Rumors are being dispelled while others blossom to fruition for the forthcoming Power Rangers reboot, with the first look at the costumes surfacing, including that of villain Rita Repulsa, played by Elizabeth Banks in gorgeous green.
So why was it time for another Rangers movie? Well if The Blob, Ben-Hur and Blade can do it, then why the hell can't these color-coded spandex teens fight an evil alien witch again?
This will be the third Power Rangers film, after Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie (1995) and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997). Its release coincides with the 20th anniversary of the last time we saw morphing mayhem on the big screen. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming feature:
The Story Is Retro AF
When filming started on March 1 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Lionsgate released its first official synopsis to get the Rangers hype rolling:
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.
Here's the alien in the original:
This plot tells us that it takes inspiration from the primary TV plot for the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers series, but if Banks's psychedelic new gear is anything to go by, we can definitely hope for extra twists to update the story.
There are unanswered questions about its rating and how violent it will be — the original was criticized for having too much fighting. An unofficial version shows the Terminator-level extreme option:
This seems unlikely however, as the owner of the Power Rangers franchise Saban Brands has attempted to have the sex, drugs and guns version of the superheroes taken down a notch several times, according to Cheat Sheet.
The script is being labored over by a total of seven writers. That's more writers than Rangers! The heavyweights include: Matt Sazama (Dracula Untold), John Gatins (Kong: Skull Island), and Ashley Miller (X-Men: First Class). The spread of experience from fantasy, horror and comic books bodes well for a playful yet action-packed new movie.
Cast: Go Go Power Rangers!
The exciting new cast features fresh faces hailing from such diverse corners as The Martian and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. The character outlines will follow the originals. Like the plot, the old characters remain a good go-to reference for the new ones.
The Pink Ranger
Naomi Scott (The Martian) plays Kimberly Hart, the popular high school girl from the original — because pink could never possibly be associated with anyone else, right?
The Blue Ranger
RJ Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) plays Billy Cranston, the nerd whose super strength is his vast knowledge.
The Red Ranger
Relative newcomer Dacre Montgomery plays Jason Lee Scott, the stereotypical jock who's adept at martial arts.
The Black Ranger
Ludi Lin (Marco Polo) plays Zack Taylor, an affable fighter who likes to insert a boogie in his brawls.
The Yellow Ranger
Becky G. (Nashville) is Trini Kwan, a witty kung fu artist.
You might have noticed a conspicuous absence — where's the green ranger?! It's not unlikely that, as in the TV program, Greenie (an audience favorite) might jump into action as a booster for a sequel, should there be one.
And The Rest:
Joining the young vigilantes will be: Banks as alien witch Rita Repulsa, Patrick Sabongui as Mr. Kwan, Emily Maddison as Rebecca, Anjali Jay as Maddy Hart and David Denman as Sam Scott.
The new movie is helmed by Dean Israelite, a 31-year-old South African best known for 2015 found-footage sci-fi thriller Project Almanac. It received mixed reviews, gaining 35 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but did fairly well at the box office by pulling in $20 million beyond its $12 million budget.
Power Rangers will be Israelite's second feature, so the scope is difficult to predict, but we may infer that it will stay within the PG-13 bracket. He told IGN:
"I read the script and was really surprised by it and thought there was a really cool, contemporary, mature but still playful, buoyant and fun take on the material, and was updated in a really interesting way. It had this wonderful character that's essential to going on a fantastic adventure. I was instantly drawn to it."
" I think it's going to be a fun, joyful [movie] but one that feels completely grounded in a real world, with real characters going through real things.
"Yeah, I hope so. We're just at the beginnings of that. We're going to be shooting soon, so yes, I'm hoping news of that is going to come out in the next few months."
Israelite got the job despite his little experience because of an awesome presentation he gave to the producers, who were blown away by his enthusiasm for the teenage Rangers.
Get a nostalgia hit with the TV show's classic opening:
Power Rangers will land in theatres on March 24, 2017.
Do you have any other facts about Power Rangers?
Sources: via Collider