Who else is pumped for the new Power Rangers movie!? At New York Comic Con on Saturday, Lionsgate surprised us all by dropping the first official teaser trailer for the latest adaptation of the beloved Saban property. This comes just a week or so after the movie teased us by releasing posters offering us our first look at the Rangers’ Zords. After about a dozen viewings, we’d say we here at Screen Rant are pretty hyped! The Power Rangers franchise has had twelve seasons and two different theatrical releases so far, but this is the first time that the series has seen a big-budget reboot that existed independent of the TV show. When the film was first announced, there was mass speculation; was this going to coincide with Super Samurai like the Mighty Morphin’ and Turbo movies did? Was this going to be a reboot of the previous films? Was it going to be something completely new?
Surprisingly, news about the March 2017 release has been scarce so far. Aside from a few cryptic posters, some leaked set photos, and the newly released teaser and character descriptions, we don’t have much officially confirmed info on the movie. However, tidbits about the film’s story, designs, and characters have been scraped together and given us some idea on what Power Rangers will be like.
Here is everything we know so far about the 2017 Power Rangers movie!
16. It’s Based on Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
Although it was originally thought otherwise, the 2017 film is going to be based off of the classic Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series, who’s American adaptation aired during the early ‘90s. The story follows the exploits of five “teenagers with attitude” who are recruited to fight evil by the interdimensional being Zordon. Armed with suits of armor that look an awful lot like spandex, powerful weapons, and giant mechs called “Zords,” the team fights against the evil Rita Repulsa and her rag-tag army of monsters. When all else fails, Rita uses her powerful magic to make her monsters grow to gargantuan proportions; to retaliate, the Power Rangers call upon their Zords to join together and form the Megazord. It’s ridiculous. It’s cheesy. It’s AMAZING.
As with any adaptation, some creative liberties have been taken. The costumes and Zords of the new film, although inspired by the originals, are updated to look more modern and realistic. The main characters themselves have been updated; although they share the same names as the classic characters, their style and personalities have been adapted to better represent the world we live in today. This brings us to…
15. The Rangers Aren’t Color-Coded Anymore (At Least, Not Over-The-Top Color Coded)
One of the more ridiculous things about the original series was the fact that every Tanger was always decked out in the color of their power suit, even when they were hanging out at the mall or performing gymnastics. Funnily enough, the original Power Rangers characters even wore their colors before they got their power coins! Go back and rewatch the original episodes and you’ll notice that Billy would almost always be seen sporting blue threads, with his teammates Jason, Kimberly, Trini, and Zack also participating in the color-coding. Even Tommy, the evil Green Ranger who was trying to conceal his secret identity, always was seen in green.
Also, let’s get the elephant out of the room: the African-American character became the Black Ranger and the Asian-American character was the Yellow Ranger. Although this was definitely unintentional on the part of the showrunners (they’ve since fessed up that it was a serious oversight on their end, but nothing more), it’s been the subject of ridicule for years.
Luckily, there’s no issue with the new movie on either front. The characters’ nationalities have been switched around and, although they still sport some subtle reminders of their respective ranger colors, their grounded-in-reality outfits don’t exactly shout their color designations from the rooftops.
14. Teenagers With A Different Kind of Attitude
In the original show, Angel Grove High School was just your typical public school. Although the school was rarely a vocal point in the series, there was nothing that ever indicated that it was out of the ordinary. The meeting place of the team is looking decidedly different in this latest adaptation.
Jason’s father points this out, telling his son, “You’re going to have to come here every other Saturday just to graduate, with these weirdos and criminals!” It appears that, in this version, the place where the Rangers meet is some sort of vocational school for troubled youth. Jason appears to have had some trouble in the past with the police, and even Billy seems to know his way around explosives in the trailer. Kimberly chops off her hair when she’s faced with an identity crisis, and all five of the Rangers seem to take no issue with trespassing on private property. This band of Power Rangers is a completely different take on “teenagers with attitude.”
