After one attempt at a Power Rangers reboot failed at the box office, it seems like there will be another. The highly popular multi-media franchise from the ’90s will be looking to make a comeback. Again. The biggest difference this time around is that the production company will be a totally different studio. One that’s pretty good at creating franchises. At least, ‘good’ in the commercial sense.
Who Are The Power Rangers?
Power Rangers was incredibly popular during its original run. The original series saw a group of everyday teenagers getting powers and having to protect the universe. While the threats seemed limited to their fictional town of Angel Grove, for some reason, it was a big deal.
Image via Saban Entertainment.
The teenagers transformed into heroes with their own color-coordinated super suits and helmets. Along with special weapons and robots known as Zords, at their disposal. Powers Rangers was one of the first series that connected those individual robots, into one mighty robot, the Megazord.
Despite my enthusiasm and love for the show, the franchise didn’t age well at all. During a rewatch, my 5 and 9-year-olds (at the time) were pointing out major potholes in every episode.
Why Would This Kiddy Franchise Be Relevant Today?
The idea of everyday teenagers overwhelmed with powers is a pretty standard trope for superheroes. And make no mistake, Power Rangers were live-action superheroes on TV before the comic book kind that we all know and love today. Spider-Man is one of the biggest examples where the trope is sort of the defining thing about that particular hero. A young person trying to find a balance in their life, and the responsibility of protecting the world is a great watch.
Image via Saban Entertainment.
Cut to today, and kids these days are dealing with much different things than the generation before them. Who were the audience for the original Power Rangers. Openly dealing with gender and sexual identities, cyberbullying, social media are but a few things that mature children much faster these days. The issues of this generation come with their own unique challenges, than the ones faced by the generation before.
So a series that acts as a metaphor for those challenges, while adding larger than life action and relevant themes would definitely impact the younger audiences of today. Especially when the show is reliant on a cast of characters who are very much an ensemble, but also celebrate the individual traits of every member of the team. A new reboot attempted to appeal to this generation, with less than desirable results.
A Power Rangers Reboot Happened Already
The original Power Rangers continued the story of the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series, in its subsequent seasons. There were also two live-action movies based on the series, featuring the same actors and characters.
However, the series eventually started rebooting, but as more of an anthology. The same premise of powers, threats, color-coordinated outfits, and robots went to to new characters, settings, and concepts each season. Space, cars, Ninjas, Samurais, Marine life, etc were all themes & ideas that changed every season. But the original remained the most exciting.
Image via Lionsgate.
So 2017 saw a new Power Rangers reboot that looked to bring the series into the modern world. The movie starred, Stranger Things’ Dacre Montgomery and the live-action Aladdin’s Naomi Scott. But unfortunately, the movie flopped, only making $142 Million worldwide, on a $100 million budget, currently holding a 51% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The New Power Rangers Reboot Could Be Dramatically Different
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Jonathan Entwistle, creator of The End Of The F***ing World is in negotiations to direct the new Power Rangers reboot. His original Netflix series sees the adventures of two troubled teens as they navigate the rigors of life, and one, possibly being a sociopath. The filmmaker is also working on another Netflix original, I’m Not Okay With This, also about teenagers dealing with aspects of their lives.
Image via Netflix.
Given Entwistle’s talent for being able to tell stories about young adults in a way that resonates with audiences of today, he seems to be the perfect choice for the new Power Rangers Reboot. While his ability to handle big action set pieces or the other parts of the Power Rangers is uncertain, it all begins with character development. At least with Entwistle, we will get a story about teenagers today, in this situation, attempting to deal with their powers, that feels relatable and real. Something he’s already proven he can do.
Behind The Scenes Shake-Ups & Changing Studios
It’s also interesting that the new Power Rangers reboot changed studios from Lionsgate to Paramount. Given Paramount’s success with franchise films like The Transformers, Mission Impossible and Star Trek. For many of those franchises, namely Transformers, poor critical reviews never stopped them from being massive box office successes. Which was the major reason for the previous reboot not working out.
The story will reportedly also have a time travel element that takes teens of today, back into the ’90s, having to deal with finding a way home, while becoming Power Rangers in the process. That type of nostalgic storytelling in a type of period setting worked for Strangers Things and Joker, so, why not?
Does the new studio increase our excitement for a new Power Rangers reboot?
Let us know in the comments below.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.