The Power Rangers movie doesn't hit theaters until 2017, so we have a full year of speculation and rumors to wade through before we even get a first look at footage. Today, mostly respectable trade publication Variety reports that Lionsgate is already testing actors for the movie. No surprise, they are mostly unknowns.

Dean Israelite, best known for his found footage time travel adventure Project Almanac, is directing. The script has been turned into executives at Lionsgate. And so, the production team has set out to find their new teenage Power Rangers, with the movie getting a /power-rangers-movie-story-new-team/high school backdrop. Testing for the Black Ranger, whose real name is Zack, are three actors you may have never heard of. And with this reboot, to avoid any misguided claims of stereotyping or invert racist, the Black Ranger will not be African-American. Daniel Zovatto is first up for the role. He is probably best known for his appearance in the breakout horror hit It Follows. He was also seen in Laggies and Beneath. Second in line is Ross Butler, who appears in the TV series Chasing Life. And lastly, Brian "Sene" Marc, who doesn't have any substantial credits to his name.

Testing for Jason the Red Ranger, are KJ Apa, who appeared in Shortland Street, Austin Robert Butler, who appears in the MTV series The Shannara Chronicles and will be seen in Kevin Smith's Yoga Hosers, and Mitchell Hope, who can be seen in the drama The Descendants. There are only two girls vying for the role of Kimberly the Pink Ranger. First up is Naomi Scott, who has a small role in this weekend's The Martian. And following her is Stephanie Scott, who hasn't appeared in any major TV or movies at this point.

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While Lionsgate is collecting a group of fresh faced talent to lead the Power Rangers team, they will go after a big name to play the main villain. At this time, the villain hasn't been revealed. Some rumors claim that Rita Repulsa will be the main bad guy. She was the first major villain from the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers that debuted in 1993. If this is the case, then perhaps Cameron Diaz would be a perfect choice?

The script is coming from Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz. Haim Saban, Brian Casentini and Allison Shearmur will produce this new take on the classic kids' show. The story will reimagine the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers as a group of high school outsiders who suddenly find themselves infused with extraterrestrial powers. Aided by giant mechanical vehicles known as Zords, these teens must unite to save the world from a dire threat.

The Fox Kids TV series became so popular in the 90s, that the show spun off into two feature films. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie arrived in 1995, with the original series coming to a close in 1996. A second film debuted in 1997 with a completely different cast and line-up of characters called Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. The series would continue with new teens and a new subtitle ever season. The original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was adapted from the long running Japanese series Super Sentai, and it even recycled footage from that show to keep costs down. Power Rangers is scheduled to open against Guy Ritchie's Knights of the Round Table on January 13. No matter who gets cast, it seems apparent that Hollywood wants to move a little bit of summer fun into the winter.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange