‘Power Rangers’: Director and Cast Talk The “Grounded” Tone and Rita Repulsa

     October 9, 2016

power-rangers-reboot-sliceExpectations are high for Power Rangers. Still a worldwide sensation and the epitome of childhood for many, director Dean Israelite’s adaptation has become an object of fascination and great anticipation for legions of fans. Yesterday brought us the arrival of the first trailer of the film, which, despite not showing much morphin’ certainly gave us a good idea of where the film will fall tonally and aesthetically. That aesthetic, which is intentionally darker, grittier (and more Chronicle-y) promises a more serious take on the material, despite the original source material’s characteristically wacky tone.

At this weekend’s New York Comic-Con, Madison Square Garden was abuzz with anticipation before the film’s panel, which brought Israelite along with his team of young stars: Naomi Scott, Becky G., Ludi Lin, RJ Cyler and Dacre Montgomery to the stage to talk about the extensive physical commitment the cast put into the film, working with Elizabeth Banks and the mythology of the Power Rangers universe that will make it into the film. Here’s what we learned:

  • Speaking on the darker tone of the film, Israelite said that from the very beginning, he was looking for a “grounded, character-driven origin story,” set against the backdrop of the larger action narrative. He also wanted to remain “true to the spirit of the franchise” and make sure to reimagine it and reinvent it for a 2017 audience. 

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    Image via Lionsgate

  • “I think anybody could say that being a superhero comes with a lot of responsibility,” Montgomery said about the pressure of the remake, “the there’s a lot of honor in that and a lot of responsibility. We all put 150% in this.” 
  • The whole cast recounted a numerous amount of accidents and physical injuries that they sustained during the very hands-on shoot, with Scott immediately pointing out Becky G. as the most unlucky of the cast.
  • Montgomery called working with the Zords “incredible,” pointing out the intense physicality involved in capturing the action on set, saying, “it definitely takes on the nature of those epic DC and Marvel movies have at the moment that are so incredible to watch in the cinema, because you’re getting lost in these worlds.” Filling in the behind-the-scenes details, Israelite explained that the entire cast were actually inside of moving flight simulator to ensure that the actors would be able to react to the movements of the Zords in a way that feels “real”.
  • Israelite shot a massive amount of action coverage on the film, breaking the record for the most dailies (that’s the length of film actually shot after each shooting day) three days in a row.

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    Image via Saban/Lionsgate

  • Becky G. said she was majorly impressed with Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, and continued to say that Banks’ makeup and hair (in combination with her commitment to the role) made such an impression on Becky G. that, “I wasn’t acting in that scene, it was genuine fear. I was dealing with Rita Repulsa.”
  • Mostly, Israelite was tight-lipped about what we’d see in the film, opting to tease the revival of Zords, Alpha-5, spaceships, and Zordon, who will be played by Bryan Cranston.

Power Rangers will hit theaters March 24, 2017.

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