-life issues and band together as the Power Rangers before it is too late."