Rumor Patrol: ‘Chronicle’ Writer Working on ‘Power Rangers’ Reboot

Published 11 months ago by

power rangers reboot writer Rumor Patrol: Chronicle Writer Working on Power Rangers Reboot

Lionsgate has made a bundle on genre entertainment targeted at the young adult crowd – with such properties as The Hunger Games and Divergent – so it makes sense for the studio to be behind the Power Rangers film reboot in development. There’s a rumor floating about that screenwriter Max Landis (Chronicle) has been recruited to work on the new Power Rangers project, though Landis has already (sorta) denied any involvement with the movie. Whether there’s more to the story than that, is the question at this point.

Power Rangers co-creator Haim Saban has been very smart – and very shrewd – when it has come to growing the Rangers crop over the last two decades – as discussed on this past week’s Screen Rant Undergroud Podcast episode, following the official announcement of a Power Rangers movie reboot being developed by Saban and Lionsgate. As such, it would make sense for Saban and Co. to seek out the services of a writer such as Landis; a hot up and comer, who’s already got one re-imagined take on an iconic property – Frankenstein – arriving in 2015.

Hence, the claims by Schmoes Know‘s sources – assuring that Landis has only just turned in a Power Rangers script draft to Saban, as well as producers Jim Miller and Alison Shearmur – actually seem fairly reasonable. The official description for the reboot mentions “a group of high school kids who are infused with cool and new super powers,” which is up the alley of the writer behind the sci-fi found footage/teenage parable Chronicle. Much like that film’s director, Josh Trank, is now working on a Fantastic Four reboot which features younger versions of the eponymous superhero team, it wouldn’t take a stretch to imagine Lionsgate turning to Landis to re-imagine Power Rangers for the YA (and under) crowd in the early 21st century.

power rangers movie reboot cast Rumor Patrol: Chronicle Writer Working on Power Rangers Reboot

However, there’s a problem – namely, that Landis says that the rumor isn’t true. Or, to be more exact, he claims to not be “directly involved” with the Power Rangers reboot right now, though he’s avoided ruling out the possibility that he has been connected to the project in the past – or could be in the future. Case in point:

In fairness, Landis voiced his interest in rebooting Power Rangers as far back as a year ago, so it was probably inevitable that rumors about his involvement would spring up, now that the project is officially real. Still, although Schmoes Know doesn’t have a track record of being 100% accurate with its reporting, there’s often been a reasonable amount of truth to the site’s scoops. Case in point: their initial report that Tim Burton has begun talks to direct Beetlejuice 2 last year was confirmed by additional outlets shortly thereafter, while their recent claim that Jessica Chastain has been offered a Mission: Impossible 5 role has since been echoed by Deadline.

Recently, Schmoes Know reported that Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) is set to write and direct a Masters of the Universe live-action movie reboot; following their exclusive, however, other sites revealed that Wadlow is writing the project, but has not yet been formally set to direct. As such, when you stack their claims against Landis’ response, one reasonable possibility seems to be that Landis has only made a pitch for Power Rangers right now, and is waiting to learn if the producers like it enough to hire him to write the script. Another potential scenario is that Landis made a pitch that has already been passed over.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Movie Rumor Patrol: Chronicle Writer Working on Power Rangers Reboot

One more bit of food for thought – on Twitter yesterday, Landis also went on something of a soapbox rant about how to properly reboot a property. A rant that was not identified as having anything to do with Power Rangers, mind you (wink wink, nudge nudge):

Reboots should focus on the fun ideas at the center of the original property. “Dark and gritty” isn’t for everything. Something that was fun and colorful should remain fun and colorful. Just up the intelligence and the character. That was what the first JJ Trek did so well, or Winter soldier, or even the new Godzilla… As a writer, the last thing I’d want would be to force a tone that doesn’t belong onto a story. Tone is story. That said, if the property wasn’t open to evolve, I’d want no part and get out ASAP…

Landis, as far as his public behavior online is concerned, isn’t afraid of letting his emotions bubble near his surface, as evidenced by his impassioned video rant about Superman and Man of Steel last year. Which is to say that, all things considered, it might be best to consider Landis innocent until proven guilty, as far as his involvement with the Power Rangers reboot is concerned. At the same time, though, many longtime fans of the Power Rangers would probably agree with his reboot comments – and might even support him landing the screenwriting job, if that’s the approach he has in mind (read: not a “dark and gritty” re-imagining, per se).


We’ll keep you updated on development for the Power Rangers reboot.

Source: Schmoes Know, Max Landis

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. So when one of the rangers goes insane itll be done well.

  2. eh, there’s no story here. he’s just an open fan of a lot of “nerd” properties like power rangers. he flat out denied being involved (at least as of yet). he’s pretty straightforward about his projects

  3. Honestly this type of reboot could work. All you really need is a well written script, an actual FIGHTING CHOREOGRAPHER, and some interesting CGI for the Zords, and you have a Power Rangers live action thriller.

  4. The fact that Landis denies current involvement after possibly (likely) submitting a pitch for a “fun and colorful” reboot of the Power Rangers, and then getting on a soapbox rant that it shouldn’t be “dark and gritty” suggests to me that Lionsgate is probably interested in doing a darker and grittier reboot, but that Landis wouldn’t want any part of that project if they were to go in that direction.

