News that a sequel to 2017’s Power Rangers movie was in development came as something of a surprise. The movie itself, from Saban and Paramount, failed to relaunch the franchise in the way they had hoped, and grossed a meager $142 million worldwide.
However, Power Rangers‘ home release figures were strong, and fans of the movie were still hopeful that Power Rangers might get at least one more shot at box office success. That idea seemed all but dead, until it was announced that Hasbro had bought the rights to the Power Rangers brand.
While the renowned toy company said they had plans for Power Rangers movies, many assumed this would come in the form of a franchise reboot. It was taken as given that Hasbro would want to put their own stamp on things, but a recent report states that Hasbro and Paramount actually have a Power Rangers sequel in development. It might seem like an unlikely approach, but actually it could well end up saving the franchise completely – if they go about it the right way.
- This Page: How Power Rangers 2 Can Build On a Strong Foundation
- Page 2: Power Rangers Needs A Better Villain… And The Green Ranger!
A Soft Reboot Is The Best Place To Start
The fact that Paramount and Hasbro have opted to make a sequel to Power Rangers rather than a reboot is a good thing; there were many elements from the movie that were worth keeping, including the cast, but a soft reboot needs to happen in order to give the franchise a new lease of life. Certain creative decisions meant that Power Rangers ended up straying too far from the original brand. In essence, it seems to be a case of Power Rangers trying too hard to update itself and be taken seriously when really, all we wanted (as adults) was a fun superhero movie we could take our kids to that would deliver on the action with a healthy kick of nostalgia.
Case in point; the new Ranger suits, which caused uproar when they were first revealed, mainly because of the hideous ‘boob armor’ that the pink and yellow ranger were wearing. The suits were so far removed from the original Ranger design that the only aspect that made them recognizable was the color. The Rangers weapons were also missing. We did see the Red Ranger’s power sword, but there was no hint of the Yellow Ranger’s daggers, or Black Ranger’s axe, and the others. Additions like that in the sequel would be more pleasing to fans.
The young cast, Dacre Montgomery, RJ Cyler, Naomi Scott, Becky G, and Ludi Lin, all turned in great performances, and the diversity of the cast and characters is to be applauded. Hasbro’s decision to make a sequel must surely be, in part, due to their abilities. But at times Power Rangers veered into teenage coming of age movie territory, and any sequel would need to bring the superhero aspects to the fore instead.
More Focus Needed On The Rangers and Zords
Power Rangers was intended to be an origin story, and that’s fine, but the movie spent so long building the Ranger’s character arc that they didn’t suit up until nearly two thirds of the way through the film. It was frustrating for fans, who were hoping for more action, but now that those characters are well-established, it allows any sequel to spend less time on origins and more time on the Rangers doing what they do best; fighting monsters and villains.
Power Rangers barely delivered on the Zords, either, a key factor in all Power Rangers TV series over the years. There was not enough time spent on the Rangers learning how to use these important machines, and the Mega Zord was only used in the movie’s climax. A sequel would need to utilize the machines a whole lot more, along with the aforementioned weapons, and the Mega Zord is a hugely powerful machine that deserves a whole lot more screen time- and some top villains to fight against.
A Power Rangers Sequel Needs Better Villains
Power Rangers essentially had the right idea when introducing Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa. A fallen Green Ranger, she had some pretty disturbing scenes and was hell bent on destroying the new team of Rangers – but the way they portrayed her obsession with gold, and her creation of Goldar, was pretty lame. It was as though the writers couldn’t decide what type of villain she should be: an all-out nasty and deadly predator, or a campy, bad joke that really held no threat at all.
If Hasbro and Paramount want a successful sequel, and they want the franchise to be taken seriously again, then they need to find the right balance. Everyone expects Power Rangers to be a bit camp, and not take itself too seriously but at the same time, fans want a story they can get invested in. Over the years the Rangers have fought some great villains, the best of all being Lord Zedd.
Introducing Lord Zedd would give Power Rangers a villain along the lines of Thanos in the Marvel movies. He’s the big bad of the franchise; so much so that the other villains are always in awe of him, and scared of his power. Lord Zedd would be a real test of the Power Rangers’ abilities, not to mention the fact that it would also be a good way to have other, smaller villains involved too. In fact, if Hasbro and Paramount were still thinking of more than one sequel, Lord Zedd could be the villainous link across the movies as the Rangers struggle to defeat him. Power Rangers director Dean Israelite has already said he’d want to see Lord Zedd included in any sequel, and while he may not return to direct, he could still ultimately get his wish.
We Need The Green Ranger
Fans of the Power Rangers movie will recall the post-credits scene, which clearly set up a sequel where the Green Ranger would be introduced. The scene showed an empty desk in detention, with a green jacket slung over the chair, while the name Tommy Oliver was called with no answer. It all pointed towards Tommy being a rebellious teen who would know Jason and Kimberly from Saturday detention at school. The question of whether Tommy will be male or female continues to cause fierce debate; while Tommy is traditionally a guy, the Power Rangers cast have all said they’d like a female to even out the gender balance.
Either way, the introduction of the most popular, fan-favorite Ranger is essential to give a Power Rangers sequel a good hook to pull audiences in. The Green Ranger is part of Power Rangers tradition, and the whole notion of the Green Ranger potentially being evil is also a very popular arc within Power Rangers lore. That, combined with Tommy being female, better villains, and more focus on the Rangers and the Zords, would give any Power Rangers sequel more than enough material to work with, and the Power Rangers franchise could be successfully revived.