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There's a new Power Rangers movie coming next year and while the property has many fans of the 90s TV show, some are skeptical that they'll be able to transform the corny series into a serious action franchise. The good news, is that the film's director understands the challenge ahead of him. He knows Power Rangers needs to be updated and it appears that the primary way he's planning on doing that is by making the new movie much more character focused than the series ever was.
I grew up on it and I have all the same questions other people have. How are we going to update this? How will it exist in the contemporary superhero cinema canon? [I've] tried to add naturalism and a grounded nature, [and emphasize everything being more] character-driven.
While the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was a live action series, it was as much a cartoon as anything else that aired on Fox on weekday afternoons when school let out. The series was an odd mix of action, using scenes from a previously existing Japanese series, and comedy, using the actors hired for the English language side of things, and the comic relief bullies. The combination was certainly compelling, but words like "grounded" and "naturalism" never came within 100 miles of the series. Even the characters themselves were fairly interchangeable. Most never got much of a story beyond the high school they went to and the color outfit they always wore. The series had the plot drive the characters. Usually, monsters would show up and the Power Rangers would transform and kick butt. It sounds like director Dean Israelite is telling Empire that he plans to have the characters drive the plot.
While the characters of Power Rangers will go by the same names as the original cast from the series, the exact ethnic and gender makeup of the team has shifted around. Beyond that, there's a great deal about the characters themselves that we don't know. However, is that it sounds like getting to know them will be a major part of the film. The idea of seeing naturalism in a Power Rangers film may seem crazy, but there was a time when that feeling existed among all superhero franchises. For the most part, studios have done a great job of creating worlds in which superheroes feel like they're as normal a part of the landscape as everything else that people are already familiar with. The producers of Power Rangers may have a bit more work ahead of them to make that work, but that doesn't mean they won't be able to pull it off.
Are you excited for a more grounded version of the Power Rangers or would you rather see a big screen version of the more campy series? Let us know what ou think in the comments.