2017 is shaping up to be a big year for movies; among the major developments will be Power Rangers returning to the big screen via Lionsgate, bringing a cast of fresh faces together to form the crime-fighting team. With Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer expressing his hopes that the film will be the start of a long-running movie franchise, it’s on Saban and Lionsgate to replicate the success that the many Power Rangers TV shows have seen in the past – to ensure the rebooted movies maintain a loyal fandom, willing to splash the cash in theaters.
Following a trailer release and a bunch of teaser images, a brand new photo has now dropped with alien witch Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) front-and-center. Originally a character from ‘90s fan-favorite series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and portrayed by a series of different actresses throughout the years (whether that be physically or in a recording booth), her last appearance came in 2006 series Power Rangers Mystic Force. Susan Brady provided the voice for Repulsa there, but it’s now been over a decade since she was on screens in any form.
The picture was released via the official Power Rangers movie Twitter account, as the first official drop during Repulsa’s ‘take over’ of the social media outlet:
Above, we have a drastically-modernized version of the Rita Repulsa character, decked out in an eye-catching emerald green outfit and holding her mystical staff across her neck, whilst staring right down the camera. It’s a photo that sees her immediately assert her dominance, as she continues to prove she’s going to be a force to be reckoned with when up against the new Rangers team.
This will be Banks’ biggest movie role since her wrapping up on The Hunger Games series as Effie Trinket. It’s going to be interesting to see just how fans take to the actress as the character, with Banks having already confirmed that a new backstory is in place for Repulsa. The villain may not have a set-in-stone role yet for the new Power Rangers outing, but it’s now obvious she’s going to be the main driving force against the group of outcast teenagers.
For many, modernizing the world of the Power Rangers was something that needed to happen if the franchise was ever going to succeed again. From what we’ve seen so far, that certainly seems to be what Lionsgate and the crew behind the flick are going for, with Repulsa’s new look perhaps the biggest example of that so far.
Of course, whenever a character is dramatically changed from the way they were originally presented upon their conception, there’s the chance a core group of fans could scupper the movie company’s chances of success. If a majority of purists decide that the original Rita Repulsa would have served the movie better, there’s no telling just how the film’s box office takings could be affected (if at all, admittedly).