Many of the biggest films debuting over the next few years, especially within the summer blockbuster season, are either reboots of previously established franchises - like Lionsgate’s Power Rangers - or sequels to the big hits of recent years - such as Star Trek 3. Roberto Orci (Star Trek Into Darkness, Transformers) was originally slated to have a hand in both films that are due to be released in 2016, executive producing Power Rangers and making his directorial debut on Star Trek 3.
However, with recent reports that the third installment to the Star Trek franchise is on course to begin filming in spring 2015 and a similar shooting schedule must be held by Power Rangers in order to make its July 2016 release date, Orci can’t fulfill his commitments to both movies.
Deadline is reporting that Orci has dropped out of the Power Rangers reboot due to scheduling conflicts created by his directing commitment to Star Trek 3. Orci’s exit, however, doesn’t hinder Lionsgate’s plans for the Power Rangers reboot. Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor) are working on the script, while fellow producers Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Brian Casentini from Saban Brands are still on board as well.
Although a Power Rangers reboot will benefit from the current movie atmosphere in which audiences love to watch groups of superpowered heroes save the day, the film will be tasked with culling from and adapting more than 20 years of story material. Additionally, Power Rangers will be a “modern reinvention” of the original story and may attempt to appeal to a wider age range than the television series.
Though fans may or may not have been attached to the idea of Orci as executive producer, he did demonstrate an understanding of the challenges presented by a franchise with a longstanding fanbase and so much material. Orci also has experience with this type of blockbuster reboot given his work on Transformers and Star Trek.
It’s difficult to say how the producer’s departure will affect the Power Rangers reboot in the long run, but the success of the film depends more upon the executive producer Lionsgate taps to replace Orci - as well as the director who signs on the helm the film. Then we’ll have a better idea of what to expect from the Power Ranger reboot.
Power Rangers is still on track to premiere July 22, 2016. Star Trek 3 is expected to arrive sometime in 2016.