A 'Power Rangers' movie is on the way, but what can we expect from the 21st century reboot?
The mighty (and morphin’) Power Rangers are coming back, with a reboot of the franchise being announced by Lionsgate this week. Whilst many 90s kids will approach this idea with trepidation, it really was inevitable. Everybody knows the Power Rangers and since it seems every other franchise is getting a reboot, why should they? But what do we know so far and more importantly what should we expect from a 21st century Power Rangers?
Who were the Power Rangers?
Do we really need to go there? Ok for those a little younger than us, ‘Power Rangers’ or better yet ‘Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ was a children’s live action television series in the mid nineties that became a pop culture phenomenon. Using footage from the Japanese series ‘Super Sentai’ it was Americanised by adding in original material focusing on five teenagers chosen to protect the earth from evil invaders. The morphing happens when they become superheroes in their special suits and helmets each with a separate colour theme. Their leader is the wise Zordon and the Rangers must follow particular rules (such as hiding their identity) or else they loose their power.
What do we know so far?
All we really know is that the upcoming movie will be a partnership between Lionsgate studios and the franchise’s original creator Haim Saban. The Wrap reports that like the original 90's series the upcoming reboot will be live action. Sabin said that “Lionsgate is the perfect home for elevating our Power Rangers brand to the next level.” While Lionsgate’s Jon Feltheimer described the new movie's aim as, ''to create a motion picture event that will resonate with moviegoers around the world for years to come.”
'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' is another 90's show to get a reboot
Is it really a good idea?
Well yes and maybe. We’re definitely living in the era of the reboot/remake and right now it’s the turn of the late 80s early 90s kids tv shows to all have a go at capturing the 21st century audience. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is perhaps the most comparable example and its upcoming reboot is dividing fans everywhere (with most coming out on the negative.) But as much as we might fondly remember the original 'Power Rangers' series, we’ve got to admit it wasn't the most finely made kid’s series. It was cheesy and those costumes in retrospect were pretty bad, but that was all part of its charm.
But as a premise 'Power Ranger's is a perfect franchise to attract a young audience. The traditional line-up was always diverse enough in race and gender to give every kid a Ranger of their own. If done correctly a modern reworking could keep the original fans happy and bring in a whole new batch. Where Lionsgate will need to be careful is when choosing the correct tone for the movie. If they try and go too ‘dark’ to keep up with current trends (see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), it could back fire and seem more cheesy than the original. A happy medium needs to be found between enough classic Rangers campness and modern self awareness to make the new movie inclusive of fans new and old. One thing is for certain, thanks to reruns 'Power Rangers' is as popular as ever and there’s still plenty of money to be made off the franchise.