Coming to the big screen this March from director Dean Israelite, Saban Entertainment and Lionsgate are the iconic heroes known as the “Power Rangers.”
A group of high school students discover an alien ship and what they find inside is about to change their lives. Superpowers are bestowed and another generation will get to know the name Power Rangers who now must stop an old enemy and save the world.
“The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” are iconic characters that came to American televisions in 1993 from the “Super Sentai” Japanese material. Since then the heroes have morphed to other series such as “Might Morphin Alien Rangers,” “Power Rangers Zero,” “Power Rangers Turbo,” “Power Rangers in Space,” “Power Rangers Lost Galaxy” and so many, many more.
In 1995, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” hit movie houses and “Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie” followed in 1997. Now Saban’s “Power Rangers” is ready to break out in theaters in an epic way to reignite the adventure imagination in families everywhere.
I had the opportunity to speak with the Red Ranger Jason Scott played by Dacre Montgomery, the Black Ranger Zack Taylor played by Ludi Lin and the Pink Ranger Kimberly Scott played by Naomi Scott.
Jeri Jacquin: Wow, I get to talk to three Rangers. I’m pretty excited about that. How are you all doing?
Montgomery, Lin & Scott: We are doing great! <in unison which made us all laugh>
JJ: I have to let you know that my grown kids who said that if I didn’t come today that I couldn’t show my face ever again.
Naomi Scott: <laughing> Oh my gosh no!
JJ: They were raised on “Power Rangers” and even took time when they were younger to explain it all to me. So knowing you are coming into this generational and iconic series, how is that for each of you?
Ludi Lin: We are asked this a lot and each time we answer it brings us a new perspective on it all. Certainly in the beginning there are a lot of fans emailing us about their excitement and sharing their stories. They are also in their 30’s and sharing their memories of watching the “Power Rangers” when they were a kid. Also there certainly is a responsibility that we take seriously because I grew up watching the “Power Rangers” as well. If you watch the movie and see the script we saw from the beginning, there is so much about the story that I’m excited about and the reason being is that this is the story that wasn’t told in the original series. It delves deeply back into the background of these characters. It’s the origins story of how these kids become heroes so you have a chance to get attached to the characters.
Dacre Montgomery: It’s a chance to see the development without the masks on and the spectacle that comes much later.
LL: So it’s less episodic “Power Rangers,” but more the whole complete arc of the entire story of how they become super heroes.
Naomi Scott: I didn’t grow up watching the series per-se, but I so remember playing “Power Rangers” with my brothers and wanting to be a Power Ranger. I think that shows that even if you didn’t watch the shows you wanted to be a Ranger. Red was my favorite color so I had to be the Red Ranger. The fact that there were two girls was always cool to me because it showed how girls also wanted to be Ranger heroes too. For me, it has been exciting and we all focused on who is Kimberly Hart. I think we are able to have a blank canvas because this is an origins story so aside from the iconic character from the original series, we have a chance to find out who Kimberly Hart is. I was excited about that because I could bring in who I thought she is.
JJ: It’s interesting that back in the original series, having a female superhero character wasn’t a common thing really.
NS: No, it really wasn’t.
JJ: The girls were always the sidekick or a little in the background instead of front and center they way they were and are in the “Power Rangers.”
NS: Absolutely. I think it is important and maybe that’s why it has such a broad appeal. You have the diversity that is also cultural in the mix that makes an impact.
JJ: Once you become the heroes, the diversity isn’t the focus because once you put the masks on it’s about what you bring to the table as a group.
DM: Jeri, I’m stealing that from you.
NS: Yes, we are stealing that from you.
LL: Let me just make a note here.
<we all break out laughing which continues to make this interview the best time I could have with iconic characters sitting right in front of me>
JJ: Dacre, the Red Ranger has had such a big responsibility in the past, how was carrying on that tradition for you?
DM: I went to drama school and think of everything as an ensemble. My parents worked behind the camera in the film industry and I was taught growing up to appreciate every piece of the puzzle to bring it all together. The watch-face doesn’t exist without all the cogs behind it so for me I just consider myself one of the five watch-faces if you will. There was definitely the deal with me rallying the troops and I felt so supported all the time off screen by my cast mates. When the camera rolled with that support it was easy to play into that camaraderie and going into battle together. It’s a huge responsibility, don’t get me wrong, I mean your own kids were huge fans and now there are young kids who are big fans so this means a lot to a lot of people.
JJ: My kids will be watching but you don’t need anymore pressure right?
NS: It’s weird, I don’t feel that pressure only because my responsibility is to the character of Kimberly. It’s different to what’s gone before and even if I was doing a different movie as an actor that’s how I feel about it.
LL: I hope everyone will enjoy it for different reasons. So you have the old school fans that are older and now the new kids like your grandkids. Do your grandkids know about the “Power Rangers?”
JJ: This is Naynay (nickname for Grandma) you’re talking to here, of course they do. I mean there’s a whole DVD library of the series that gets borrowed and borrowed. One of these times I probably won’t see them ever again. So you are getting three generations who are in-the-know about the “Power Rangers.”
NS: Man, that’s just absolutely incredible, seriously that’s just amazing.
JJ: The technology they use in the film, how was that for you as actors to play into your characters?
LL: There is so much technology, the physical sets were also technology. The first time we stepped on the set it dawned on us that we were part of this huge super hero massive budget movie. Before that we were just running around in dirty clothes getting blown up. When the “Power Rangers” suits came in we saw the technology and were stunned by how much detail went into them.
DM: They look exactly like the movie poster in real life.
LL: The other piece of technology is that after we put the suits on the special effects team puts on the computer effects. That’s why it was so shocking for me to screen the movie. I finally saw the final product that is so seamless and entertaining.
DM: Here is a piece that hasn’t been shared with anyone.
NS: Jeri, you are getting an exclusive right here <laughing>
JJ: Really? Okay, I’m ready – hit me with it.
DM: They built a tank for us in the water scenes and the filtration system in the tank was transported from the Olympics. It is the very same filtration system and we had a large body of water that was heated. It was 40,000 gallons of water or some ridiculous amount like that and they heated the whole pool. They transported the system to us to use in the tank for the film. I thought that was amazing to have happen.
LL: You got the exclusive Jeri. I didn’t even know that.
JJ: Don’t share that with anyone else from this moment on okay? <laughing> Final question, for all the fans eagerly anticipating the film, when they walk out of the theatre what do you hope they take away from the film?
NS: I definitely want them to feel like a kid whether they are or not. If only to have a couple of hours to just be entertained and indulge themselves. Isn’t that what movies are suppose to be? Shouldn’t there be escapism just for a little while? I love to go and see films because it’s nice to get away from everything that’s going on in the world.
DM: I second that.
LL: I think I just want them to imagine, just imagine.
DM: It’s escapism absolutely. That’s why I go to the movies.
You heard it here first folks! The “Power Rangers” want you to gather up everyone that is a fan and even a few that don’t know they are a fan and escape into a world of fun. The action packed film will bring it and I’m thrilled that the Rangers took a moment out of their busy schedules to share their own excitement about the upcoming Saban’s “Power Rangers.”
Saban’s “Power Rangers” will be in theaters March 24!