Warning: SPOILERS for Power Rangers are ahead!
Like the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers TV series, the Power Rangers movie did a good job of building a team dynamic and friendship between the five main characters. In fact, the reboot arguably did a better job than its predecessor on that front since the moment where the teenagers with attitude finally joined together and harnessed their powers through cooperation felt more earned. However, in an earlier version of Power Rangers, two of the Rangers became more than friends, as the movie's trailers showed Jason the Red Ranger and Kimberly the Pink Ranger kissing. As it turns out, we have test audiences to thank for that particular scene being cut.
Power Rangers director Dean Israelite told EW that "nobody" at test screenings like the Jason and Kimberly kiss, saying it was "one of those rare times in a preview when something is so unanimous." The general consensus was that having the Red and Pink Rangers lock lips unnecessarily distracted from the real importance of the scene, which was watching Kimberly grow as a character. Israelite explained:
For that scene to culminate in some kind of romantic moment between her and Jason undermines her character and feels a little old-fashioned and becomes a movie trope of the female lead there to support some kind of male arc. I think it was actually kind of lovely that the audience pushed so hard against that, and the moment we took it out, everybody liked Kimberly way more and felt she was much stronger, and I loved that we got that reaction.
For those who need a refresher, Kimberly showed up at Jason's house to tell him that she believed she was the reason for the team's inability to morph, aside from Billy's brief unintentional transformation into the Blue Ranger. Apparently this was because of her perception of herself as a bad person due to the realization that the prank she played on a classmate (which sent her to the same detention period that Jason and Billy were stuck in) had gone too far. Jason attempted to comfort her, saying how just because she did a bad thing didn't mean she was a bad person, and that what she did from here on out was what mattered most. Had the scene continued as originally planned, the two of them would have then kissed, but instead, they were called to meet up with Billy, Zack and Trini, the latter of whom had just been attacked by Rita Repulsa.
Keeping the kiss between Jason and Kimberly in the final Power Rangers cut certainly would have made that scene feel more cliched, and given the movie's focus on friendship, it's probably for the best that Dean Israelite and his crew took the test audiences' concerns to heart and had it deleted. Plus, as an old school Power Rangers fan, I'm hoping that the Naomi Scott's Kimberly will have the romantic spark with future Green Ranger Tommy Oliver in a sequel, provided that there's proper build-up to them coming together.
You can catch Power Rangers in theaters now, and click here to read our review of the movie.