13. The Zords are HUGE
When the first teaser images of the Rangers’ Zords were released a few weeks ago, people went crazy. The thought of seeing their favorite giant-monster-fighting robots on the big screen, with a massive budget, got us all super excited. Likewise, these were the Mighty Morphin’ Zords, aka the ones that are considered to be the best ones in the entire series.
Something that struck many fans was the fact that the new Zords appear to be massive. In the television show, they are shown to be about the size of a tall building (or mountain, considering the city turns into a giant valley whenever they fight). On the rare occasions where the Rangers would stand on their Zords the heads of the mechs seemed to share about the same dimensions as a two story building. In the movie posters, the Rangers are used to put the size of these new Zords into perspective, and they appear to be significantly bigger than what we’ve seen in the past. These new Zords are going to tower over the landscape much like Godzilla in his 2014 reboot. This also begs the question — given how big the individual mechs are, just how massive is the Megazord going to be?
12. An Updated Theme Song
Anyone who grew up in the ‘90s (or had children during the time) knows the Power Rangers theme song. It has simple, repetitive lyrics, and an amazing guitar riff intro. Even though there have been numerous memorable themes throughout the series, the one from the first three seasons is the one that is most synonymous with the Power Rangers franchise.
This new movie makes it obvious that it wants to play off the nostalgia for the original. The posters all even feature the words “Go Go” as a reference to the theme’s lyrics. In the newly-released trailer, an updated version of the Power Rangers theme is revealed in the closing moments. At first you may think what you hear is just stereotypical modern trailer music, but if you listen closer, you can hear the iconic intro as recreated by something of an electric music beat. Then, as the title screen appears, the trailer plays the legendary “go-go Power Rangers.” It’s an epic callback that is perfect for a modern adaption of the show, one seemingly meant to assuage the fears of fans worried by the creative liberties that are being taken with this latest installment in the franchise.
11. The Movie Will Build A Complete World for the Franchise
Believe it or not, the Power Rangers lore is extremely complex. For the first six seasons, the story followed one continuous arc, building off of the first season and culminating with a grand finale at the end of Power Rangers in Space. After that, every season was its own self-contained story that had the occasional callback to the original storyline.
Cinematic Universes are everything these days, and the Power Rangers lore seems like a match made in heaven for a long-lasting franchise. Lionsgate has gone on record saying that they want to create an expansive world and history for the characters to inhabit and interact with. Rita Repulsa and the recently confirmed Goldar are the only villains set to appear in this film, but any Power Rangers fan worth their salt knows that they’re just the beginning. Lord Zedd, Rito Revolto, Ivan Ooze, The Machine Empire, Divatox, and Dark Specter could all be somewhere down the pipeline. Speaking of which, does the Red Ranger’s new costume remind anyone of Lord Zedd’s design? Hmm…Either way, the groundwork laid in this film will be extremely important, as…
10. There Are Multiple Sequels Planned
In this day and age, movie studios tend to put the cart before the horse. Remember how there was going to be a Spider-Man Cinematic Universe at Sony? Or how Universal was going to make a bunch of interconnected movies about their classic monsters? Well, Lionsgate is currently doing the same, saying that they have the ideas for six more movies in the franchise.
Now, this is all contingent on the success of this first movie, of course. If it were to flop, we probably wouldn’t see any of the planned sequels, and any big screen adaptations for the franchise would be put on hold for the foreseeable future. Additionally, we still don’t know if all of the sequels will revolve around this team of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers or if they will follow the first six seasons of the show (six seasons, six sequels?) and go all Turbo and Zeo on us. Honestly, if the first one does well and isn’t a steaming pile, then why not? If they can make five Transformers movies, then why not seven Power Rangers flicks?
9. Putty Patrollers Will Make An Appearance
If Rita is present, then her signature monsters can’t be far behind. Although there was always a “monster of the week” that the Rangers would have to face off against, the Putty Patrollers were a constant threat throughout the run of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Well, maybe not so much a threat…more like a minor inconvenience. The Putties were the ever-expendable foot soldiers of Rita and Lord Zedd that served as the mindless drones the Rangers would take on before the wacky monster took control of the episode.
