In 2017, Saban with Lionsgate rebooted the Power Rangers franchise for a new generation on the big screen. Providing a modern and slightly more mature interpretation of the 1st generation team, Power Rangers was planned as the first in a potential 5-part series of films. Unfortunately, upon release the film was met with very mixed reviews along with underperforming at the box office. The latest update received was in February 2019 when Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner revealed he’s working on working with Paramount Pictures to help produce the sequel. While this alone doesn’t secure a sequel being made, let’s look at why now is the best time to resume the film series.
Cast Of Rising Stars
When the cast for Power Rangers was announced in 2015-2016, most of the main cast were considered “unknown” actors outside of Becky G, who played the Yellow Ranger. The other actors playing the Power Rangers included Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin, RJ Cyler. They played the Red, Pink, Black, and Blue Rangers respectively. Naomi Scott was likely the second-best known actor in the main cast thanks to her roles in projects such as Lemonade Mouth and Terra Nova. A lot has changed since the movie’s release for these actors. While Becky G is still making music, the other actors have further developed their recognition on both big and small screens. Naomi Scott has main roles in big project movies like Aladdin and Charlie’s Angels.
Dacre Montgomery has grown his recognition on the small screen, appearing in a main role for both seasons 2 and 3 of Stranger Things. The recent season was watched by over 40.2 million accounts, making it the most watched show on Netflix ever. RJ Cyler has appeared in supporting roles for films such as White Boy Rick along with maintaining recurring roles in tv shows Black Lightning and Swamp Thing. RJ is currently in a lead role for the current season of VH1’s Scream. Ludi Lin has had supporting roles in Aquaman and Black Mirror. With Dacre and Naomi leading the cast, the Power Rangers cast would be in a much better position to market the film. It also helps that both Dacre and Naomi have maintained roles in projects that appeal to the same age demographic that Power Rangers was reportedly targeting.
Green Ranger Popularity Can Refresh The Franchise
It’s no secret that the most popular Power Ranger of all-time is Jason David Frank’s Tommy Oliver. Sporting many colors in his career, the most popular are his tenures as the Green Ranger and later White Ranger. The end of 2017’s Power Rangers teased Tommy Oliver joining Angel Grove High School, sporting a green jacket in his seat. The sheer popularity of the character can be exactly what this franchise needs to refresh in a similar way to how Dwayne Johnson’s added presence and character refreshed the entire Fast & Furious franchise.
Following this, Hasbro should target a well-known actor for the role of Tommy. He would presumably be the villain before joining the main cast in a similar capacity to his character in the original series, rivaling the Red Ranger as both the leader of the team and a love interest to Kimberly (Naomi Scott). In my opinion, an actor like Taylor Lautner could work well. He already has name recognition within the teen demographic which could help attract not only a female audience to the movie (Jacob Black fans) but he’s part Native American. Originally, the role for Tommy was envisioned as someone with Native American heritage. It’s also helpful that Taylor Lautner has training and experience as a martial artist, something that can provide authenticity to the role of Tommy (a martial artist).
Potential Going Forward
The tragedy of the Green Ranger is considered one of the best story-arcs in the entire Power Rangers franchise. With the origin story out of the way, this sequel can focus on adapting the Green Ranger arc for audiences. This will likely require a new creative team to direct, produce, and write the sequel but Hasbro should serious consider their options. With only one movie produced, it’s not too late to redeem and build upon this franchise. The talented young cast is there, all you need is a strong director with a clear vision to help develop and execute the film.
A new director with a new creative team can also work on remediating criticized aspects of the movie such as the Power Ranger suits, Megazord, and the handling of certain characters such as Goldar. Since only one movie has been released so far nothing should be considered set in stone as audiences will gladly forget what came before if the retcon is better. Examples of franchises redeemed and saved are X-Men: First Class (saved the X-Men films after the disaster of X-Men: The Last Stand), The Wolverine (redeemed X-Men: Origins and allowed LOGAN), Bumblebee (saved the Transformers franchise critically and creatively), and Thor: Ragnarok (refreshed Thor’s films which were the weakest solo Avengers franchise).
If it wasn’t for these “savior” movies, their respective franchises likely would have ended with the characters retired until the studios developed a reboot. Another important factor besides quality is relevancy. In recent years, it’s been shown how waiting too long between sequels can be damaging. Movies like Pacific Rim: Uprising and potentially Godzilla: King of the Monsters had struggles as the sequels were released 5 years after the first installment. Especially as the main characters are suppose to be high school students, it wouldn’t be smart to let too many years pass before a sequel.
Do you want to see a Power Rangers 2? Let us know your thoughts and who you’d cast as Tommy Oliver/Green Ranger in the comments!