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And then there were three. The casting for the Power Rangers movie soldiers on. Things had been a little quiet following the announcement of the Pink Ranger, but yesterday arrived with news of who will play the Red Ranger. Apparently spacing out these reveals is not part of the official PR plan, because today we were introduced to the new Black Ranger.
It appears that Power Rangers' previously reported plan of using unknown actors is continuing, as Ludi Lin, announced on the official Instagram account, is likely not a name most moviegoers are familiar with. While he did have a role in Monster Hunt, the highest grossing Chinese film ever, his U.S. resume consists mainly of short films and a single episode of Netflix's Marco Polo series. Lin’s casting follows fellow unknown Dacre Montgomery. At this point Pink Ranger Naomi Scott is looking to be the cast veteran.
Initial reports implied that the new film will use the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series as its inspiration for the Rangers themselves, but more recent word is the film will actually follow the existing canon and take place after Power Rangers Dino Charge. Or it could be some sort of alternate version that follows the existing canon but still uses the original characters, a la J.J.Abrams Star Trek. Lin’s casting certainly implies one of two things. Either the film is going with different characters entirely, or, and this option is a bit more exciting, they’re just not going to let the previous choices lock them into particular characters.
While the original Power Rangers had a well rounded and diverse cast of men and women from different races and backgrounds, the fact that the first Black Ranger was an African American man and the first Yellow Ranger was an Asian woman was...a little problematic to say the least. It was more caricature than character. It’s good to see them changing things up a bit while still keeping a diverse cast. It makes us all the more curious to see who rounds out the team.
Three Rangers down and two to go. While we haven’t heard much about the casting of those final two parts, with filming looking to begin in early 2016 we should hear about who will play the Blue and Yellow Rangers fairly soon, along with the villain, who is reported to be Scorpina, though that wasn’t always the case.
What do you think of the casting choices so far? The Power Rangers movie is currently set for a January 2017 release.