Official confirmation hasn’t yet come from Lionsgate, but from what we’ve seen in recent weeks, it appears that the Putty Patrol will be present! During production of Power Rangers, some sneaky amateur photographers snapped photos of the Red Ranger fighting some actors in CGI morph suits. Of course, these actors could be playing just about anything. But given the body language of the actors, combined with what we know about the movie, it seems safe to say that these guys are playing a modern version of the Putty Patrollers.
8. Jason and Kimberly Love Story
This could go down as one of the more controversial aspects of this movie. In the trailer, we see a quick glimpse of Kimberly and Jason kissing. This is downright sacrilege in the eyes of some fans; everyone knows that Kimberly and Tommy are the power couple in Power Rangers! Alas, there is no Tommy present in this movie. Heck, even the fan-favorite actor who plays Tommy (along with the rest of the original cast) is nowhere to be found.
It may be weird for the hardcore fans to see a new romance blossom amongst the team, but it makes sense within the context of the film. Most action movies feature a romantic subplot of some sort, and it looks like this one will be no different. But it does ask the question: why these two?
Perhaps we have the answer…The addition of Tommy as the sixth Ranger is the obvious direction to take for the first potential sequel. Once he’s on the scene, the audience might be treated to a love triangle of sorts between the three characters. Yeah, we’re not too crazy about the Twilight-ness of it all, but it’s the natural progression of the story if they are going to go that route.
7. Less Magic Focused, More Alien
In the earlier seasons, it was never quite explained how anything worked. Everything was simply explained away by saying everything came from “ancient magic” and that most of the villains were “ancient evil.” The words “mythical” gets thrown a lot throughout the show, and it seems to be the widely accepted explanation for why Zordon has all these sets of giant battle robots at the ready. With the Power Rangers movie, we’ll finally get some sort of explanation.
Instead of mythical powers acting as the source of power, it’s been hinted at by Lionsgate that Zordon, Rita, and all of the other Power Rangers staples are extraterrestrial in nature. After the trailer dropped, some are even comparing the new power coins to the rings in the Green Lantern franchise. We certainly see the similarities. Alien tech that is found by unwitting humans and gives them amazing abilities? That sounds like something ripped right out of DC’s beloved series. Although we don’t know the entire backstory of the new alien angle, we do know…
6. The Power Coins Give Them Powers Outside Their Suits
The trailer went out of its way to show us that all of the characters were changed by the power coins they found. Jason wakes up with a six-pack and Billy knocks out a bully (Skull, perhaps?) that tries to headbutt him. Later in the trailer, we see Jason, Kimberly, and Billy all jumping over a large crevice on their own and swimming deep underwater without any sort of breathing apparatus. Kimberly and Trini are also seen back-to-back, getting ready to lay the smack down on someone or something.
This definitely takes the lore in a new angle. Back in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, all five or the original Rangers were just normal humans outside of their suits. Sure, each teenager (including the “nerd”) were a master of martial arts in some way, but the show went out of its way to say that they wouldn’t stand a chance against Rita’s monsters without their suits. It looks like the stakes are going to be raised even higher in the new movie, forcing our heroes to bust out their costumes to face some truly powerful threat.
Side Note: this aspect of the new storyline is highly reminiscent of the 2012 sci-fi film Chronicle, a fact not lost on that film’s screenwriter, Max Landis, who perhaps not-so-coincidentally also worked on the Power Rangers reboot early on in production.
5. More “Breakfast Club” In Its Approach
One of the biggest takeaways from the new teaser is that the new film seems to be going with the Breakfast Club approach. It looks like the Rangers are complete or near-complete strangers at the beginning of the story; Jason is getting sent to Saturday school, Billy is hounded by bullies, Trini and Kimberly get teased thmselves, and Adam is seen chilling all alone on a rooftop. Much like The Breakfast Club, all these lovable outcasts are going to be brought together by forces beyond their control and be forced to work as a team. Even when they are shown to get their power coins, there is still some tension within the group, with Trini making a sarcastic comment about how she knew this was a bad idea.
