It was only a matter of time before Power Rangers got all Nolan-ized, right? With all the reboots and sequels going for a dark and more realistic take on our childhood favorites, the Mighty Morphin crew never stood a chance.
Produced by Adi Shankar and directed by Joseph Khan, the short film based on the beloved team is called Power/Rangers and features James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff. The 14-minute video has drawn the ire of fans who prefer the lighter fare of their younger years and Saban Brands, the company that owns the rights to the team. The latter has reportedly sent take-down requests to popular video hosts YouTube and Vimeo.
For everyone else, the brief film is nothing short of brilliant. It offers a fresh take on the franchise, and it succeeds in psyching fans up for the forthcoming Lionsgate reboot—although the two treatments could have nothing in common.
“I just wanted to make Power Rangers good for once,” co-writer Joseph Kahn told Deadline. “It’s kind of a silly franchise. It was an experiment in tone; it was a challenge. I took the silliest property I could think of and tried to see if I could make it serious enough.”
Khan blasted Saban’s efforts to pull down the short film and pointed out a few tidbits that may limit Saban’s legal rights. “Every image in Power/Rangers is original footage. Nothing was pre-exisiting. There is no copyrighted footage in the short. I’m not making any money on it and I refuse to accept any from anyone,” asserted the director. “It was not even Kickstarted. I paid for it myself. This was made to be given away for free. It is just as if I drew a pic of Power Rangers on a napkin and gave it to my friend.”
However the legal battle plays out, one thing is certain: the mini-film is worth watching. Do it now before it’s gone! Viewer discretion is advised, because it contains strong language and graphic violence.