There are a lot of movies to look forward to in 2017, and while it may not be the most anticipated, Power Rangers is certainly on a lot of people’s lists. It is a property that has been ripe for a new take and that time is now. It will be a bit more gritty and grounded than the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series was, but maybe not as gritty as some might have hoped. We now know that the movie has been rated PG-13.
The fan site Power Rangers NOW has confirmed that the MPAA has rated Lionsgate’s upcoming Power Rangers reboot at PG-13, which was confirmed at the CES expo in Las Vegas. There was some hope that maybe this new take on the Power Rangers would push the envelope a bit more and perhaps wind up being R-rated, but Lionsgate is clearly going for something a bit more family friendly. Still, it would probably be a much less cheesy take than the show, but it won’t quite be the very violent, gritty affair that it perhaps could have been.
There hasn’t been a theatrically released Power Rangers movie for nearly two-decades, but the two previous Power Rangers movies were both rated PG. So, giving the movie a PG-13 rating will give a lot more flexibility in terms of how much more gritty it can be when compared to the 1995 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. Lionsgate definitely recognized something needed to change in order to make the property work as a movie, since Turbo made less than $10 million worldwide. Granted, they now have twenty years worth of nostalgia to work with.
Some may laugh at the idea of an R-rated Power Rangers movie, but it isn’t as unthinkable as it may seem. Deadpool proved last year that a movie that is rated R can truly succeed and crossover to mainstream audiences. The movie wound up grossing $783 million worldwide and encouraged Fox to give the upcoming Wolverine movie Logan an R-rating as well. So, there is definitely a slightly adjacent universe where Lionsgate makes a Power Rangers movie with an R-rating, but not in this universe. The most substantial evidence for such a version of this movie came in the form of the Power/Rangers short from director Adi Shankar that debuted online a couple of years ago.
The PG-13 rating probably is the safe bet for the Power Rangers reboot and the creative team behind it seems to understand that nostalgia is going to play a big part. Sure, there are updates to the costumes and there is definitely a modern feel to it from what we have seen in the first trailer and the marketing materials so far, but there are going to be plenty of familiar elements for fans of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. We recently got our first look at Bryan Cranston as the Power Rangers mentor Zordon, which is interesting since he voiced some characters in the original series. In addition to Zordon, this new Power Rangers will also be bringing back familiar elements like the robot Alpha-5, who is being voiced by Bill Hader, as well as Zords.
Outside of the voice work from Bryan Cranston and Bill Hader, we know that the villain Rita Repulsa is being played by Elizabeth Banks. The Power Rangers themselves are being played by promising up-and-comers. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’s RJ Cyler is playing the Blue Ranger with Darce Montgomery as the Red Ranger, Naomi Scott as the Pink Ranger, Ludi Lin as the Black Ranger and Becky G as the Yellow Ranger. Power Rangers is being directed by Dean Israeliteand we now know it will be rated PG-13. The movie is set for release on March 24, 2017.