With the modernized reboot of Power Rangers set to be released next month, the movie’s promotional campaign is entering its final stages and excitement among fans of the original nineties television show is reaching fever pitch. The movie will feature the original five Rangers battling against arch-nemesis Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) with the help of Zordon (Bryan Cranston) and his faithful android, Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Hader).
The movie and its corresponding toy line have been marketed heavily, gradually revealing new looks for fan-favorite characters such as Goldar and Zordon, as well as the shiny new Zords our Rangers will be riding in the movie. The film has also utilized some more innovative viral marketing techniques in order to gain momentum, such as creating a website for Angel Grove High School (designed to look like a genuine school site) that gave a few nuggets of information about the movie and its characters.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day yesterday, the official Power Rangers Twitter held a #RepulsaTakesOver event, which saw some poor soul at the Lionsgate offices pretend to be Rita Repulsa for the day and Tweet anti-Valentine sentiments such as “Calling all you single ladies. Come join me and we will rule together!” and “Love is like rain. It ruins everything”. The stunt was spearheaded by the account sharing a brand new image of the villain in full action pose and holding her traditional magic staff:
Both Rita Repulsa’s full costume and her special staff have been revealed previously in the movie’s marketing campaign and therefore the new image offers little in the way of additional insight into the character or how her powers or personality may be altered in the forthcoming reboot. The Twitter stunt was, however, a novel way of promoting the movie and introducing the character to movie-goers who may not be familiar with the television series.
It has been noted previously by many people that Rita Repulsa’s new look is very far removed from that of the original character, both in appearance and tone. Where the original Rita had long witch-like robes and a pointy hat, Elizabeth Banks’ incarnation has a new green color scheme and the costume is considerably more skimpy. Arguably, only the villain’s staff bears any resemblance to the older version of the character, with its ball and circle design.
Many Power Rangers fans have been irked by this significant deviation from the source material and have noted something similar happening with the designs of many other characters from the franchise, including the Rangers themselves. However, it could be argued that the original TV show was very much a product of 1990s and Japanese B-Movie culture and as such, would struggle to find success with a modern audience if it didn’t undergo some dramatic visual makeovers.
Source: Lionsgate (via Twitter)