Exclusive: ‘Power Rangers’ Title, Budget, and Character Names Revealed
The upcoming big-screen installment of Power Rangers has been cranking out news lately, with four of the five title heroes already cast. Director Dean Israelite‘s film currently stars Naomi Scott as the Pink Ranger, Dacre Montgomery as the Red Ranger, Ludi Lin as the Black Ranger, and RJ Cyler as the Blue Ranger. Other than the current absence of the Yellow Ranger from the cast, you may have noticed two things: the actors who have signed on are all up-and-comers, and their character names haven’t been shared.
With that in mind, I’m happy to bring you a host of exclusive details on the Power Rangers movie, which will now be titled Saban’s Power Rangers. Yes, the retitle comes as series co-creator and business magnate Haim Saban looks to attach his name to the picture when it debuts on January 13, 2017. Saban and his partner Shuki Levy have long been critical parts to the success of the Power Rangers franchise, and as we’ve learned, Saban appears to be just as involved as ever.
In fact, the second bit of our exclusive scoop involves Saban’s work on the script, which is currently being tweaked just as the cast is starting to come together. Israelite is also working on the script along with Saban, but it’s not clear at this time if screenwriters Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz are still involved in the process. We’re also not sure if Levy has any hand in the changes, or if he’ll simply retain a story credit since he was a co-creator of the original series. What we do know, however, is that the character names have changed.
We had previously reported that the cast of the new Power Rangers movie would have the same names as the original television series. This appears to be just one of the changes being made to the script as we now have a new list of character names for the title heroes. They are as follows:
•Callum Oliver – The Red Ranger/Tyrannosaurus
•Priya Patel – The Pink Ranger/Pterodactyl
•Brian Olson – The Blue Ranger/Triceratops
•Oscar Fernandez – The Black Ranger/Mastodon
•Teyana Jones – The Yellow Ranger/Sabre-tooth Tiger
Obviously, these can change as well, but they seem to make sense with the current cast for the most part. A couple of interesting things here: First is that these names are not the same as the original cast of characters, which suggests that it will be an all-new team and not a reboot in any sense. The second is that each of the characters appears to be matched up with the Zords (ie animal-themed war machines) from the original series. So while the names may have been changed, it looks like the classic Zords will be dusted off for a new batch of heroes to take the reins.
We’re hearing that the original costumes will also make an appearance in the film, but we’re not quite sure when or where. It might be in the big opening scene in which a massive battle between the forces of good and evil is taking place. Or it might be in some sort of flashback in which the old heroes hand off the Morphin’ powers to the new. (How cool would it be to see the original cast come back in cameos to pass the baton?) That would certainly fit into the plot notes we’ve heard about so far.
A final exclusive detail we have for you today is the budget of the film, one which is reported to be in the $35 million range. If that sounds low to you, consider that the cast is composed of relative unknowns who don’t command the same salaries as well-established actors. Also keep in mind that the 2014 hit The Maze Runner had a similar budget, a large cast of young actors, and plenty of jaw-dropping effects; that film went on to net over $340 million worldwide.
While we’re certainly confident in the news provided above, remember that things are still being tweaked on the Power Rangers movie, so some details here or there might change between now and early 2017. All signs point to Saban and Lionsgate making a big Power Rangers push in the years to come, so I fully expect to hear more about this project and others sooner than later.