As the extensive promotional campaign for the forthcoming movie reboot of the Power Rangers franchise continues, excitement among nostalgic fans of the nineties kids’ television show is rapidly growing. Sporting a sleeker and modernized new look, Power Rangers stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky Gomez and Ludi Lin as the titular five Rangers; as well as familiar names Bryan Cranston as Zordon and Elizabeth Banks as the villainous Rita Repulsa.
Traditionally throughout the many iterations of the Power Rangers TV show, the group’s Red Ranger has been considered the de facto leader. From Jason Scott onward, the gang of teenage superheroes has been kept in line by their Red member and most versions of the leading Ranger tend to be stereotypical male protagonist types: popular, good looking, decent at fighting and so forth.
And if a new image (via CBR) from the Power Rangers promotional material is anything to go by, the class of 2017 will also adopt Dacre Montgomery’s Jason Lee Scott as their trusty leader. The image (seen below) shows the five Rangers but with Jason taking center stage and striking a dramatic action-hero pose to boot. The image also gives fans a good look at the new metallic Ranger armor that has attracted criticism from some fans of the original show.
Although all information regarding the Power Rangers reboot suggests that the movie will be quite far removed from its source material in tone and style, it’s reassuring to see that the concept of the Red Ranger as the chief of the group is being retained. It would have been easy for the movie to adopt a more equal approach and scrapped the idea of one member being the leader altogether – and while the image isn’t exactly confirmation Jason will be in charge, it certainly heavily implies it.
As previously mentioned, the Power Rangers reboot has attracted its fair share of criticism in the lead up to its release this March and most of the negativity has surrounded the movie’s visual style and design. Rita Repulsa’s costume was one of the film’s first reveals and was immediately accused of being unrecognizable from the original character design. Soon after, everything from the Rangers’ armor to the bland design of villain Goldar was in the firing line; given how far the designs are moving away from the tone of the original series, this backlash is perhaps understandable.
With that said, such a drastic change was not only inevitable but also highly necessary. The original Power Rangers fondly remembered by many twenty-somethings was heavily rooted in the looks of the nineties, as well as Japanese B-Movie culture. Lionsgate will no doubt be hoping that their reboot is much more than just a nostalgia trip for older fans but will also open the Power Rangers franchise up to a brand new audience – and for that, a radical redesign was needed.
Source: Lionsgate (via CBR)