Ludi Lin

The third Ranger for the Dean Israelite-directed ‘Power Rangers’ movie has been cast.  Chinese-born actor/model Ludi Lin will be playing Zack the Black Ranger, who pilots the Mastodon Zord and wields the Power Ax weapon.  The role was originally played by African American Walter Emmanuel Jones on the TV series which began airing in 1993.

Walter Emmanuel Jones (center) as Zack the Black Ranger in the original series.
Walter Emmanuel Jones (center) as Zack the Black Ranger in the original series.

(Just as an aside, if the racial switch bugs you, keep in mind that after Jones left the series, the second Black Ranger, Adam was Asian American.)

Ludi attended primary school in Australia and college in Canada, where he studied theater.  (He also studied acting in Los Angeles.)  His only feature film so far has been in this year’s Chinese film ‘Monster Hunt’ in which he played the Wind Magician.  Though not released in the US, ‘Monster Hunt’ broke records in China and was a massive success in other Asian countries.  He has also appeared in the Netflix series ‘Marco Polo’ and in the Lifetime original movie ‘Holiday Spin’.

Lin joins Naomi Scott who is playing Kimberly the Pink Ranger and Dacre Montgomery as Jason the Red Ranger.

As in the case of Dacre Montgomery, Lin’s casting is out of left field as it was previously rumored that three other actors were being considered for the role of Zach: Ross Butler, Daniel Zovatto and Brian Marc a.k.a. the rapper Sene.

The film description of Zack reads:

Zack – 17 years old, always the life of the party. Filled with bravado and swagger, Zack’s tough and cool on the exterior. A charming guy who’s never had trouble with the one-liner, nor lacked confidence around women. A great athlete that’s never wanted to play on any team but his own. Zack advertises everything about himself, except the truth, which is that he lives in a trailer park with his single mom, and because of it, feels deeply inferior to all his peers.

While a brief description of his first scene in the movie goes as follows:

Zack, the future Black Ranger, who is a cocky sports ace, spotted scoring big at a basketball arcade game at Dave & Buster’s.  He is so impressive that a college coach tries to recruit him, but the haughty Zack dismisses them, saying “There is no ‘I’ in team.”

As with Jason and Kimberly, the description of Zack is darker than the rather cheery one-note character from the TV show.  Something tells me a lesson in humility will be a heavy part of Zack’s film journey.

No word on whether or not he’ll still be a master of Hip Hop Kido.

Lin’s casting was announced via the ‘Power Rangers’ movie Instagram account:

 

The team is coming together! #LudiLin is morphing into the #BlackRanger in 2017 for the @PowerRangersMovie.

A photo posted by Power Rangers (@powerrangersmovie) on

That leaves only two more Rangers yet-to-be-cast, Billy the nerdy Blue Ranger and Trini the serene Yellow Ranger.  The movie is also expected to include Zordon, Alpha-5 and bad guys Rita Repulsa and Goldar (and maybe Scorpina).

GRAIN OF SALT: It was recently rumored that the new movie won’t be a reboot, which contradicts all previous reports.  But if that is the case, Lin won’t necessarily be playing Zack but a new Black Ranger.  When we learn more, be sure that the info will be passed along to you.

What do you think of the cast so far?  Would you prefer a reboot of ‘Mighty Morphin’ or would you like to see an all new take on the ‘Power Rangers’?

Ludi Lin

Source: Screen Rant