The Power Rangers are about to make a comeback in a big way. The film reboot is ramping up its marketing efforts as it prepares to breathe new life into characters that first appeared on TV screens over 23 years ago. Before the film remake hit anyone’s radar, producer Adi Shankar released the Joseph Kahn directed bootleg short, Power/Rangers. The 12-minute film hit YouTube in February of 2015, causing quite an uproar at the violent re-imagining of a series that was originally for children.
Most famous of his shorts, however, was his 2012 The Punisher: Dirty Laundry, which brought Thomas Jane back as Frank Castle. Jon Berenthal, Marvel’s current Punisher, credited this short as his character study for stepping into his role for Netflix. Power/Rangers was Shankar’s fourth short in his Bootleg Universe, and was another edition of taking fan films to a whole new level. Certainly not the story any Rangers fan is familiar with, it did pull the series back into the entertainment world’s line of sight.
Those who were hoping to get more from this hyper-violent take on the popular kids series are in luck. In an interview with Polygon, Adi Shankar has confirmed that he’s working on a dark Power Rangers TV series. But don’t expect to see the faces of James Van Der Beek or Katee Sackhoff because this new series will be animated. In what Shankar describes as a “complete retelling of the first three seasons” of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series from the early 90s, fans can expect this series to be “really f—ing dark.”
A dark tone comes as no surprise given the films in his previous series of shorts. Animation isn’t a stretch either with the most recent bootleg, James Bond: In Service of Nothing, depicting animated retired Bond who has had his “license to kill” revoked. Shankar notes the Power Rangers is still very much in the conceptualization phase, but he hopes to see it land at Netflix where his current project, Castlevania, has just been announced. He dotes on the streaming service and how their format has changed the way people watch TV, saying:
“Netflix is doing what every other network should be doing. I’ve worked with almost every network and Netflix just gets it. The world we live in now has disrupted the idea of what entertainment is and Netflix gets it… If you look at what shows are like today, they’re long movies. It’s a format paradigm and I want to explore creating these types of new shows with Power Rangers.”
The series will draw inspiration from both the original Power Rangers series and another 90s staple, DragonBall Z. Shankar plans to take the best of both worlds (the human element from Power Rangers, and the battle sequences from DragonBall Z) and “turn that into one entirely new Power Rangers series.” In addition to Castlevania, Shankar is also working on Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets for HBO, and has teased a potential Chronicle sequel with Max Landis’ blessing.
Adi Shankar’s Power Rangers animated reboot does not have a release date yet.