For any child of the nineties, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was undoubtedly a large part of growing up. Saturday mornings spent watching the exploits of the “teenagers with attitude” made way to playground re-enactments (much frowned upon by parents of the time), and the utmost jealousy towards anyone lucky enough to have got the Deluxe Megazord for Christmas.
With its special place in the heart of now thirty-somethings, it was only a matter of time before a big-budget remake was on its way. We’ve done Transformers, we’ve got more Turtles on their way, and frankly it’s a shock that Michael Bay has nothing to do with this re-hashing of a much-loved classic.
With news of the new cast hitting the web this week, we decided to take a look at the new generation of rangers squeezing in to the iconic spandex…
Dacre Montgomery – Jason Lee Scott (The Red Ranger)
Before Tommy burst on to our screens, Jason was the kick-ass leader of the Power Rangers. Austin St. John’s performance as the red ranger will always be remembered fondly, especially for that awe-inspiring raw of “TYRANNOSAURUS”. Little is known of Dacre Montgomery, but he certainly has the look to lead our new team into battle.
Becky Gomez – Trini Kwan (The Yellow Ranger)
The beautiful Thuy Trang will always hold a special place in my heart. The late Vietnamese actress was the logical and kind-hearted second in command of the original team. The casting of Mexican rapper Becky G comes as such comes as something of a surprise, especially given that the character name has not been changed, but at least there won’t be uproar about the “yellow” ranger’s ethnicity. That said, I’m sure I’m not the only one somewhat disappointed not to have a sexy Asian lady in the mix…
RJ Cyler – Billy Cranston (The Blue Ranger)
Another somewhat surprising casting choice. Fans will forever associate Billy with David Yost; geeky but lovable with questionable sexuality. Yost remains one of the longest serving rangers of all time, and as such young Mr. Cyler has some big blue shoes to fill. That said, judging from his past performances, the Me and Earl and the Dying Girl star will shine an endearing new light on the beloved brainiac.
Ludi Lin – Zack Taylor (The Black Ranger)
We all knew that after the kerfuffle with season one, the black ranger would never be African-American again. Much like the yellow ranger never being Asian. You know, the funny thing is, according to interviews with the cast, no-one even picked up on what would become one of TVs biggest political-correctness debates until the (mainly white, middle-class) critics got their teeth into the show. Walter Jones was great as Zack; his utter coolness coupled with his kick-ass hip-hop aikido made him a fan favourite. So long as Chinese-born Ludi Lin keeps up the cool factor, this could be a great interpretation of the character.
Naomi Scott – Kimberly Hart (The Pink Ranger)
Did you know that there has never once been a male pink ranger? And that the role has almost exclusively been filled by a white Valley girl? Think about that one PC patrol! Amy Jo Johnson won over red-blooded males across the globe in the original show (though watch it now, and dear god, Kimberly is, like, totally, like, so annoyiiiing), so casting of Kimberly was always going to be a tricky one. The adorable Naomi Scott, best known for her performance in the sadly short-lived Spielberg venture Terra Nova, however, seems like a safe bet.
Elizabeth Banks – Rita Repulsa
The shrill antagonist of the show. Throughout the first two season, Rita was simply Machiko Soga from the original Super Sentai series dubbed over by American actress Barbara Goodson, and Julia Cortez (the Thai bride in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) in the movie. The casting of Elizabeth Banks has sent a ripple of unease across the interweb. It’s a rather odd choice, but Banks has proved to be adept at a range of different roles, and with so much hanging in the balance, I’m sure Saban know what they’re doing.
Power Rangers hits cinemas in March next year. Stay tuned for plenty of news and nostalgia over the coming year!