It’s been two decades since the first time the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers shouted “It’s Morphin Time”, but the excitement surrounding the franchise has probably never been higher! Next year, Lionsgate is bringing the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers back to their roots with a film series reboot of the original team! This past week at New York Comic Con, the film’s director Dean Israelite and the five new rangers themselves, Naomi Scott (Pink Ranger), Becky G. (Yellow Ranger), Ludi Lin (Black Ranger), RJ Cyler (Blue Ranger) and Dacre Montgomery (Red Ranger) took the stage at Madison Square Garden for New York Comic Con 2016 to premiere the film’s first trailer and talk about the film!
While most of the discussion focused on the world premiere of the first teaser trailer for the film, talks quickly moved towards being more about what we hadn’t seen yet, like Rita Repulsa’s prime henchman Goldar and The Putty Patrols! That’s right, Director Dean Israelite himself confirmed that we can expect to see the iconic villain Goldar making an appearance in the film, along with the slightly less iconic Putty Patrols! It was also confirmed that these new Power Rangers would share the same secret identity names of their original counterparts from the classic 90s series, which is something that has been questioned for some time now.
When asked about what it was like working with Elizabeth Banks, who plays the film’s lead villain Rita Repulsa, Yellow Ranger actress Becky G. said:
“It was incredible! Incredible! I mean, that’s the only word to describe it. I learned a lot from her, I think she takes full control and responsibility for every decision that she makes for her character. She’s very elaborate, like when we shot the scene it was just me, her, and Dean, and it was fun because we were colaborating and throwing ideas for where we could take it and how intense we could get, and it felt chill because we were in sweatpants and no make up and everything. But then, come time to shoot the actual scene, four and a half hours later after she is in costume and cosmetics, it wasn’t acting, it was genuine fear of how real she looked and how committed she was to her character. I was dealing with the real Rita Repulsa!”.
We think it’s safe to say that the cast of this film is just as excited as the rest of us to see Banks’ Rita in action!
Then came the Zords. “The zords are huge, incredible,” remarked Israelite. He went on to explain that the Zords would be a big mix of real life footage and CGI blended together to create one seamless visual that people can really get behind.:
“We felt that these guys are really in those Zords controlling them! We built all of their cockpits and put them on a huge platform, and had two fifty-foot techno-cranes and I put them in a thing, which basically is being in a rollercoaster for twelve hours, in their suits, and at crazy angles, which was hard! I shot so much footage that we broke the record of dailies three days in a row, which is something I’m really proud of. It was like being in a crazy rollercoaster for them, but what is really cool, is that while we are doing all the visual effects now, these guys are reacting in a real way, really physically! In their physical suits, in a physical cockpit, so that when you see the visual effects they put together, they’re completely a part of that world. We are not trying to cheat you at all, they are in the performance, in the moment, in the Zord.”
Our Director isn’t the only one excited for the Zords to come to life on the big screen. The cast also had plenty to say on the matter! Black Ranger Ludi Lin chimed in:
“I didn’t know everything was so perfectly planned, but everything that happened? We felt the physicality. I felt it, and it was difficult, and it was hard.
“I think about how I’m controlling this big unnatural machine for the first time and that felt real! I was exhausted. Just tired and exhausted. And the last shot we had, that was the hardest to accomplish. I actually had the finishing shot of the film! Just being up there, about thirty meters high, watching the entire crew, and being in my Zord, it was just surreal!”.
On the topic of Zords, Yellow Ranger Becky G. had things a little bit rougher from the sounds of things! “I think what was really cool about filming the Zord sequences is that everybody’s Zord moves differently. So it wasn’t just the same motions for everyone! Naomi got lucky because she’s just like gliding away, so she’s just turning and turning, but then I’m a sabertooth tiger just pouncing all over and off of things! So yeah I had a hard time in the Zord.”
Whether you’re excited to see the Zords in action or not, it’s going to be incredibly difficult not to be excited about a movie that has been put together with so much love and passion for a property with such a rich nostalgia filled history. We’re getting the Zords. We’re getting Goldar. We’re getting Rita Repulsa, and the Rangers have all retained their classic names of Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini, and Zack. That all just sounds incredibly morphenomenal!
Saban’s ‘Might Morphin Power Rangers’ from Lionsgate Pictures stars Dacre Montgomery, Becky G., Ludi Lin, RC Cyler, Naomi Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston and Bill Hader. The film hits theaters on March 24, 2017.
Jordan is a Toy Columnist & Staff Writer here at ScienceFiction! Journalist, Musician, Toy Collector, and Overall Awesome Guy! For more on Jordan’s thoughts, toys, and wacky adventures, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.