They say if you stay in one place long enough, just about everything old will eventually be made new. The current onslaught of movie remakes and reboots supports the claim, with the upcoming Power Rangers movie reboot showing no studio is underestimating the box office draw of nostalgia. And with progress moving forward to bring the film to theaters in 2016, interesting claims of the director being sought have already surfaced.
Despite the less-than-dramatic foundations of the Power Rangers property, Lionsgate isn’t cutting corners – with Project Almanac director Dean Israelite now set to helm the ensemble adventure.
That’s according to sources of Variety, who claim that despite his slim resume, Israelite offered a presentation of his vision for the new film universe that “blew away studio execs,” landing him the job soon after. Fans of the original TV series and numerous Saban Brands successors may have hoped for a more established name to helm the reboot, but Israelite is yet another young talent entrusted with a multi-million-dollar brand in recent years.
The news comes as a surprise given that Israelite’s only major credit to date was his found footage time travel tale Project Almanac. The script supplied by the writing duo behind X-Men: First Class will calm some of the skeptics, but Israelite’s work on telling a polished story of teen adventure, discovery, and conflict will be put to good use with Power Rangers, given how little is revealed in the plot synopsis:
From a story by Executive Producer Roberto Orci (TRANSFORMERS, STAR TREK, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2) and screenwriters Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, THOR) comes a modern reinvention of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, a group of ordinary high school kids who find themselves infused with extraterrestrial powers and must harness those powers as a team to save the world.
Obviously the film will be operating on an entirely different scale than his prior short films, or even Almanac. considering Lionsgate’s other teen-targeting franchises, The Hunger Games and Divergent. Though small-scale, Project Almanac balanced the found footage approach, honest portrayals of teenage adventures, and even some well-founded and executed time travel action.
The overlap with Power Rangers may be minimal, but Israelite’s success in getting so much out of so little shouldn’t be ignored. Lionsgate made it clear that their partnership with Saban Brands was intended to bring the Power Rangers name back into the spotlight “for years to come”; given how hard that may be for even die-hard fans to accept, perhaps it’s fitting that an underdog director should be at the helm.
What do you think of Lionsgate and Saban’s decision to hand over their big-budget reboot to such a relative newcomer? Are you concerned they didn’t choose a veteran talent, or are you eager to see what vision won them over? Sound off in the comments.
Power Rangers is expected to hit theaters on July 22nd, 2016.