The venerable action series Power Rangers may have been thrust front and center in the wake of Dredd producer Adi Shankar's unofficial, R-rated Power/Rangers short film, but it never really went away. The property is now in its 22nd season on Nickelodeon as Power Rangers Dino Charge, and an official movie reboot from Lionsgate is due to begin production in early 2016 for a 2017 release.
The reboot's director Dean Israelite (Project Almanac) has promised fans a “mature but playful” take on the adventures of a group of teenagers who protect the Earth from monsters and supervillains with the help of superpowers, colorful costumes and huge vehicles called Zords. Aside from this general description of the tone, there are only rumored plot details about the script by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class), with many stories revolving around the reboot's characters.
Specifically, the producers are said to be seeking out relative unknowns to play these new Rangers, and now a report from Variety gives us a shortlist of young up-and-comers eyed for some of the main roles. The following batch of rising young actors are said to be testing for some of the core Rangers.
As Kimberly (the Pink Ranger):
- Naomi Scott (The Martian)
- Stephanie Scott
For the role of Zack (the Black Ranger):
- Daniel Zovatto (It Follows)
- Ross Butler (Chasing Life)
- Brian "Sene" Marc (Major Crimes)
For Jason (the Red Ranger):
- K.J. Apa (Shortland Street)
- Austin Butler (The Shannara Chronicles)
- Mitchell Hope (The Descendants)
The age group of these actors as a whole seems to confirm Lionsgate's commitment to put the Power Rangers brand first and not rely on any one central star. This shortlist contains a few names who are beginning to break through - or at least have appeared in films which have had plenty of light trained on them - like Naomi Scott from Terra Nova and The Martian, and Daniel Zovatto from It Follows. Still, as familiar as some of these faces may be, most of them will be brand new to audiences in general.
If this report is accurate, then the names of these Rangers - which match those of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - sync up with previously rumored character details, which outlined the main characters' personality traits. Those rumored names and character profiles also seemed to fit in nicely with supposed plot details, exploring each characters' own personal struggles as they try to work as a team. A group of young actors would provide a blank slate for the reboot, with the familiar archetypes more likely to draw in nostalgic fans. Stay tuned for more casting information for Power Rangers as it surfaces.
Power Rangers will open in theaters on January 13, 2017.