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When Lionsgate announced they were making a Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers movie, aside from wondering "Why?", everyone was curious as to what kind of movie it would be. Would it bear any resemblance to the two films made in the 90's? Would it bring us a vision of the Power Rangers that we've never seen before? Would it still be using old footage from the Japanese series repurposed for America thanks to dubbing? It looks like someone has asked Max Landis, and he may have put the secret formula to a Power Rangers movie in screenplay format!
SchmoesKnow is reporting that Max Landis was the scribe of choice for Power Rangers and has already submitted a draft to producers Jim Miller, Alison Shearmur and the mighty Haim Saban. SchmoesKnow accurately points to the fact that the Chronicle writer is basically porting over the concept for that film into Power Rangers, at least on the orders of producers. Could it be possible that Power Rangers would be headed in the same direction as Chronicle, a semi-plausible, dark story about teenagers with untapped powers and abilities?
Max Landis, an outspoken critic of blockbuster films and geek cinema, seems like an unlikely choice for the material, beyond the similarities between Chronicle and Power Rangers. Isn't a Power Rangers movie, with its cynical play on the nostalgia of Generation X, the sort of thing that Landis would rail against? His father made wildly original and diverse films throughout his career, from the perfect An American Werewolf In London to the still-hilarious Coming To America. But Max Landis is working in an entirely different Hollywood, one that thrives on familiarity, one that will shut down any new ideas he might have in favor of something familiar. Congratulations, Max Landis, you wrote Chronicle, a hit movie. Would you like a job writing one of our many sequels, remakes, reboots and/or rehashes?
If it's true and this is a more "realistic" take on the Power Rangers, then that seems to be an unwise decision. It's misguided enough to adapt one of the laziest, most empty-headed kids' shows in history, trying to bring a "broad" audience old enough to not drool on the couch during a sugar high to a concept that seems designed specifically to sell plastic pieces of crap. But we live in an age of extensive fan-service, with producers who treat movie message boards like focus groups, so Saban is going to hesitate before making any major changes to the "mythos." Which means that we'd get a souped-up Rita Repulsa with a magical scepter, and everyone would have to act like it's the most serious thing they've ever seen, but at some point someone would make a joke about her lips not matching her words. And we'd also get two desperate-for-work character actors forced into playing Bulk and Skull, only to have the first photos of them scrutinized as soon as they hit the internet. Making a Power Rangers movie is really a lose-lose proposition, no matter which way you look at it.