Currently in production, Saban’s Power Rangers will morph on to the big screen in March of 2017, courtesy of Saban Brands and Lionsgate. The project serves as a reboot of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series, which took the world by storm in the early 1990s and resultantly generated over 23 seasons, 2 major feature films, video games, a series of comic books and a stack of merchandise. In an attempt to remain authentic, the team consisting of Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini, and Zack will reassemble, with a new cast of actors and actresses taking on the roles, and Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games franchise) playing the Power Rangers' most notorious villain, Rita Repulsa.
As it has been almost 20 years since the last Power Rangers movie, it’s fair to say that fans have high hopes for the 2017 reboot. Directed by Dean Israelite (Project Almanac) from a screenplay that is credited to multiple screenwriters - including the main duo Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller (X-Men: First Class, Thor), Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama (Dracula Untold), John Gatins (Kong: Skull Island, Real Steel), and Max Landis (Chronicle) – the story will follow five ordinary teenagers who must band together as the Power Rangers, after they learn that their small town of Angel Grove (and the world) is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. While the plot appears to be quite generic, it adheres to a storyline that most fans of the franchise will be familiar with, adding to the movie’s nostalgic appeal.
Now, Lionsgate/Saban has shared a first-look at the Power Rangers movie logo, via its official Power Rangers Twitter account:
— Power Rangers (@PowerRangers) April 14, 2016
The logo features an all-new design, with very little resemblance to the original '90s motif, though it attempts to maintain certain aspects such as an updated version of the iconic thunderbolt, supported by a sleek, chrome appearance. Perhaps unsurprisingly, fan reactions to the reveal of the logo varied from, on the one hand, excitement about the modernised re-introduction to the franchise, to some disappointment over the contrast to the original title from their childhoods.
For some, the logo added to the hype and helped to strengthen everything that they have seen so far, from the character names to the official synopsis and cast photos, accepting the changes and appreciating the subtle nods to the 1993 series. While many others criticized the face-lift, comparing the logo to DC’s The Flash or that of a heavy metal rock band, with most comments being concentrated on the use of dark colors and a design that lacks impact.
The Power Rangers franchise spans decades and generations, praised for its quality as a children’s television show, which fans both old and young can enjoy. Nowadays a number of reboots and/or spin-offs of superhero movies (Man of Steel, Batman V Superman) typically embrace a darker tone; however, this same formula won’t fit the mood of Power Rangers, which is known for its bright costumes and optimistic approach to its quip-littered storylines. Therefore, it will be important for the upcoming feature film to strike the perfect balance between honouring the original and also creating something that stands on its own.
Saban’s Power Rangers opens in U.S. theaters on March 24th, 2017.