Power Rangers is an American entertainment and merchandising franchise built around a live action superhero television series. Power Rangers was originally set to be released this past July, but after several delays, it was finally moved to March 24, 2017, which is a wise decision. At first glance, Power Rangers sounds like the perfect summer blockbuster, but with heavy hitters likeWonder Woman, The Mummy, Transformers: The Last Knight, Spider-Man: Homecoming, War of the Planet of the Apes and plenty more coming out next summer, the teenagers with attitude wouldn’t have stood a chance, regardless of how popular they were in the ’90s.
Penning the Power Rangers movie is X-Men: First Class duo Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, who are delivering a “mature but still playful” take on the story, according to Israelite. Together these two also worked on Thor and the TV series Fringe, as well as Star Trek Beyond and the upcoming Big Trouble in Little China remake. So they have plenty of experience in the worlds of sci-fi and fantasy.
After numerous conflicting reports about whether this movie would be a continuation of the existing Power Rangers TV universe or be a straightforward reboot, it was finally confirmed that it will be the latter. So rather than build on the expansive world seen on the small screen, the Power Rangers movie will re-tell the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers story in the modern day, giving fans new versions of those same protagonists, allies, villains, etc. It’s way too soon to tell how much of the Power Rangers lore will be retold on the big screen (for instance, will they ever explore the Zeo era?), but over two decades after they took the ’90s by storm, now is a good time to give audiences a new take on the classic Power Rangers.
Every team needs a leader, and in the original series that was the role of the Red Ranger, a.k.a. Jason Lee Scott. Jason, originally played by Austin St. John, consistently proved himself not just to be an effective leader and good friend, but a regular badass, armed with his Power Sword and impressive fighting skills. Whenever he shouted “It’s morphin’ time!” you knew things were going to be kicked to the next level. After Tommy (more on him later) became the White Ranger, Jason was relegated to second-in-command, though he didn’t seem too bothered by the demotion.
In the rumored character descriptions for the movie that were previously mentioned, Jason is described as the guy who everyone knows around town, and he was the high school’s star quarterback until he injured his knee in a car crash. With his dreams squashed, he’ll still be trying to find himself when we first meet him. However, the trailer implied he had a run-in with the law, as evidenced by the tracking bracelet around his ankle. Dacre Montgomery, who kicked off his acting carer with the short film Bertrand the Terrible, has been cast as the Power Rangers movie’s Jason, so he’ll be leading the team as the Red Ranger.
The Pink Ranger
Amy Jo Johnson originally played Kimberly Ann Hart, the first Pink Ranger. Kimberly started out as a stereotypical valley girl when the series began, but with each passing episode she became more kind-hearted. That being said, she was always shown to have her friends’ backs, including her love interest, Tommy. Her primary weapon was the Power Bow, and her role as a Power Ranger fit nicely with her gymnastics skills. She was eventually succeeded by Katherine Hillard, but returned for an appearance inTurbo: A Power Rangers Movie.
The cinematic version of Kimberly has been described as someone who used to be one of the “popular” girls, but after a six month absence, she’s returned to school changed. While she’s still considered cool, now she’s rocking an edgy attitude to hide the secret that’s making her feel vulnerable. Terra Nova‘s Naomi Scott, who has also appeared in The Martian and The 33, will play the movie’s Kimberly and rock the Pink Ranger costume.
The Black Ranger
Zack Taylor, originally played by Walter Jones, filled the smooth player role on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. His enthusiasm was contagious, and you could always count on him being there to cheer up his friends. He was also frequently known for busting out cool dance moves, which he would sometimes incorporate into his fighting. In battle, he also used the Power Axe, which doubled as a laser cannon. Zack later passed the Black Ranger mantle to Adam Park.
