‘Power Rangers’ Writer and Director On Drawing New Fans In While Keeping Purists Happy
Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 at 8:00 pm
Based on Saban’s TV show of the same name, Power Rangers centers on five teenagers Jason (Darce Montgomery), Billy (RJ Cyler), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Trini (Becky G), and Zach (Ludi Lin) whose lives are forever changed when they discover five power coins and an alien ship beneath their hometown of Angel Grove. Despite their differences and their real-life struggles, they must come together as a united force to defeat the evil Rita Replusa from achieving her goal to destroy the Earth.
We were invited to attend the Power Rangers‘ press day to learn more about what director Dean Israelite did to respect fans of the original, while also creating new fans, and what were some of the inspirations to John Gatins script.
Check out what they had to say below.
While the Power Rangers brand continues to have a large fanbase, it’s those who have been loyal to those that can be most critical of the new film. So Israelite knew what was at stake, and as someone who grew up with the show, he used that fandom as a “true north.” “As someone who calls himself a lapse fan, as someone who grew up on and grew away from it, what I would want to see in a reboot of it,” said Israelite. The director admits that he has gotten that question a lot during the press tour, but has continually said that he and Gatins never let nervousness factor into the creative process. “We were excited to be bold in how we were going to reimagine and reinvent,” said Israelite. “If we kept the spirit of what the show was in terms of the feeling, warmth, joy, and the heart that epitomizes the show, if we stayed true to that when we have a lot of latitude.”
Gatins agreed. “We wanted to honor the original series, but put it in a world that the audience can recognize.”
As for what inspired the film, Gatins said he didn’t have to look too far. “The first teenage movie I worked on was ‘Varsity Blues,'” said Gatins. “We had this collection of kids who had to find each other and come together to overcome an obstacle. So Dean [Isrealite] and I, in trying to come up with these characters, were trying to reflect what the world would be today.” The writer cited ‘The Breakfast Club’ as an example of a film he grew up with in his youth and he loves. “What would those issues and what would those characters be today? What would they be facing?” said Gatins.
And like most remakes, there will be some sort of reference to the original source material. In order to avoid being heavy handed with those references, Israelite said it came down to finding out to fit them organically. “It was all about conceptually – did it fit into the movie? So if there was a reason for it, if there was a philosophy behind it, we felt like it would be germane to the movie for all of those fans who get it, it would mean a lot. And for all of those who didn’t, it still would feel organic to what is going on, so that it wouldn’t boink you out of the movie.”
Power Rangers opens in theaters on March 24, 2017.