R.J. Cyler

We may or may not get a second ‘Power Rangers’ movie from Lionsgate.  The studio had big hopes for the first film to launch a multi-film franchise, but it not only underperformed at the domestic box office but was an even bigger dud in the foreign market.  Usually, the foreign market, especially China, can actually save a film after it fizzles in the U.S. but that was the opposite scenario here.  But a sequel hasn’t been officially scrapped by Lionsgate so the cast is holding on to hope that they may once again get to suit up as these colorful champions of justice.

That includes R.J. Cyler, who received acclaim and a Teen Choice Award nomination for his portrayal of Billy Cranston, a superhero on the autism spectrum.  In an interview with Inverse, he explained how Billy would be different in a sequel, should one materialize:

“Billy will definitely be the same Billy, but he’ll be more comfortable because he’s got friends who got his back.  Billy has something else to do other than blow stuff up. He doesn’t just have science, he has Jason and Zack and Kimberly. In the second movie, you’ll definitely see more of a confident person. He’ll be more strong of a person.”

He discussed his approach to playing a character with autism:

“I wanted to be so far away of what people thought being on the spectrum [was like]. I wanted to be honest.  You have to talk to people, but the tics and stuff that came from Billy, they came from me.  To being on the spectrum, I just wanted to be honest. The best way to do that is to show they’re just normal people.”

One highlight for Cyler playing the role, was meeting David Yost, the actor that originated his character of Billy Cranston on the TV series.

David Yost as the original Billy the Blue Ranger

“We had lunch in Calabasas. Driving to meet David Yost, someone you used to dress up for Halloween, the butterflies came… He’s just cool.


“A lot of the stuff they went through, the naysayers, that was the thing he said not to pay attention to. The people that are negative, it’s a penny to a hundred dollar bill to the people who support the franchise. After me and David talked, people might not like it, but [it’s] okay.”

‘Power Rangers’ is now available on home video.  Lionsgate has not announced a sequel yet, but there is still hope.

Did you enjoy the first film?  Would you like to see more?