The Original ‘Power Rangers’ Cast Were Not Invited Back for the New Movie
These days, if you reboot a franchise, you give the original cast members a couple of seconds of screen time. It’s pretty much a win-win scenario as far as producers are concerned. Fans who believe that sequels and remakes are heresy will be somewhat satiated by the involvement of original cast members, while newcomers won’t have any idea why the crowd around them is cheering for that background character. Sure, it’s fan service, but let’s be honest: some properties need a little bit of fan service more than others.
That’s why I was a little surprised to hear that Lionsgate had not asked any of the original Power Rangers cast members back to appear in their upcoming reboot of the franchise. Is Lionsgate so confident in their ability to adapt the property for a new generation that they don’t feel the need to reach out to the lifelong fans? For whatever reason, according to former Black Ranger Walter Jones, there won’t be any onscreen cameos from the original series. Jones recently told the Audibly Exquisite podcast (via ComicBook.com) that none of the original cast members had been invited back.
It’s not likely. Unfortunately, we were not invited to be part of the film, which is confusing to me, but I’m excited about the film nevertheless.
Ultimately, the success or failure of Power Rangers will not be determined by a handful of 40–something-year-old actors who spend only a few minutes onscreen. But part of me wonders if this isn’t representative of a bigger disconnect between Lionsgate and their prospective audience. The fans that have kept Power Rangers alive all these years aren’t doing so because they’re waiting for the next great adaptation; they have a respect and admiration for the original cast and crew, and even a perceived slight could turn people off a movie that already has to push past the ‘reboot’ stigma to begin with.
Old cast or not, Power Rangers will hit theaters on March 24, 2017.