After nearly twenty years, the Power Rangers are getting an official big-screen reboot. Said to be taking a "mature but playful" approach to the fan-favorite 1990s TV series from Haim Saban, the updated Power Rangers will be directed by Dean Isrealite (Project Almanac), with a script from Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class).
After some rumored plot details outlined the introduction of the new team, more recent reports suggest that the Power Rangers line-up will stay true to the original show's character traits and will feature the Rangers' original names as well. With the reboot's release date pushed to early 2017, many expected production on Power Rangers to begin before the end of 2015, but now we know otherwise.
According to a list of current productions from the Directors Guild of Canada (via Yvrshoots.com), the Power Rangers reboot will begin production in January 2016 in Vancouver. On the top of the second page of the sheet, a production called Shirt is listed, with Dean Israelite credited as director - all evidence that Shirt will be the film's code name - at least during that leg of the shoot.
If production does not begin until January of next year - scheduled to wrap in Vancouver by April (with dates always subject to change) - could this affect the planned release date of January 2017? The summer blockbuster season for that year is already crowded with big titles: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Toy Story 4, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: Episode VIII - but the whole first quarter of 2017 is full of similarly anticipated releases like The LEGO Batman Movie and The Wolverine 2.
Perhaps releasing Power Rangers early on is ultimately the wisest movie, but January is traditionally where studios dump releases they just want off their slate. January success stories - like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters - tend to be the exception rather than the rule. However, with blockbusters now released essentially year-round, Power Rangers could prove an effective bit of counter-programming to something like The Dark Tower, which is currently slated for release during the same weekend.
While the brand lives on - currently in its 22nd season as Power Rangers Dino Charge on Nickelodeon - Dredd producer Adi Shankar's unauthorized gritty, violent short film take on the Power Rangers made enough waves to put the property front and center for a moment. We await confirmed plot details about this "mature but playful" approach, and how it can connect to today's mainstream audience.
Power Rangers opens in U.S. theaters on January 13th, 2017.