Picking Rita Repulsa to be the main villain in Power Rangers was a no-brainer. She was the first primary antagonist in the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers TV series, so the reboot movie was wise to have her face off against these new versions of teenagers with attitude. While Elizabeth Banks' iteration of the space sorceress looks a lot weirder than her TV counterpart from two decades ago, a new image shows that she could have looked even creepier in the upcoming movie.
Artist Matt Frank posted the above sketch on his Facebook page recently, citing how back when Max Landis was writing his pitch treatment in 2013 for Power Rangers, he approached Frank about creating some concept art for the project. Frank was too busy at the time, so he only drew the thing above, which he calls "Xeno-Rita," i.e. what Rita Repulsa would looked like if she was blended with the Xenomorph from Alien. Although Max Landis' Power Rangers pitch never moved forward, part of me wishes the new Rita could have looked like this, if only because this takes into full-blown extraterrestrial territory rather than retain her human-like appearance. That said, it's understandable why they didn't end up going in this direction.
Although the new Power Rangers reboot is intended to be a more mature take on the original TV show (which was often times a lighthearted mess), it's still primarily being targeted towards the young adult demographic, similar to The Hunger Games. Showing something like that thing above might be a little too freaky for a PG-13 flick, which is presumably the rating Power Rangers is aiming for. As surprised as I am to be typing this, the Elizabeth Banks version is more tame, though appropriately weird. Xeno-Rita would feel more at home in that graphic, "R-rated" Power/Rangers fan film from last year.
From what we've learned in reports, images and the trailer released so far, Elizabeth Banks' Rita Repulsa will have the same goal has her TV predecessor: to take over Earth with her alien followers, though how she specifically plans to do so remains to be revealed. Only the Power Rangers will be able to stop her with their amazing, morphenomenal abilities. Unlike the original Rita, though, this new version wont be afraid to get her hands dirty, as evidenced by her attacking one of the Rangers un-morphed in their bedroom! The green sphere at the top of Rita's staff also appears to resemble the Green Power Coin, which implies there may be a closer connection between her and the future Green Ranger in this continuity, assuming they're able to introduce the latter in a sequel.
Power Rangers morphs into action in theaters on March 24, 2017.