If there was one property that '90s kids never expected to get a full-fledged, tentpole film reboot, it was probably Power Rangers. But as it turns out, that's exactly what's happening this year with Lionsgate's upcoming reimagining of the beloved kid's property, in a new film from director Dean Israelite (Project Almanac). Aside from the heavy visual effects and new cast of actors, though, the film follows the same basic plot of the original property as five kids become the recipients of unbelievable superpowers and are charged with protecting the world from those who would choose to rule or destroy it.
In a truly interesting casting decision too, the film's version of the actual Power Rangers are played by mostly unknown actors, while a lineup of movie stars and more notable personalities are filling out the more supporting roles, like Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa. And as a bit of pitch-perfect casting, the film also stars Bill Hader as the voice of Alpha 5, the lovable, robotic assistant to Bryan Cranston's Zordon.
Keeping in line with Lionsgate's steady promotional push for the film, fans can now chat with and learn how to be Power Rangers from none other than Alpha 5. Inspired by the character's fun personality, Lionsgate has officially launched a new "chat bot" experience, where users can have a completely personalized, spontaneous chat with Alpha 5, as if they've been "chosen" to be one of the Power Rangers. As an industry-first, the chat is cross-platform, which means users can chat with Alpha 5 on either Facebook Messenger, Kik, or Twitter. And in exchange for learning how to be a Power Ranger, they'll also receive exclusive content for the film. You can chat with Alpha 5 yourself, by clicking here.
As more and more studios begin to invest in Virtual Reality experiences to release in conjunction with their tentpole films, this Alpha 5 chat is an interesting change of pace for Lionsgate to release. Not only does it fit in well with Alpha 5's personality, but continues to push the more playful side of the Power Rangers property, which some fans were initially concerned might have been thrown away in exchange for a dark or "gritty" reimagining of the Rangers. Luckily, the new film couldn't look any less like that.
2017 is already shaping up to be one of the more competitive and packed years for blockbuster films in recent memory, so it's no surprise that Lionsgate has been pushing Power Rangers as hard and as consistently as they have been. In March alone, it's going to be released alongside highly-anticipated films like Logan, Kong: Skull Island, Ghost in the Shell, Beauty and the Beast, CHiPS, and Life. In response to that competition, the studio has been understandably pushing the more kid-friendly aspect of the film, which should help it to differentiate itself from some of the more R-rated, dark titles set to come out next month. So now, all that's left to be seen, is if Power Rangers is actually able to be the hit that both Lionsgate and diehard fans of the property are so desperately hoping it will be.
- Power Rangers (2017) release date: Mar 24, 2017