Brace Yourself For A ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ Movie Reboot
In this week’s installment of news that confirms ComicsAlliance has gained control of the Infinity Gauntlet and is now in complete control of reality, Saban and Lionsgate have announced plans for an original live-action Power Rangers movie that’s set to reboot the franchise with a new gang of teenagers with attitudes.
In a press release put out by both companies, Saban praised Lionsgate’s knack for turning stuff the kids already like into highly successful film adaptations, from Twilight (booooo) to Hunger Games (yayyyyy) to the more recent Divergent (ehhhh). Regardless of my particular parenthetical feelings about those movies, that’ll probably be handy for the Power Rangers franchise, which has managed to remain pretty popular with the youth of America since its debut in 1993. That said, it’s pretty surprising to me that they haven’t been doing movies all this time.
Not to be the guy who always goes “well in JAPAN…” every time this stuff comes up or anything, but in Japan, the heroes of Super Sentai (and Kamen Rider, for that matter) hit the big screen at least twice a year, with the movies serving as both long-form adventures for the team and the platform where they introduce the next year’s batch of rangers. That, however, is a pretty grinding schedule for the American film industry, especially when you throw it on top of filming 50 episodes in a single year, but still. That their American counterparts haven’t been in movie theaters since 1997 seems a little odd.
Of course, given how well the Rangers have fared on the big screen, maybe it’s not that surprising. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, released in 1995 and featuring Bulk and Skull skydiving, turned a profit, as was Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (albeit barely) but they’re not exactly the high points of the franchise. They are, in fact, not very good, and tough to sit through even if you’re a kid who was 100% into seeing intergalactic ninja adventure.
Ivan Ooze, man. Dude could not carry a film.
If, however, Saban wants to edge a little further towards the Japanese model, then now would be a pretty good time to do it. The upcoming Power Rangers Dino Charge is an adaptation of Japan’s Kyoryuger, which spawned a movie that crossed over with Zyuranger and Abaranger, better known on this side of the Pacific as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Power Rangers Dino Thunder, respectively. That kind of all-dinosaur crossover action could be the perfect platform, especially since MMPR and Dino Thunder both featured Jason David Frank, who also appears in the current series, Super Megaforce, and told ComicsAlliance last year at San Diego that he was hoping for a “Dark Knight style movie” about the Green Ranger.
That might be a little unlikely, but still. There are pieces in place to do some pretty interesting things here, even if it’s just a reboot of the “original” MMPR.