Dean Israelite has one feature film under his belt, 2015’s ‘Project Almanac’. But now he is tasked with a daunting task; rebooting the ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ the early 90s phenomenon which launched a decades-long franchise.
Even diehard fans have to admit that the original show, which recycled footage from a Japanese Sentai show, was a bit cheesy. But even so, the high energy program made an indelible impression so fans are hotly anticipating Israelite’s film ‘Saban’s Power Rangers’ which is due next year.
How will the director take the campy original show but make it work in a modern film context?
“I grew up on it and I have all the same questions other people have. How are we going to update this? How will it exist in the contemporary superhero cinema canon?… [We] tried to add naturalism and a grounded nature… character-driven. We’ve made the suits practically with Weta Workshop, with new cutting-edge tech.”
You can check out the suits below:
The suits are certainly more intricate than those on the original TV show. Even moreso than the padded foam rubber suits in the first theatrical movie which came out in 1995. But as Israelite stated, they are practical not CGI, so that should be interesting to see on the big screen.
Israelite also discussed the coup of signing award-winning actor Bryan Cranston to play the Rangers’ mentor Zordon.
“Like everybody, [Cranston] was sceptical, but he saw a bunch of footage and got excited for the potential. I think it’ll be a thrill for fans to see what we’re doing with Zordon.”
Cranston has a past with the ‘Power Rangers’ franchise, having voiced two of the villains on the original show, Twin Man and Snizzard. (He also did additional voice-over work for producers Saban.)
Are you ready to power on with the new ‘Power Rangers’?
Directed by Dean Israelite, ‘Saban’s Power Rangers’ stars Dacre Montgomery as Jason the Red Ranger, R.J. Cyler as Billy the Blue Ranger, Naomi Scott as Kimberly the Pink Ranger, Becky G as Trini the Yellow Ranger, Ludi Lin as Zack the Black Ranger with Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa and Bryan Cranston as Zordon. The film is slated for release on March 24, 2017.