It's Morphin' Time! With the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles making a feature film comeback, a(nother) Power Rangers movie was probably an inevitability. Today Lionsgate announced their partnership with Saban Brands for a Power Rangers live action feature film.
Say it with me now: "Dragonzord! Mastodon! Pterodactyl! Triceratops! Saber-toothed tiger! Tyrannosaurus!"
Lionsgate's announcement notes the popularity of the franchise over the last two decades and goes on to describe their plans for the film, which will "re-envision" The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
The new film franchise will re-envision the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, a group of high school kids who are infused with unique and cool super powers but must harness and use those powers as a team if they have any hope of saving the world.
If all goes well, this film could end up targeting a wide audience, between fans of the original series, some of whom would be in their twenties now, and younger kids who've yet to discover the Power Rangers' awesomeness.
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers debuted in 1993. The original series was a live action children's TV show that used source material from Japanese tokusatsu Super Sentai and centered on a group of kids who were given the task of protecting the world against a group of alien invaders. When things got rough, the "morphed" into super-powered warriors and were able to pilot big robots called "Zords." From early on, the series was huge for kids, who not only wanted to watch the show, but also play with the toys. From my own personal experience, I recall my younger brother desperately wanting a Green Ranger action figure one Christmas. They weren't easy to come by at the time, as the series was hugely popular by that point.
The original series aired from 1993 until the early 2000s on Fox, after which the rights ended up at Disney. The original series and followups aired on other channels after that. Saban re-acquired the franchise from Disney in 2010 and have been working with it ever since. Power Rangers Samurai aired on Nickelodeon until 2011, and Power Rangers Megaforce debuted on Nickelodeon last year, with the second season premiering earlier this year.
So the Power Rangers are still around. But a feature film comeback could bring them back to the forefront of pop culture. Between those who are interested in the film for nostalgic reasons and a younger audience who might be drawn in by the action and adventure offered in this new re-envisioning of the concept, there certainly could be a big audience for this. We'll have to wait and see who Lionsgate and Saban brings in to direct, and of course, who's cast to play the Rangers.