[WARNING: Spoilers for Power Rangers below.]
Director Dean Israelite’s reboot of the iconic Power Rangers franchise is mere weeks away from its release, yet the promotion of the film still has surprises in store. Reviving the classic characters from the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series with a whole new cast, the newest incarnation of the Power Rangers has a chance to pass the heroes’ legacy on to a whole new audience.
Beyond the recreation of the five characters that became the original Power Rangers, the reboot wasn’t expected to have any other strong connections to the original series. But contrary to a prior report that none of the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers cast would make surprise cameos in the film, both the original Green Ranger Jason David Frank and Pink Ranger Amy Jo Johnson make appearances.
While Johnson’s original character Kimberly Hart is already played by Naomi Scott, the character of Tommy Oliver/the Green Ranger is not part of the film – except in a recently confirmed post-credits scene. As reported by Cinema Blend, the “mid-credits scene” features a teacher at Angel Grove High School calling out Oliver’s name during detention. The character is never shown, but the name alone should excite longtime fans of the franchise.
Israelite explained to Cinema Blend that the introduction of Oliver as a character at Angel Grove High “felt organic” in the progression from Power Rangers to potential sequels featuring the character. It’s possible that a future Power Rangers film could adapt the five-part “Green With Evil” series of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers episodes with Oliver becoming the Green Ranger.
Frank has reprised his role as Oliver several times, most recently in 2015’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Legendary Battle. His cameo appearance in the new Power Rangers is a clear passing of the torch to the new Oliver character as it’s introduced during the end credits. Regardless of how the new Power Rangers reboot stacks up to its predecessors, the addition of Oliver and the Green Ranger is an intriguing prospect for sequels.
The Power Rangers’ built-in fanbase, and audiences hungry for the nostalgia of the original series, are sure to help the film succeed early in its run at the box office once it hits theaters. The idea of Tommy Oliver popping up in a mid-credits scene will only raise anticipation for die-hard fans, but the first film will also need to succeed in its own right. Still, Israelite is clearly confident that his Power Rangers reboot is only the beginning of a new era for the franchise.