The original show had nothing of this sort. From the beginning of the pilot, the five Rangers were all extremely close friends. They went to school together, hung out at Arnie’s together, and eventually would go on to save the world together. Although it was a simple way to show exposition in the show, there wasn’t much in the way of conflict.
4. More Dark and Serious, But Still Fun!
With the new film being compared to The Dark Knight by one of its stars, some flags might go off in the heads of fans. Power Rangers? A serious action/drama? The series has always been lighthearted with lots of humor and a ridiculous amount of cheese. There’s no way they could take something based off the show and make it in the vein of something grim-dark like the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy.
Luckily, audiences can breathe a sigh of relief, as the star later went on to explain himself; the new movie won’t be like The Dark Knight in terms of tone. Instead, it will be like the Batman flick because it will be a serious take on the subject, rather than a goofy one like the ‘60s Batman series headlined by Adam West. The new Power Rangers is going to play it straight, but it’s not going to be afraid to have a little fun along the way. Seriously, there’s a scene in the trailer where Billy, donning a blue helmet, uses explosives to blow up the case containing the power coins. That imagery alone should let us know that Power Rangers isn’t going to be afraid to poke fun at itself.
3. It Has Star-studded Supporting Cast
When you take a look at the main cast of characters in Power Rangers, it may strike you that none of the Rangers themselves are familiar names. This is probably a good thing, as this means that the actors can blend into the roles of the characters more seamlessly; audiences will see Jason, rather than, say, Zach Efron playing Jason. (We will freely concede, however, that Dacre Montgomery does look an awful lot like Efron, but that’s neither here nor there.) However, this causes issues with the marketing. How do you market a big-budget blockbuster with no star power?
Apparently, the answer is to bring in the heavy hitters for the secondary roles. For Power Rangers, the supporting cast looks incredible- Elizabeth Banks (of Hunger Games and Pitch Perfect fame) is set to play the villainous Rita Repulsa, comedy star Bill Hader is playing the beloved robot Alpha 5, and Bryan Cranston (freaking Heisenberg!) is playing Zordon! Funnily enough, this won’t even be Cranston’s first foray into the world of Power Rangers. Before he was the huge star he is today, the actor provided voice work for a couple of the monsters for the original show’s American dub!
2. Rita Repulsa=Former Green Ranger?
Technically, this entry is still in the “rumor” category. However, given everything we’ve seen so far, all signs point to this one being true. Since the first set photos leaked a couple of months back, it has been widely speculated that Rita Repulsa would be revealed as being a former Ranger herself, and she might even harness the powers of the Green Ranger for this film.
Rita’s costume (or at least, one of them) looks like it’s made of the same material as the Power Rangers’. This rumor took on even more life when eagle-eyed fans noticed something peculiar in the villain’s staff; if you look closely, you can see that the weapon’s tip is embedded with something that looks an awful lot like a power coin. When you really look closely, you can see what appears to be the image of a dragon. Also, just check out that staff. It looks pretty dragon-like to us! Not to mention the fact that in the original show, Rita is the one who gives the Green Ranger his powers. Once again, this is still a rumor at this point in time, but when you put two and two together, this is looking like one of those “open secrets” of the film.
1. These Are Not The First Power Rangers
Perhaps the biggest plot confirmation from the new trailer is the fact that the Rangers we will follow in this movie are not the first. Rita claims that she’s “killed Rangers before,” lending some credibility to the alleged plot point that both her and Zordon being former Power Rangers. Allegedly, Zordon served as the original Red Ranger and Rita was a Ranger as well (although the rumor doesn’t specify which one). Something happened to Repulsa that caused her to fall to the side of evil and take up arms against the other Rangers.
Although this rumor is far from confirmed, we at least know that Rita has encountered (and murdered) Power Rangers in the past. Even if the leaks are false, this opens up so many questions for fans: How many other Rangers have there been? Who were the former Power Rangers? How old are Rita and Zordon? How powerful is Rita if she can kill what we assume were full-fledged Rangers? We can’t wait to find out the answers!
What did you think of the trailer as a whole? Are you guys as hyped for next March as we are? Let us know in the comments!
Power Rangers opens March 24, 2017.