Saban’s Power Rangers will return to the big screen in March of 2017, with Lionsgate distributing a film reboot of the multi-platform property (one that originated as an 1990s American TV series that recycles footage from the Japanese TV show Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger) that is being directed by Dean Israelite. This project is Israelite’s sophomore effort as a feature-length director, after his breakout on the found-footage time-travel adventure Project Almanac. Israelite is likewise directing a main cast that is composed primarily of lesser-knowns and/or young rising talents on the Power Rangers movie, with the exception of A-lister Elizabeth Banks – who is playing the most famous Power Rangers villain, Rita Repulsa, opposite new versions of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers crew.
Filming on Power Rangers is now officially underway in Vancouver, with Israelite working alongside a cast that includes the relative newcomer Dacre Montgomery as Jason the Red Ranger; Naomi Scott (The Martian) as Kimberly the Pink Ranger; RJ Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) as Billy the Blue Ranger; Ludi Lin (Monster Hunt) as Zack the Black Ranger; and pop music star Becky Gomez as Trini the Yellow Ranger. Lionsgate/Saban have also unveiled the official synopsis for the film too, along with additional details on the project’s credited list of screenwriters and crew members.
Here is the official synopsis for Power Rangers (2017):
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.
Previously reported (though still unconfirmed) details from the new Power Rangers movie have suggested that the film will blend young adult drama – stemming from the differing personalties of the various Ranger team members and their (at times) conflicting interests – with the variety of playful (or campy, your pick) martial arts-heavy action and spectacle that for many comes to mind first, whenever they think about the Power Rangers franchise. Said official synopsis for Israelite’s film is in line with those expectations, seeing as it references the Rangers’ “real-life issues” being among the obstacles that they have to deal with in order to save the world from Rita. Of course, the Power Rangers synopsis is otherwise pretty vague and features no mention of other MMPR characters who should be part of the film’s narrative; in particular, the alien Zordon (casting TBA), the being who gives the Rangers their morphing powers in the first place.
Lionsgate/Saban has also listed six writers total as having worked on Power Rangers, but it’s best to keep in mind: it’s highly unlikely that all of these writers contributed equally to the shooting script that Israelite is drawing from. For instance, Max Landis (Chronicle) is listed as a writer, but that may be because he turned in an earlier script draft/story pitch that Landis must receive credit for. John Gatins (Real Steel) and writing pair Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold, Gods of Egypt) are likewise credited as writers on the film, though for some time now we have heard that Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller (X-Men: First Class, Thor) were the main screenwriters on the project. Again, most of these writers presumably contributed a script draft for the project during its development, but it seems Stentz and Miller are the writers whose script work is being used by Israelite – meaning, Power Rangers stands a fair chance of either meeting or clearing the bar for quality that has been established by the pair’s previous tentpole-scripting efforts (especially those of the superhero variety).
Here are the additional official members of the Power Rangers production team, as confirmed by Lionsgate/Saban:
Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games franchise; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and Brent O’Connor (Warcraft) serve as executive producers. Brian Tyler (Avengers: Age of Ultron; Now You See Me) is the composer and Kelli Jones (Straight Outta Compton, Sons of Anarchy) is the costume designer. Set decorator is Oscar-nominated Hamish Purdy (The Revenant) and stunt coordinator is Paul Jennings (Game of Thrones, San Andreas , The Dark Knight). Weta Workshop (The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, District 9) is in charge of suit design and visual effects. Andrew Menzies (Fury, X-Men) is the production designer and Director of Photography is Matt Lloyd (Daredevil, Cop Car).
Saban’s Power Rangers opens in U.S. theaters on March 24th, 2017.