Power Rangers fan in Fresno and all over the world have undoubtedly been playing close attention to the upcoming film reboot of the Power Rangers franchise. News on the project has been coming at high gallop as of late, and now, after nearly a full month of casting announcements, it seems that the complete team has been fully assembled.
As has been circulating the Internet through numerous sources such as GeekyNews.Com and SuperHeroHype.Com, the casting news first began on October 7 with the reveal that The Martian and Terra Nova star Naomi Scott has been cast as the Pink Ranger. Two weeks later on October 20, the casting announcements continued with news that relative newcomer Darce Montgomery will be playing the Red Ranger, followed by an October 22 reveal that another relative newcomer Ludi Lin had been cast as the Black Ranger, RJ Cyler, best known for playing Earl in the dramedy Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, being announced the very next day as the Blue Ranger, and now, today, Becky G, following two appearances on the television series Empire, has been cast as the Yellow Ranger.
You may have noticed that this examiner has listed the actors as playing their rangers names rather than the civilian identities from the original first season of the series that this film is supposedly adapting. The reason for this is because it has yet to be confirmed that the film will indeed be about those original Power Rangers (Jason Lee Scott, Trini Kwan, Billy Cranston, Kimberly Hart and Zack Taylor). However, an article posted on Collider.com has supposedly the title, budget, and character names for the film. According to the article, the cast of Dean Israelite‘s Saban’s Power Rangers will consist of Naomi Scott as Priya Patel, a.k.a. the Pink Pterodactyl Ranger, Darce Montgomery as Callum Oliver, a.k.a. the Red Tyrannosaurus Ranger, Ludi Lin as Oscar Fernandez, a.k.a. the Black Mastodon Ranger, RJ Cyler as Brian Olson, a.k.a. the Blue Triceratops Ranger, and Becky G as Teyana Jones, a.k.a. the Yellow Sabre-tooth Tiger Ranger.
It can be speculated that part of the reason for changing the characters altogether was to avoid the awkward pressures of having to conform to the original casting which has long been the butt of many racist jokes and/or allegations for its unintentional casting of African American actor Walter Emanuel Jones as the Black Ranger and deceased Asian actress Thuy Trang as the Yellow Ranger. However, no mention of this fact has yet been made public by the production, at least not to this examiner’s knowledge.
It should also be noted that no word has yet been made about the casting of the sixth ranger, Thomas “Tommy” Oliver, the Green Ranger, played so memorably in the original series by martial artist and actor Jason David Frank in a performance that he would reprise across multiple Power Rangers series, earning him the rarely contested title among fans as the greatest and most popular Power Ranger of all time. It is this examiner’s opinion that this is because the film wants to stay focused on the initial coming together of the team and will likely save save its adaptation of the classic “Green With Evil” mini-series for a sequel. Furthermore, no other casting has been announced for the film yet for such pivotal roles as the alien wizard Zordon, his robot assistant Alpha-5, the villainous Rita Repulsa, and the fan favorite comedy duo of Bulk and Skull.
The film already seems to be making significant changes to the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series, which was itself a radical re-editing of the original Japanese Super Sentai series Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger. It is unknown at this time exactly what the plot of the film will be and how similar or different it will remain to the original series or it’s Super Sentai counterpart.
Saban’s Power Rangers is currently planned for release on January 13, 2017.
UPDATE: As reported by such sources such as SuperHeroHype.Com, the earlier report on Collider is apparently false. According to the official Power Rangers twitter page, the film will indeed be keeping the original character names. This means that Naomi Scott will be playing Kimberly Hart, a.k.a. the Pink Pterodactyl Ranger (played by Amy Jo Johnson in the original series), Darce Montgomery will be playing Jason Lee Scott, a.k.a. the Red Tyrannosaurus Ranger (played by Austin St. John in the original series), Ludi Lin will by playing Zack Taylor, a.k.a. the Black Mastodon Ranger (played by Walter Emanuel Jones in the original series), RJ Cyler will be playing Billy Cranston, a.k.a. the Blue Triceratops Ranger (played by David Yost in the original series), and Becky G will be playing Trini Kwan, a.k.a. the Yellow Sabre-tooth Tiger Ranger (played by the late Thuy Trang in the original series).