Dean Israelite’s live-action Power Rangers movie released earlier this year, and it turns out there was some debate regarding the inclusion of the original series’ theme song. Lionsgate and Saban Films’ gritty reboot came 24 years after the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series hit small screens. They aimed to take the franchise in a new direction, one that took many liberties with the source material. However, their plan to use the film as a launch pad for an entire franchise quickly backfired upon its release.
Power Rangers was met with mixed reviews from critics, and even some of the original series’ cast members expressed disappointment with certain aspects of the reboot. Among the movie’s many criticisms was its lack of campiness that the original series (and movies) embodied wholeheartedly — but that dark, gritty premise was something that was clearly intentional. Despite distancing itself from the source material in many ways, the reboot was not without references to the original series.
During the movie’s third act, the Power Rangers’ Zords finally see some action as the team makes their way to Angel Grove. At that moment, the famous Mighty Morphin Power Rangers theme song comes on for a few glorious seconds. As it turns out, its inclusion was something that the filmmakers debated about up until the very end. Israelite and screenwriter John Gatkins explained their decision to include the theme song on the movie’s home video audio commentary (via Power Rangers Now):
“Oh, the theme was a big debate. Should we keep it, shouldn’t we keep it? But at the preview screenings, we watched it play, and it felt so good in the moment. And I like what [Gatkins] said – that it honors the show for 25 years in the moment that we’ve now culminated in them morphing. So they morph, and it’s not about culminating these 2 hours, but it’s about culminating these 24 years and paying respect to all that.”
Israelite’s explanation certainly makes sense, especially considering how nostalgic the theme song would be for most of the people who watched the movie. Honoring the source material, at least in some small fashion, is always something that filmmakers should keep in mind whenever rebooting a beloved property, such as Power Rangers; sometimes that means working the original theme song into the movie.
Regardless of how well the movie performed critically, many people enjoyed the flick enough to want another installment, which is evident by its approximate $85 million take at the domestic box office. Unfortunately, the movie failed to score big overseas, raking in only $54 million internationally (including China), thus bringing its total cume to $140.2 million. Against the movie’s estimated production budget of $100 million (not including marketing), the box office take wasn’t enough to immediately justify another installment. However, merchandise sales may tell another story.
Although Lionsgate has yet to officially confirm a Power Rangers sequel, Israelite recently revealed that talks are ongoing, so there’s still hope for the movie’s fans. The Power Rangers universe is expansive, and there are many directions the studios could take the sequel, should they choose to move forward with another chapter. If they do, then they’ll definitely need to introduce the Green Ranger, whose inclusion in the franchise was teased in the movie’s post-credits scene.
Source: Power Rangers Now
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