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Despite its release date being moving from summer 2016 to early 2017, progress on the Power Rangers movie is still moving forward. X-Men: First Class writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz were hired to write the script last year, and Project Almanac director Dean Isrealite was brought aboard to helm the project two months ago. What’s still a mystery is who will be playing the titular heroes, and while we may have to wait longer to learn their identities, it doesn’t sound like any of the leading actors will be recognizable faces.
Although casting hasn’t begun yet on the film, Heroic Hollywood is reporting that Lionsgate is looking to cast unknowns as the Rangers themselves, since they’ll be in their late teens. Although this hasn’t been confirmed yet, it wouldn’t be surprising given that the various TV shows have typically hired new talent to don the multi-colored suits. This also means that we shouldn’t expect any of the show’s original actors to morph back into action in their respective lead roles. If you’re looking for a story starring older Rangers, you’re better off watch that gritty fan film that came out earlier in the year.
If Power Rangers is looking for unknown talent to lead the charge, then their main draw to drawing people to the theater will have to rely on the show’s 20+ year legacy. Considering that the show’s original fanbase is now in their 20s or 30s, the movie will have the nostalgia factor working for it, which is often a big advantage for these franchise revival projects. In terms of these actors, remember that just because an actor isn’t well known doesn’t mean they’re not talented. Depending on how this movie does at the box office, this could end up being their big break. Besides, there’s still supporting roles and the main villain to cast if they want to use a well-known name to pique people’s interest.
It’s also worth pointing out that just because the film will feature younger actors doesn’t mean that the original stars can’t appear in cameos or minor roles. Jason David Frank, who played the original Green/White Ranger, Tommy, has expressed interest in playing some kind of a role. Having maintained close ties with the franchise over the years (he recently reprised Tommy last year in the Power Rangers: Super Megaforce finale), it’s likely that he’ll be used in some capacity.
Little is known about what to expect from the Power Rangers’ next big screen outing other than it will be in continuity with the TV shows. Israelite recently described the script as "mature but playful," and mentioned a "wonderful character" that will be essential to the story. The original series Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers followed a group of teenagers who used supersuits and gigantic robots called Zords to battle monsters threatening Earth. Although the show’s first seasons starred the same cast of character, most of the franchise’s TV seasons have seen a new group of Rangers (ranging from ninjas to a police force) fighting different threats.
The Power Rangers movie will hit theaters on January 13, 2017.