So, the Hollywood reboot machine keeps running and now it’s going to work on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I didn’t know how to react to this news, part of me was excited, while another part was not impressed because of Lionsgate productions. Lionsgate has made some good and fun movies, but when I look at their line-up I see a majority of movies I didn’t like or just not interested in. Recently you would know them behind the improving “Hunger Games” films, the fun “Expendables” franchise, and the awful “Twilight” saga. As a long time fan of Power Rangers, and cautious of Lionsgate, let’s take some time to talk about what has to be right in the movie.
The first thing the reboot must get correct is the Megazord. Season one’s Meagzord was perfect, and many fans will tell you the original is still their favorite. I know you have to change and update some of the design, but at its heart it has to be close. Transformers might not be the best example to use, but look at the treatment Optimus Prime received, the voice was the same, the colors were right and they made a good effort to keep the design close. This includes the CGI for the Megazord, if it looks as good as “Pacific Rim” it will be a hit, If it looks as bad as the Megazord from “Power Rangers: The Movie,” you might as well kill the project right now.
The second thing the reboot must get right is the Green Ranger. Ask any old school Power Ranger fan who they liked the best and you will get one of two answers, the Green Ranger, or the White Ranger and those two are the same person. But for this article we will focus on the first version, the green ranger.
The reboot Green Ranger has to have the proper costume, and by costume I mean the shield. The costumes for all the rangers are important, but more so for the green ranger, his is the iconic look for the first season of Power Rangers. Just like the Megazord the new movie shouldn’t stray too far on costume design, I know you can’t just have a body suit like the show, but a more armored look similar to “Power Rangers: The Movie” would work, and still hold up for a gold-shielded Green Ranger.
Of course, this also raises the question on how to handle the green ranger as far as story goes. Well in my opinion there are three ways you can go:
- Hold the Green Ranger back from the reboot, and hope you get a sequel to introduce him either as a new good guy or use the “Green With Evil” arc for the sequel.
- For the reboot rip the “Green With Evil” story arc straight from the show and make him one of the main villains.
- Change the origin story slightly and use the Green Ranger as the centerpiece.
The first idea would be the ultimate teaser and would be ripping a page out of Marvel’s playbook, drop an Easter egg or two into the movie or post credits scene to tease that he is coming.
The second idea is just as simple, establish the main bad guy, and have them use the green ranger as the villain, and then use the evil ranger’s attack as jumping off point for the formation of the Power Rangers. This would allow one of two ending for the movie, one being him turning good and joining the team to set up the sequel, or save the turning good for a post credits scene, and work it into the plot of the sequel with him finally joining the team by the end of the sequel.
The third idea could lead to some interesting choices for casting and origin story. For that, the green ranger is a lone wolf who was been fighting a growing evil for some time, maybe for years, until he can no longer keep up by himself leading to the forming of a full Power Rangers team.
The third idea would also allow the writers to address the elephant in the room, Jason David Frank. He is by far the most popular ranger of them all and that story would allow him to be the pin that links this movie to the old fans.
Imagine the third story arc with Jason David Frank coming back as Tommy. You have a familiar character carrying on his fight against evil, but being worn down, and a new group of rangers is brought in to help him. This would allow a loose connection to the original show but allow you to create a new cast of characters, similar to how Leonard Nemoy was used in the “Star Trek” reboot. Also, think of the different stories this could lead to endings for the sequel, with Frank passing his powers on to a new Green Ranger, setting him up as a mentor character, or retiring the green ranger making way for a new white ranger.
Lionsgate, as you start writing and planning the production remember, you taking on a project with a dedicated fan base that has already had to sit through two disappointing movies. This means every move you make will be analyzed by fans across the internet and just ask Paramount, Nickelodeon, and Michael Bay what happens when you make a fan base mad with early movie planning.
Finally, if anything sparkles, we riot.