“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” was a ’90s phenomenon that found an audience because of its action, bright costumes — and low-budget, chuckle-inducing aesthetic. Now, the first image of Elizabeth Banks’ character in the upcoming feature film reboot has been revealed … and it seems to almost say more about the movie than Rita Repulsa.
As you can see from Rita’s Poison-Ivy-meets-The-Hunger-Games look, Rita and the film have been injected with a healthy dose of 2016. Gone is the cheesy headgear and trash-bag-looking ensemble, replaced by a devilishly-sexy villainous outfit.
With all that in mind, now seems like the perfect time to look back on all we know about the eagerly-anticipated movie.
Near the end of February, Lionsgate released a basic outline of the action. “Saban’s ‘Power Rangers’ follows five ordinary high school kids who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove –- and the world –- is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat,” says the release, likely tap-dancing around the fact that Rita is that threat. “Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover that they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so they will have to overcome their real-life issues and band together as the Power Rangers before it is too late.”
Aside from Banks, the cast is comprised of young actors who aren’t exactly household names — yet. Dacre Montgomery (“A Few Less Men”) plays Jason the Red Ranger, RJ Cyler (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”) is Billy the Blue Ranger, Naomi Scott (“The 33”) plays Kimberly the Pink Ranger, Becky G (“Empire”) will play Trini the Yellow Ranger and Ludi Lin (“Monster Hunt”) rounds out the group as Zack the Black Ranger.
Behind the scenes, there are some pretty impressive players masterminding this “Power Rangers” reboot. Executive producer Allison Shearmur has overseen the “Hunger Games” movies and the upcoming Star Wars “Rogue One” spin-off, and fellow EP Brent O’Connor is hard at work on the eagerly-anticipated “Warcraft” film. The costume designer worked on “Straight Outta Compton,” the visual effects are being done by Weta Workshop (“The Lord of the Rings” films) and the DP shot “Daredevil.” Other producers and writers have things like “X-Men: First Class” and the “Twilight” films on their resume. The only scary one? Director Dean Israelite’s last effort was the incomprehensible, headache-inducing “Project Almanac.” But then again, that movie did have some cool shots.
It’ll be for grown-ups … to a point
With Israelite’s involvement, and the look of things like the logo and sultry Rita, our money would be on a PG-13 “Rangers” when the movie hits theaters in 2017. But don’t expect things to get too crazy — not too long ago, a super-fan released an impressive 14-minute short film that took the “Power Rangers” to another level. Although the Internet loved it, blood-soaked scenes with a cocaine-snorting Black Ranger didn’t exactly earn itself any fans at Saban.
These ain’t your dad’s Power Rangers. If you need proof, head on over to Instagram, where the actors playing the Rangers have been posting pictures from their sweat-soaked workouts. We know these dudes will spend much of the movie wearing head-to-toe bodysuits, but it seems likely that at some point Rita will have to rip off their shirts … you know, for plot reasons.