According to reports, Zack’s personality is largely being kept the same in the movie, where he is described as being the “life of the party.” Zack’s coolness and talent for one-liners never fails to help him with the ladies, and he also happens to be a skilled athlete – though he would rather be doing his own thing. However, his bravado is masking his inferiority complex, specifically that he lives in a trailer park with his single mom. But surely his joining the Power Rangers team will help with this. Ludi Lin has been officially announced to play Zack the Black Ranger in the movie. Lin has previously appeared in Monster Hunt and an episode of the Netflix series Marco Polo.
The Blue Ranger
Billy Cranston, originally played by David Yost, was the brains of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, regularly creating many of the team’s gadgets. He started out as a stereotypical nerd that was tormented by bullies like Bulk and Skull (no word yet on if the comical duo will be in the movie), but as the series continued, his time as a Ranger fighting bad guys with the Power Lance boosted his confidence. Billy is the only character to have appeared throughout Mighty Morphin Power Rangers‘ entire run, making him the longest serving Ranger over the show’s three seasons. When Power Rangers Zeo began, Billy wasn’t made a Ranger, but continued to serve as the team’s tech guy until deciding to stay on the planet Aquitar near the end of that series.
Billy’s high intelligence is being kept for his movie portrayal, according to the leaked cast descriptions, but his social awkwardness has also been heightened. Among the challenges he deals with are showing his emotions, understanding sarcasm and coping with his OCD. He’s never really had any friends, but finds himself instantly drawn to Jason as a buddy. RJ Cyler will play Power Rangers‘ Billy the Blue Ranger, and before this, he earned recognition for his role as Earl in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
The Yellow Ranger
In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Trini Kwan, originally played by Thuy Trang, was the team’s calm-headed, environmentally-conscious member who enjoyed many different types of sports. She was also the team’s second most intelligent Ranger after Billy. As the Yellow Ranger, she wielded the Power Daggers in battle, but her powers were later transferred to the second Yellow Ranger, Aisha Campbell.
In the movie, Trini is constantly having to move around because of her parents’ work, consistently making her the “new girl” at school. She is described as “self-sufficient, contemplative, but always observant,” and while she won’t admit it, she is looking to find a close group of friends, which she’ll finally get with the other Power Rangers. Becky Gomez will round out the modern team as Trini, the Yellow Ranger. Gomez is best known as a pop singer, but acting-wise, she played herself in an episode of Austin and Ally, and later played Valentina Galindo in two episodes of the Fox series Empire.
The Green Ranger
Tommy Oliver, played by Jason David Frank, may not have been one of the original five Power Rangers, but looking at the entire franchise, he’s become its most-well known protagonist. Tommy was introduced on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as the new kid at school who was quite likable. Unfortunately, Rita Repulsa got ahold of him and after putting him under a spell, she gave him the secret sixth Power Coin and turned him into the Green Ranger. The Rangers fought Tommy during the “Green with Evil” arc, but eventually they broke Rita’s control over him, and he subsequently joined the team.
In Season 2, Tommy’s Green Ranger powers went away, but after a brief hiatus, he came back as the White Ranger. After Mighty Morphin Power Rangers ended, Tommy became the Red Ranger in Power Rangers Zeo, and retained the same color during the first part of Power Rangers Turbo. He picked up the Zeo powers again in the Power Rangers: Wild Force episode “Forever Red” (reuniting him with Jason), and in 2004’sPower Rangers: Dino Thunder, he served as the team’s mentor and the Black Ranger. He was most recently seen in the Power Rangers: Super Megaforce finale “Legendary Battle” wielding his Green Ranger powers.
Tommy was the only Ranger not mentioned in the previously reported character descriptions, so much like the first half of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 1, this movie may only feature the five original Rangers. That’s not to say Tommy won’t appear at all, but right now the odds of seeing him as the Green Ranger aren’t looking good. Should Power Rangers do well in theaters, no doubt a sequel will be ordered, and perhaps that movie will throw Green Ranger in the mix. Just like in the TV series, perhaps he’ll start out as an enemy, but by the end he’ll be their team’s newest recruit.