11 Oct 2016 10:42 AM +00:00 UTC

Power Rangers Director Talks About Making the Film Character-Driven and Creating Its Own Universe

Just a few days ago, the first trailer for the upcoming Power Rangers film was released, and many described it as a mix of Breakfast Club and Chronicle. Director Dean Israelite's film looks darker and more complex than the Mighty Morphin show we remember. It showed a ragtag group of teens gaining their powers, and it looks like their characters are deeper than the original five.

During a recent interview with THR, Israelite discussed the film and said that it's currently in the process of editing and visual effects. He talked about what he wanted to do with the franchise when making this new film:

"I think the guiding light for me was, how do I take the spirit of what was, for me, a fun and heartfelt show and make the characters come to life in a way that gives nuance and complexity to them, and gives a lot of emotion to them. That was one guiding principle for remaking the show. The other was to make it grounded and real, and make it feel real and relatable even though the adventure was epic. I thought if I could do that, and maintain the fun of the show, I could bring it to life in a whole new way."

That's good to know that he's making the film more grounded compared to the shows and the old Power Rangers film. He went on to talk about adding complexity and depth to the film, and giving the Rangers "personal journeys" in the film's story:

"I think I grew up on those characters and watched them grow up, too. There wasn't always much depth and complexity to the show, but the themes of it are complex. I thought if I could bring those themes and embellish them and make them nuanced and multi-dimensional, it could echo the start of the show. All five of our Rangers are on their pretty personal journeys, and I think that's what makes this franchise unique unto itself. It'll always be, at its heart, about the emotions and the people in the center of it all."

When asked about taking on this film in an era of superhero films from Marvel and DC, the filmmaker said that he wanted to create a universe for Power Rangers:

"I always thought this brand had its own deep and rich history and I wanted to create its own universe. I really wanted to try hard to make everything photographed in a very real, contemporary style — even in the ways we executed the design, I wanted you to be able to look at the machines and the ship and the suits, as if it's its own universe. I want our one to be seen as its own thing.
"In terms of the other superhero movies in recent years, you look at the degree of artistry in those, and in terms of technical achievements, they definitely raised the bar. But I try not to copy any of those movies, and ensure that we can be our own thing."

That's good to know that Israelite has developed a character-driven story, and he expressed how proud he is for bringing that unique aspect to the franchise:

"What I'm proud of, and what's exciting to me, is that it's a real character driven movie. There's real emotion in this film, and I think people will be surprised by it. I don't think this movie is just one thing — I think it doesn't have to be grim, I think it should be fun, and it should be adventurous. I think this movie hits those different notes well, and this property is so ripe to mix all those things together."

I was never a fan of the franchise's lack of character complexity, but after hearing the director describe how it's character-driven and still fun and adventurous, I'm really excited to see what he created.

Power Rangers is set to release in theaters on March 24, 2017.