First we got The Punisher: Dirty Laundry with Thomas Jane and Ron Pearlman, then it was Venom: Truth in Journalism starring Ryan Kwanten, the animated Judge Dredd series Superfiend, and now producer Adi Shankar has a brand new “Bootleg Film” for us – Power/Rangers.
This one’s directed by Joseph Kahn (Detention, Torque) and stars James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff. It’s an especially dark, violent spin on the 90s classic, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, inspired by Shankar’s realization that the show is about a group of high school students recruited to fight an intergalactic war who are bound to wind up with PTSD and live the “most f*cked up lives.” With that in mind, Shankar decided to make Power/Rangers.
In addition, Shankar also released a video called “Why Bootleg The Power Rangers,” in which he addresses the issue of whether or not these bootleg films are pitches to turn the ideas into features. He insists, “This is not a pitch,” and it’s a good thing it isn’t because there is absolutely no way Lionsgate would ever take such a gritty, violent approach to the source material.
Last we heard of Lionsgate’s Power Rangers movie, the film is without a director but is scheduled for a July 22, 2016 debut. Whereas Power/Rangers reveals what life is like for the heroes after battling enemies like Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd, the Lionsgate edition will be “a modern reinvention of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, a group of ordinary high school kids who find themselves infused with extraterrestrial powers and must harness those powers as a team to save the world.”
Odds are the Lionsgate film will be a four-quadrant, wholesome experience, which is totally fine, but as someone who grew up watching the show during its original 1993 to 1996 run and is much older now, I’m glad Shankar took the initiative to go to the extreme and let us have some fun with a more twisted approach to the iconic characters.
You can check out the Power/Rangers bootleg and the “Why Bootleg The Power Rangers” video below: