The world of Saban’s Power Rangers is surprisingly huge. Lionsgate and Dean Israelite are unleashing a new movie in 2017 which reinterprets the original Mighty Morphin’ team, and fans have been curious about the filmmakers’ plans to adapt the long-running TV storyline (a la J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek). Over Labor Day weekend, the reveal that none of the show’s original actors have a cameo appearance is a dead giveaway the film will rebuild the franchise from the ground up.
Speaking on the Audibly Exquisite podcast, Walter Jones (“Zack”, the original Black Ranger) said there weren’t any appearances by anyone from the original 1993 cast. “Unfortunately, we were not invited to be part of the film, which is confusing to me, but I’m excited for the film nevertheless,” said Jones.
Karan Ashley, who played “Aisha” the Yellow Ranger in Season 2 and the 1995 Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie, also told Inverse a few months back that no original Power Ranger actor had been asked to reprise or cameo any role.
“They’re not a sentimental bunch, and it’s fine,” she said, “We all wish we could be part of that movie. Fans everywhere ask, ‘Are you in this new movie?’ We’re not, no one is in the movie. It’s a true reboot. It’s all new, all fresh.”
But what does this mean for the movie? Simple: It really is a reboot. Back in 2014, when details about Power Rangers first came to light, producer Roberto Orci — who also produced J.J. Abrams’s timeline-altering Star Trek — told IGN that Haim Saban didn’t want the film to “walk all over” the show and that the film had “a continuity within the world.” Orci also said the film was looking to have cameos by the original cast. For undisclosed reasons, Orci left Power Rangers in late 2014.
A year later in June 2015, Israelite, also speaking to IGN, kept mum about his film’s continuity with the original TV series. “I’m going to plead the fifth on that,” he answered when asked.
Without any of the original Power Rangers cast to (presumably) reprise their roles, it’s in anyone’s favor to bet Israelite’s Power Rangers is an entirely new timeline separate from the original series. So don’t expect “torch passing” scenes or time travel or parallel dimensions stuff (again, referring to Abrams’s Star Trek).
The casts aren’t strangers to one another, however. Walter Jones and David Yost (“Billy”, the original Blue Ranger) have met their 2017 counterparts, Ludi Lin and RJ Cyler, which have been documented on Instagram.
Saban will release Power Rangers from Dean Israelite on March 24, 2017.