It’s not quite Morphin Time. Lionsgate’s new big screen reboot of the original incarnation of the long-running kids show, ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’, shortened to just ‘Power Rangers’ won’t hit theaters until January 13, 2017, but things are moving along nicely and now comes word that the search for actors to portray the rainbow spandex-clad “Teenagers with attitude” is narrowing and includes some bigger names than previously thought.
It was believed that the studio would go with complete unknowns and while that is reportedly still the plan for Billy (Blue) and Trini (Yellow), the names and faces that might be playing the Red, Pink and Black Rangers may be a bit more recognizable. (Also, the studio is reportedly looking for a major star to play Rita Repulsa.)
The leader of the team, Jason the Red Ranger was originally played by Austin St. John. He was later replaced by Rocky, played by Steve Cardenas.
The candidates reportedly being eyed by Lionsgate are:
Mitchell Hope, who recently starred as Prince Ben in the blockbuster Disney movie ‘Descendants’.
K.J. Apa, who starred on the Australian TV series ‘Shortland Street’.
And perhaps most recognizable, Austin Butler, a former child actor who starred on ‘Switched At Birth’ and ‘The Carrie Diaries’ and most recently had a guest stint on ‘Arrow’ as Thea’s post-Roy boyfriend.
Hope did a decent job in ‘Descendants’ and he and Apa physically look the part. I am completely unfamiliar with Apa’s work. Butler is the biggest name among them, but physically looks the least like St. John, but that shouldn’t be the reason to cast or not cast a good actor. But Butler just looks a bit too thin and “pretty.”
Kimbery, the Pink Ranger, was played by Amy Jo Johnson on the original series and in the live action movie it inspired.
Once again, there is one big name rumored to be under consideration as well as some lesser-knowns.
Former Disney star Stefanie Scott has previously appeared in ‘Insidious: Chapter 3’ and in a few weeks, will star as Kimber Benton in ‘Jem & The Holograms’.
And finally, like Austin Butler, a more familiar face is up for the part of Kimberly, AnnaSophia Robb. Like Butler, Robb is a former child star who appeared in ‘Bridge To Terabithia’ and as Violet Beauregard in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ Nowadays, she is best known for playing Carrie Bradshaw on ‘The Carrie Diaries.’
Finally, Walter Jones portrayed Zack the Black Ranger on the original series. Many poked fun at the stereotypes the originals embodied: the Pink Ranger was a girl; the Yellow Ranger was Asian; and of course the Black Ranger was black. But that doesn’t look like the case this time around.
Daniel Zovatto appeared on the TV series ‘Revenge’ as Gideon as well as in the horror movie ‘It Follows’ and on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’
The second choice to play Zack is another Disney kid and another Butler, Ross Butler. Ross currently stars as Brett on the sitcom ‘K.C. Undercover’ and also appeared in the hit movie ‘Teen Beach 2.’
The final candidate for Zack is rapper Sene a.k.a. Brian Marc a.k.a. Raoul Diaz. He made an appearance on the show ‘Major Crimes’ and has a role in the buzzy new film ‘White Girl.’
So clearly, while Zack will be “ethnic”, it doesn’t appear that he will be black, as he was originally cast. Keep in mind, Billy and Trini are going to be unknowns, so it’s entirely possible more racial swaps may occur there. There has been a lot of controversy about Hollywood “white washing” roles intended for ethnic characters with Caucasian actors, so if they plan to make the one black Ranger a person of a different race, it only make sense that they make a non-black character black in return.
Of these actors, do any seem like the perfect choice to play Jason, Kimberly or Zack? Who would you cast?
Source: Comic Book Resources