    Personally, I feel like the movie can definitely be more “grounded”, a la Bryan Singer’s X-Man, without having to go all dark and gritty to the level of The Dark Knight. Just avoid adaptations like Dragon Ball Z and emulate Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim for the zord fights. Of course, serious fight choreography should just go without saying, but I think it may also benefit from a more grounded urban/military fighting style than a flashy martial arts style.

    • I never saw the theatrical movie, but I remember a darker, oozier villain and new armor for the Rangers in every preview. It only makes sense that they’d try to veer that direction this time as well.

      But seriously. This has got to be one of the campiest TV shows in the history of kids’ television.

    • The thing you have to remember is that outside of the scenes showing the American actors, everything (costumed Ranger fight scenes, Zord scenes) were just copied and pasted from the original Japanese shows and dubbed by the American cast so of course there’d be more martial arts type fighting.

      I kinda feel like skipping the martial arts entirely would be a bit of a crime for something like this. Dragon Ball: Evolution failed to include it (despite the shows it was based on being essentially Journey To The West with fighting tournaments) and it’d do a disservice if modern kids didn’t have their own martial arts craze like my generation did in the early 90s (with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Double Dragon, Dragon Ball Z and countless other shows).

  5. Fingers crossed, if a Power Rangers reboot is financially successful, then Lionsgate would pick up the rights to the Animorphs series and do a franchise with that. It would be combining their YA lit and Power Ranger properties, so theoretically would be right up their alley.

    • Best idea ever. I loved animorphs. The cgi of today would be awesome. It could even be more a horror/thriller a la Species.

      About power rangers. I was a fan of the first season but not one of all the changes. Can’t guarantee I will see it but will he very interested in the trailer.

  6. In a hypothetical scenario where this is successful, imagine all the similar properties coming out of the woodwork afterwards. VR Troopers? Beetleborgs? Ultraman? A Pacific Rim tie-in?

    • Or Masked Rider! Holy crap, thank you Google.

    • VR Troopers is unlikely ,Beetleborgs would need to be done like Zombieland or like its Japanese show B-Fighter, Ultraman is still tied with a rights dispute between Tsuburaya Co. and Chaiyo, and Pacific Rim is owned by Legendary ,which is owned by Universal at this moment. While Legendary is an independent studio still, I am not sure how it would work for a reboot tie in to begin with.

  7. POWER ON!

    • Jason David Frank, is that you?

      • Or maybe Jason the ORIGINAL American Red Power Ranger

  8. Bring one or two characters back from the original. Jason David Frank and Amy Jo Johnson would be great. Making it dark and gritty would be a good change from the cheesy fest that is Power Rangers.

    Hire Donnie Yen as the choreographer or villain. He is good at incorporating classic style martial arts into a more modern style. Check out his work. As for the dark/grittyiness level, you can decide if you want more Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Michael Keaton or Christian Bale. It’s a no brainer unless you’re specifically making a comedy. I don’t mind a little Adam West but you can only take so much.

    Keaton/Bale for the win. That is the direction the movie reboot, Power Rangers, should go. More Bale than Keaton. The box office numbers tell the story better.

  9. Alex Pettyfer – White Ranger
    Colton Haynes – Red Ranger
    Steven Yeun – Black Ranger
    Tequan Richmond – Blue Ranger
    Celina Jade – Pink Ranger
    Chloe Grace Moretz or Dianna Agron – Yellow Ranger
    *2 crazy conspiracy theorists throughout the films played by Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy.
    Directed by Michael Bay.

    1st: Have Zordon put the team together with Alpha’s help, and have to fight Goldar and Mordant, and beat him with the megazord at the end.
    Pre-credits: Have Zedd from the shadows shouting at Goldar and Mordant while a female voice cackles in the background.
    Post/Mid-credits: Zedd talking/instructing someone, which is the Green Ranger(JDF) who walks out of the shadows without the helmet.

    2nd movie: Power Rangers VS Green Ranger(JDF),with references to GR once being a PR. While they fight Zedd sends Goldar and Mordant to release Ivan Ooze, the PR and GR band together eventually against Ooze.
    Pre-credits: Purple ooze is seen draining/spilling away implying that he’s not gone.
    Mid/post-credits: Green Ranger sets off on his own to “find” himself.

    Between films 2 and 3 a “prequel” with young Zordon and Zedd setting up Zedd’s motivations, etc. Also introduce the weird island with the chick that knew Zordon(from the MMPR movie).

    Film 3: Zedd finds a weakness the PR have and attacks them, Zordon and the base, killing Zordon and taking their powers in the process. With his dying words Zordon instructs Alpha to get and find the GR. GR turns up to find the PR dejected, weak and powerless and tells them of the island(wherever it is/was, they go train and come back. The 6 PR and Green Ranger fight Zedd, Rita, Goldar, Mordant.
    Pre-credits: Zedd gets away, is seen calling on someone for help.
    Mid/post-credits scene: A rebuilt Alpha and JDF say goodbye to the current group of Rangers.

    Film 4: JDF “becomes” Zordon/the mentor, the initial group of Rangers have disbanded and JDF has to go out and recruit a new batch. While JDF searches, Divatox lands on earth from space and starts etting up her plan. The new Rangers turn up, and Zedd has brought Ooze back, Rangers beat him in their 1st fight. Meanwhile Divatox raises her volcano god who they fight with their Megazords at the end.
    Pre/Mid/Post-credits: Divatox escapes earth, teams up with Zedd, introduce elements from the Space Power Rangers.