I still can’t believe I’m saying this every time I do, but we have a new Power Rangers movie on the way next year. I suppose it isn’t all that surprising given how many retro remakes are going around lately. Hollywood seems to be obsessed with drawing from our childhoods now that we’re (generally) not children anymore. My inner child is flipping out weekly these days, though.
Not much has been revealed about the movie so far, but we’ve gotten little bits as production goes on, such as some teaser posters and the cast list. The cast is slowly being announced one by one, with Zordon being the latest. Let’s have a look at what we know so far.
The Rangers themselves were cast first for the film in 2015. The original show also was keen to have racial diversity in the Rangers, even though the original Zyuuranger the first season was based on was all set in Japan, with Japanese actors. There was a bit of flak for seeming to pick the colours of their suits based on said diversity, but later seasons, the first movie, as this one have decided to go against that trend and keep it fresh and equal.
The newcomers are mostly exactly that – relatively ‘unknown’ actors and actresses, with the exception of a few big names like Elizabeth Banks and now Bryan Cranston. They all seem like great choices to me though, while I may not know much about them, I always like that in big movies. I find it takes away from the immersion when you can automatically recognize an actor as someone else. I’m not sure if Zordon will have a physical body this time around, but I hope they don’t just use a giant face hologram and do something a little fancy to mask the fact it’s Mr. White for most of us. He voiced two monsters on the original show as well, Twinman and Snizard. His voice acting career comes full circle by going back to the series.
After casting was completed to this point, we got a teaser image of the team together, fully decked out in the new-style suits. A lot of complaints were thrown around at this point for ripping off Iron Man style suits, and it’s a bit understandable. It’s since been explained that these suits are organic, and not any kind of human made metal, and they were intended to “feel like they were catalyzed by these kids and their energy, their spirit.” Looking at the crystalline gems in the chests, they seem like a deep hollow, an opening to the “heart” or something. The masks still emulate their respective animals and Zords, though we haven’t seen what those will be yet. If this is alien technology, they could look as organic and crazy as the suits.
Next, we were treated to the villain’s reveal, Rita Repulsa. Elizabeth Banks has a wealth of experience compared to most of the others, so I expect Rita to be very fun to watch. Her new design somewhat matches the Ranger’s suits, though a bit more skin is shown. She is still shown with a staff, and her suit seems to be directly intertwined with her veins, as well as giving her golden claws.
This appearance has led some fans to believe there will be a new story in this reboot for the Green Ranger. He shows up later in the series and he was in the original movie, though it had a series before it to go on. It’s being theorized that Rita herself may be some kind of fallen Ranger this time, based on her colour scheme, which admittedly is exactly that of Tommy Oliver’s original Green Ranger. This edited side-by-side shows the comparison if the Pink Ranger’s suit colours were changed. I have to say, it’s somewhat convincing.
The last image we officially got about the movie was the teaser poster. It shows the teens in an open field, with the old Rangers bolt logo being made up of stars and the words “Together, we are more.” Teamwork has always been the true power of the Rangers, as almost every single time there was danger, they had to come together to beat it. Many old episodes played with what would happen if one of the teens was feeling a little too brave and went in alone. It never ended well. They need each other.
Finally, just a while ago, it was announced that Bryan Cranston would play Zordon. As I stated above, he ironically played two monsters in the original series twenty or so years ago. He also shares his last name with the Blue Ranger in original canon. This time, he will be the one helping the new Rangers understand their powers and themselves. He recently confirmed that he will doing motion capture for the role, saying “Yes, it’s motion capture and it’s a lot of CGI-work. The tenant of that storyline is that this a real person who is trapped in this etherworld and it becomes this in-the-wall so to speak of [the command center], He still has a heart and mind, but an agenda that he’s got to get these five Power Rangers to defend the earth or else everyone they know will be killed. So, it’s exciting.”
Indeed it is. As a lifelong fan of Power Rangers, I’m really interested to see where this movie takes them. There are so many different teams and seasons already, I have zero complaints about new suits or powers. They were all aliens for a short time when the original Rangers got into a jam. It’s a very open universe to explore, and I can’t wait to see what adventures await.