When Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer opened up about Power Rangers’ future in 2017, he confidently boasted about its prospects. “We could see us doing five or six or seven of them,” he said. Given the context, Feltheimer was simply referring to the flexibility of a franchise based on a TV show that’s been going for 20 years and counting. Still, “seven movies” got the internet going nuts.
“Seven films is delusional,” said Vogel Capital CEO Hal Vogel to THR shortly after Feltheimer’s statements hit the internet. “Anyone who knows this business will find it a good run if three in a row are successful … This is a stretch.”
Maybe it is delusional, but it wouldn’t be because there’s nothing left to adapt. If Lionsgate is serious about seven more movies after Dean Israelite’s 2017 installment, the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers is loaded with stuff fans still remember and would love to see as a summer tentpole.
Power Rangers: Green With Evil
The first movie will naturally have to introduce the core five heroes learning to work and grow as a team. But when that’s all done, Rita Repulsa’s evil Green Ranger is the most obvious foil for a direct sequel.
After 16 episodes in the show’s first season, the five-part “Green With Evil” episodic written by Stewart St. John kicked off introducing Tommy (Jason David Frank), a new kid at Angel Grove High and Rita Repulsa’s evil avatar, the Green Ranger. And it was awesome.
Nothing on children’s TV at the time felt big enough to span five whole episodes, nor was there anything that felt as personal. The Green Ranger wasn’t just another monster doing Rita’s dirty work, he was another teenager like them. What is it like knowing your enemy who wants to kill you sits next to you in homeroom? That was the drama in “Green With Evil”, and the natural next step for whatever Power Rangers 2 could be.
Power Rangers: The Green Candle
Rita giveth and Rita taketh away. As revenge for leaving her to fight alongside Zordon’s Power Rangers, Rita Repulsa unleashed her failsafe: a magical green candle that burns away the Green Ranger powers. Unlike most superhero stories that end on a victory, this one didn’t: Tommy actually lost.
“The Green Candle” written by Mark McKain, Gary Glasberg, and Stewart St. John serves as a natural conclusion to a Power Rangers trilogy should this franchise last just three movies.
Power Rangers: Doomsday
The two-part episode “Doomsday”, meant to be a finale for the whole series, brought in such massive ratings that production of the series had to continue. Who knew it would last them twenty years? The massive Megazord and Dragonzord fight against Goldar’s own robot, Cyclopsis, is a fan favorite brawl to this day, and is an obvious conclusion to a four-part franchise.
Power Rangers: The Mutiny
The three-part, Season 2 premiere, “The Mutiny,” introduced Rita Repulsa’s superior, Lord Zedd, back from conquering other galaxies and pissed off that Rita couldn’t finish the job. Zedd seizes control back of the operation, forcing the Power Rangers to upgrade to a new, more powerful ~toy~ Megazord.
Power Rangers: The White Light
Halfway through Season 2, Tommy — whose Green Ranger abilities were only temporarily restored on a weaker power source — was done for good as a superhero in green.
The two-part “White Light” episodes dangled the mystery of the White Ranger only to reveal that it was, indeed, Tommy, in a regal new costume with powers forged entirely from Zordon. As if Tommy wasn’t already mega popular with the show’s audience, his turn as the White Ranger solidified him as the franchise.
Power Rangers: A Friend in Need
Two decades before Marvel used its superhero movies as launchpads to other superhero movies, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers kicked off its third season with a three-parter introducing Masked Rider, another Japanese import, in a backdoor pilot for the short-lived Masked Rider series.
“A Friend in Need” is as terrible as you’d expect Power Rangers to be, but it was cool seeing a new superhero in a slick armored costume who immediately clashes with our boy and girl scouts in spandex.
Power Rangers: Zeo Quest
After seven movies, things might get stale. Thankfully, the show has been there before.
The end of Season 3 was a 10-episode mini-series that transitioned Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers into Power Rangers Zeo. It wasn’t a clean refresh, though: Lord Zedd’s final middle finger before he’s exiled by the oncoming Machine Empire was planting bombs in the Power Rangers’ home base. Zordon and Alpha 5 disappear while their home of the past three seasons are left in ruin.
It wouldn’t be long. Power Rangers Zeo begins with the team inheriting a whole new arsenal, with a power source coming from the ancient crystals they spent the whole ten-part episodes searching for. This would serve as the show’s restart formula for years to come, but in 1996 it was truly a new beginning.