Of the surprisingly vast array of topics that the new Power Rangers movie brings up, one is the matter of inclusion. This has primarily come through the narrative decision to make the Yellow Ranger, played by Empire breakout Becky G., bisexual, an element of the story that has resulted in the movie being slapped with an “adult” label in Russia. This, however, is hardly the only nod the surprisingly entertaining movie gives toward a generation (and demographic) that yearns for more inclusion, both in social life and in depictions of that life.
Indeed, Power Rangers, which was given more than moderate praise from our own Adam Chitwood, feels primarily marketed toward the teen crowd rather than trying to recapture some nostalgists who regularly watched the show in its early 90s heyday. The series has lived on in other iterations, some of which have maintained a pretty sizable and dedicated audience, and I imagine the movie is directed at them more than the thirty-somethings who grew up with the 90s version. This gives the film character, if only because the movie does not feel like its scrambling to relate to every demographic on the map the way so many modern movies are. Everyone, from director Dean Israelite down to the marketing team, knew what this movie was and who it was for and they focused on that in making Power Rangers, which was covered in Steve’s interviews with the cast and crew that you can find here, here, and here.
And from the news that came in today, this will extend to the presumed sequel – the first of five planned sequels. THR reported today that the cast of the movie are lobbying for the Green Ranger, also known as Tommy Oliver, whose appearance is teased in the movie, to be a female, ensuring the make-up of the superhero team would be equal parts men and women. Here’s what Dacre Montgomery, who plays the Red Ranger, had to say about the subject to THR:
“A lot of the cast and I have discussed that we think it should be a girl. It makes it even three girls, three boys…[The scene teasing Oliver is] left blank. It’s a cliffhanger. Whoever you’re going to drop into that position — whether it’s a girl, it’s inevitably going to create drama. It’ll be interesting to drop that drama into it and see how we all relate to it and work with it.”
Honestly, there’s no reason not to do this, other than some vague wanting to practice fidelity to the source material in this very specific situation. The movie itself is certainly never struck by a need to kowtow to its origins, and thats exactly what makes it a movie worth talking about. In other words, I say go for it.