Quite a surprise for 90s kids in Fresno and all over the world today at the announcement that Lionsgate and Saban Brands are partnering to develop and produce an original live-action feature film based on the iconic Power Rangers franchise, as announced be creator Haim Saban and Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer.
As reported by SuperHeroHype.Com, Saban launched Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as a live-action TV series over than 20 years ago, and the series has remained in continuous production ever since. Despite frequently being criticized for it's cheeziness, poor acting, and reliance of Japanese stock footage, Power Rangers has grown into one of the world’s most popular and recognizable brands, with toys, apparel, costumes, video games, DVD's, comic books and other merchandise to build upon the show's popularity with young children.
The two companies noted that, with an extensive and extremely devoted worldwide fan base as well as a deep and detailed mythology, the Power Rangers are now primed for return to the big screen. They say that the new film franchise will re-envision the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, a group of high school kids who are infused with unique and cool super powers but must harness and use those powers as a team if they have any hope of saving the world.
Haim Saban made a statement that, "Lionsgate is the perfect home for elevating our Power Rangers brand to the next level. They have the vision, marketing prowess and incredible track record in launching breakthrough hits from The Hunger Games to Twilight and Divergent. In partnership with the Lionsgate team, we're confident that we will capture the world of the Power Rangers and translate it into a unique and memorable motion picture phenomenon with a legacy all its own."
Jon Feltheimer said in his own statement, "We're thrilled to be partnering with Haim Saban and his team to maximize the potential of this immensely successful and universally recognized franchise. The Power Rangers stories and characters have been embraced by generations of audiences for more than 20 years, and today they are more powerful than ever. We have the ideal partner and the perfect brand with which to create a motion picture event that will resonate with moviegoers around the world for years to come."
For those who are unfamiliar with Saban's Power Rangers franchise, it is the brainchild of Haim Saban, creator and producer of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers hit series that launched on Fox Kids in 1993. The show utilizes a combination of American footage and stock footage taken from the Japanese tokusatsu Super Sentai. Following its introduction, Power Rangers quickly became the most-watched children's television program in the United States and it still remains one of the top-rated and longest running boys live-action series in television history as the show celebrates it's 21st anniversary. The series follows the adventures of a group of ordinary teens who "morph" into superheroes and save the world from the forces of evil. The series is is seen in more than 150 markets around the world, translated into numerous languages, and is a mainstay in the most prominent international children's programming blocks.
For those who would like to a more lengthy and detailed, as well as humorous, analysis of the show's progression over the past two decades, this examiner highly recommends Linkara's History of Power Rangers web series on ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.Com.
20th Century Fox had previously released two feature films, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie in 1995 and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie in 1997. The former film utilized the cast of the series, but was not par to the series's continuity, while the second film was in said continuity.
This new film, based on the statements made by the producers, seems to be a remake of the concept and might serve as a reboot of the original Mighty Morphin series starring new actors in the roles.
Power Rangers has long been criticized for it's campiness, over-reliance on Japanese footage, poor acting, poor script writing, highly commercialized and very juvenile nature, and so on. But despite all of that, the show was still a large part of many people's childhoods, this examiner included, and the fact that the show has, somehow, managed to stay on the air after 20 years is a testament to the appeal of the idea of a bunch of teenager in brightly colored spandex costumes fighting monsters with martial arts and giant robots.
So as the series continues to celebrate it's milestone of success, with the current season titled Power Rangers Super Megaforce to include a team up with every single ranger in the show's history, nostalgic fans now have this new film to look forward to as well, whatever the end result may be.
Will the film maintain the lighthearted and child-friendly tone of the show, or will it attempt to mature the concept and appeal to the now adult fans? Only time will tell.
Until then...IT'S MORPHIN TIME!!!