1990s nostalgia is alive and only growing stronger by the day, with hit properties from that decade such as Jumanji and Power Rangers gearing up to make a comeback in the foreseeable future. Whereas the upcoming Jumanji (starring the likes of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) is described as being a continuation of the 1995 film of the same name, the Power Rangers movie is a full-blown reboot of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show that debuted in 1993 before also making its way into theaters in 1995 (only to give rise to more than twenty years’ worth of Power Rangers TV series thereafter).
A-list actors such as Elizabeth Banks and Bryan Cranston are now playing characters like Rita Repulsa and Zordon, respectively, in the upcoming Power Rangers movie, with Dean Israelite (Project Almanac) calling the shots. It was also previously reported that Zordon’s loyal, if easily-panicked, robot companion Alpha 5 will be appearing in the film reboot too – though, until now, an actor had not been officially attached to the role.
Lionsgate and Saban have now confirmed (via the official Power Rangers Twitter account) that Alpha 5 will be played by none other than Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader, as you can see below.
In addition to having appeared in such popular comedies as Trainwreck since his SNL days, Hader has carved out a niche for himself as a popular comical voice actor – having worked on everything from hit cartoon TV shows (Bob’s Burgers, South Park) to animated feature films (Finding Dory, The Angry Birds Movie) and even serving as a voice consultant for the droid character BB-8 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. One imagines Hader’s vocal performance as Alpha 5 in the Power Rangers movie will bring to mind his voice role as the overly-anxious Fear from Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out, in particular. Question is, will Hader be only voicing Alpha 5 or physically playing him too, by way of either a practical costume or a motion-capture performance (a la Hader’s turn as a blood-thirsty giant in The BFG this year).
Alpha 5 has been portrayed by different actors in a costume during his various Power Rangers TV show appearances over the years, with Richard Steven Horvitz providing his voice. However, like everything else in the Power Rangers movie reboot, Alpha 5 will no doubt be getting an upgrade from his previous iterations, with regard to his appearance. Nevertheless, one imagines that his catchphrase (or something close to that) of “Aye-yi-yi-yi-yi!” will be carried over in some way or another in the reboot, too.
Power Rangers opens in U.S. theaters on March 24th, 2017.