Lionsgate surprised a lot of fans with its first Power Rangers reveal this past Saturday. The studio unleashed the first teaser trailer upon NYCC, and it wasn't exactly what anyone was expected. That said, it did go over fairly well with fans who've been with the franchise since its launch in 1993. Today, we have a look at some of the teenage characters in the movie along with 8 never before seen new photos.
Up until now, details about the five main high schools at the heart of this sci-fi superhero epic have been scarce. That all changes today, with a look a the characters and the actors playing them. Saban has officially launched the Power Rangers website, revealing some fresh content while giving us a better understanding of who these kids are. ComicBookMovie also managed to get their hands on some stills as well as a new synopsis. Here's what the movie is really about.
"Saban's Power Rangers follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove - and the world - is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it's too late, band together as the Power Rangers."
Directed by Dean Israelite (Project Almanac), Saban's Power Rangers stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, featuring Bill Hader, with Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks. The screenplay is by John Gatins (Kong: Skull Island, Real Steel). Story is by Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold) and Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney. Producers are Power Rangers creator Haim Saban, Brian Casentini ("Power Rangers" TV series), Wyck Godfrey, and Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars, The Maze Runner franchise).
In 1984, while on business in Japan, producer Haim Saban found himself mesmerized by a popular live-action television show called "Super Sentai." he recalls. Saban tracked down the show's owners and secured the rights worldwide outside of Asia. When the show premiered in 1993, it became the most watched children's television program in the U.S. More than that, it became a cultural phenomenon around the globe. Says producer Haim Saban.
"I was watching these five kids in Spandex fighting rubber monsters and I fell in love with it. It was one of the first multi-ethnic superhero shows and also one of the first to feature superhero girls. It really struck a chord and ever since, it has been on air in more than 150 countries."
Now a new feature film based on the show, Saban's Power Rangers , re-envisions the Power Rangers as five ordinary high-school teens who discover they have acquired unique super powers and must join forces to save the world.
Given the Power Rangers' huge and ardent fan base, the filmmakers knew they needed to deliver a film that would satisfy longtime devotees as well as newcomers to the franchise. Comments Saban producer Brian Casentini.
"When it first launched, the series developed a massive global following which has continued to grow and become multigenerational over the past 23 years. We love our fans as much as they love the franchise so we made sure that, as we developed the film's script, we stayed true to the original Mighty Morphin Ranger characters, but added additional layers of dimension to each of them."
The film's director, Dean Israelite, grew up watching "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" in South Africa. He says this.
"It became a phenomenon there, just as it did all around the world. What I remember most is how empowered the show made you feel. When it emerged that this project was going to re-imagine the show, I was very excited. I knew if I could tap into the feeling of the original it would be an incredible adventure."
Remaining true to the spirit of the television series has been fundamental to every decision made by the production team, says Israelite.
"We are here because of the fans who have sustained the series for over 23 years. It's imperative that they come out of this movie feeling like we have taken what they love - and we love - about the series and brought it to life in a contemporary way while respecting the mythology."
To play the iconic Power Ranger roles, the filmmakers assembled a diverse ensemble of emerging young stars who share many characteristics with their characters, and their predecessors in the roles, says the director.
"The cast embodies the spirit of the original Rangers and who they were. Australian actor Dacre Montgomery, who plays the Red Ranger, is such a conscientious, focused guy in real life. It's amazing. He is a born leader. Before any of the actors knew each other, he was the one making sure they were all coordinating because they were from all around the world."
British actress and singer Naomi Scott plays Kimberly, the Pink Ranger. Says Israelite.
"She is a leader in the group in her own right and she's such a studied actor with an incredible craft that she brings a depth and humanity to the character that I think will be exciting for the audience. What I'm proud of is that this isn't a movie where the female lead is there to serve the male lead. She is wounded and complex and goes on her own important journey in the film."
American R. J. Cycler, who plays Billy the Blue Ranger, brings to the role a distinct personality and acting skill set, according to the director.
"He brings his own spin to every moment in the script. Most importantly his unique brand of humor and heart is infectious."
Becky G, who plays Trini the Yellow Ranger, hails from Southern California. Israelite continues, also talking about the new Black Ranger.
"She has her own philosophies on life, much as the original character did. She may be as quiet as the original Trini was, but beneath it all she's fierce. She has an incredibly strong presence in everything she does. Then we've got Ludi Lin, who plays Zack, the Black Ranger. Ludi has had an adventurous life; he can tell you where he's lived in the world and the sort of mischief he's gotten himself into and out of. He personifies the wild spirit that Zack had and should have. There's never an emotional challenge or a physical stunt that Ludi will back away from and I think that courage embodies the original character perfectly."
In addition to the exhilarating superhero action elements and the infectious camaraderie of the Power Rangers, the film spotlights interpersonal issues that teens grapple with and that everyone can relate to, says producer Marty Bowen.
"Not everyone is captain of the football team, or student council or 'most likely to succeed' or 'most beautiful.' The rest of us don't fit into those categories, we have challenges, we have issues with our parents, with our friends, and sometimes we feel alienated. So while the film focuses on the fun of a group of high-school kids being superheroes with their friends, we also wanted to counterbalance that with some of the realities of being a teenager today. I think that is what gives this film real humanity."
At its core though, Saban's Power Rangers is a thrilling adventure, says Israelite.
"We go on a fantastic odyssey with these kids, which allows them to come of age in ways that are meaningful and profound. But they also have a lot of fun and so will the audience."
Jason, the Red Ranger (Dacre Montgomery) was a football legend in his small town of Angel Grove until one fateful mistake. When we first meet Jason, he is in need of redemption and is struggling to find himself. But soon he is given a chance to lead a new team made up of an unlikely group of teenage superheroes and must find it in himself to rise to the challenge.
Kimberly, the Pink Ranger (Naomi Scott) used to be Queen Bee of Angel Grove High, but has been cast out of the popular clique and is now struggling to find her identity. She has a new rebel without-a-cause, edgy attitude, but this front is hiding a secret that makes her feel deeply vulnerable.
Billy, the Blue Ranger (RJ Cyler)has always been challenged in his abilities to communicate and interact socially. Whip-smart and sweet, he is the most pure-hearted of the group. Billy has never really had any friends, so finding teenagers that he is comfortable with is a big deal, and soon he begins connecting with people in a way he's never been able to do before.
Trini, the Yellow Ranger (Becky G) is mysterious but extremely bright. Her parents constantly move for work, making her the perpetual new girl to any school. A loner who owns it, Trini is self-sufficient and contemplative, but always observant. All she wants is to find her gang of friends, but she'll never admit it- least of all to herself.
Zack, the Black Ranger (Ludi Lin) is filled with bravado and swagger. He is tough and cool on the exterior but has many layers beyond his fearless appearance. Zack advertises everything about himself, except the truth, which makes him feel deeply inferior to all his peers. Take a look at the latest photos.