Lionsgate and Saban are teaming up to reboot the Power Rangers franchise on the big screen, but it’s been a few months since we’ve had a significant update on the film (and the last one was Roberto Orci stepping down as producer). The movie is scheduled to open in theaters in Summer 2016, so unless principal photography winds up getting pushed back from the middle of this year (along with the release), then we ought to be getting some casting/hiring announcements in the foreseeable future.
Jason David Frank, who’s played Tommy Oliver on multiple Power Rangers TV series going back to the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show in the early 1990s, has provided a fresh assurance that the Power Rangers movie reboot is, in fact, moving forward as scheduled – and that he anticipates being involved with the project, in some manner.
The Power Rangers reboot screenplay is being penned by writing duo Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class), based on a screen story they cooked up along with Orci. Frank, speaking to Comic Book.com, admitted that he doesn’t know much more about the project right now than anyone else who’s not involved as either a writer and/or producer. Nonetheless, he is confident that he’ll be a part of the movie, thanks to his longtime role as a performer/promotor for Saban’s Power Rangers brand.
We’re definitely not in a holding pattern. The movie is definitely set for this year. Everything is in place. They won’t give me specific details because it’s all like hush-hush. Even me, I try. I email Saban and ask them kind of what you’re asking me, but they do feel that I’m going to be part of it, because they feel there’s no movie, at least, without me. The funny thing is, one way or another, whether it happens or it doesn’t, I’ve been great to Lionsgate and I’ve been loyal to Saban. It’s not like they owe me, but if I want to ask for a personal favor, I’ve invested into their emotional bank account. I feel like it’s fair to have that withdrawal with them, because I’ve done nothing but support them for the last 10 years, 20 years in fact.So when that happens, I don’t need to cash in any favors. I believe it’s going to happen anyway, but when it does, I’ll keep my fans involved, but I will tell you it is being filmed this year. I know that for a fact. It’s going to be great when it is.
Regardless of your feelings about Frank’s claim that there’s not a movie “without him”, he is right in that it would be surprising for him to not be involved with the Power Rangers big screen reboot, in some capacity. The movie will introduce a new group of “ordinary high school kids” who are gifted with the extraordinary (and extraterrestrial) morphing abilities, so it’s quite possible that Frank will have, say, more than just a cameo as a shout-out to longtime Power Rans fans.
Frank may well play Tommy again in the Power Rangers movie reboot and help usher in a new generation of Rangers onscreen; after all, Orci has said in the past that the movie reboot has “a continuity within the world” of the established Power Rangers franchise. It depends ultimately on what the storyline for the film ends up being, as well as the movie’s director and how they choose to balance nostalgic referencing with moving the property into the future.
And speaking of the Power Rangers director… we still don’t who that is yet. There’s a fair chance that the cast recruited to play Rangers in the film will either be composed largely or entirely of newcomers. This film could likewise feature a lesser-known talent behind the camera (similar to such upcoming tentpoles and/or reboots as Jurassic World and Kong: Skull Island), who’s looking to breakout within the studio system.
Alternatively, it’s possible a relatively more-established filmmaker will instead oversee the Power Rangers reboot. Whoever the candidate ends up being, though, it could well provide a clue about what to expect, in terms of style and creative direction on this project. We’ll keep you posted, as always.
Power Rangers is slated to reach theaters on July 22nd, 2016.