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[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Power Rangers.]
The new movie Power Rangers put its own spin on the group of teen superheroes, but there were also a few doses of ‘90s nostalgia included in Lionsgate’s reboot.
Mighty Morphin‘ Power Rangers stars Amy Joe Johnson (the original Pink Ranger) and Jason David Frank (the Green Ranger) made a brief cameo during the new film’s climactic battle, while the theme song to 1995’s Power Rangers: The Movie also made a cheer-worthy appearance. And at the end of the pic, the moment everyone had been waiting for: a nod to Tommy, the Green Ranger.
In a conversation with Heat Vision, director Dean Israelite reveals the snafu that led to the original cameo to be scrapped and why he reshot the Tommy end-credits tease tease. (Also worth reading: why Tommy could be female in the sequel, if the cast gets their way.)
You have the original theme in there and people were cheering. How did you decide the right amount to show?
All credit goes to [creator] Haim Saban for that, because he was always telling me, “We’ve got to play the original. We’ve got to play the original.” I have to be honest, I was very skeptical. I grew up on it, and I just didn’t know. You listen to the other music in the movie and it’s so contemporary and cool and cutting-edge. I wasn’t sure sonically how it would fit in and integrate, and we didn’t have it in for a really long time, and we decided to put it in, and put it in that particular place, and I watched it and I was converted on the spot. I thought, “Wow, this really works,” and I think the movie earns its moment. Maybe it will surprise you, but I still think it really works. It was a big debate for us. We were going back and forth. Should we or shouldn’t we? Ultimately I said, “Listen, we’ve got to be bold.” And yes, there’s a campy quality to it, but this is what people want. They want to celebrate the Power Rangers. The ultimate love letter is in that moment.
How did you decide on the Tommy tease?
It was important that we had a mention of Tommy in the movie, and we felt teasing it in the coda was going to be really good. There was actually a different coda that we had for Tommy that I just didn’t shoot very well and it actually wasn’t that exciting, and then we did this one and we kind of went back for some additional photography and I think it works very nicely. It’s fun to hear people’s reaction to it.
How did those original Ranger cameos come together?
That was something everyone at Saban felt like those guys would be game for, and we were lucky enough to have them and they were generous to give their time. They are really iconic, so it just came about because we wanted them and they were interested and they came up to Canada and we did it. We actually did a different version. There’s a different scene they were going to be in, but that scene got cut shorter, so we needed to figure out a different place to put them.
Did they film two scenes?
They filmed two. And it was important for us for them to be in the movie, so even when we filmed the scene and it wasn’t going to make it into the final cut, we made sure we put them somewhere else.
For more from Power Rangers, check out our guest column from original Blue Ranger David Yost and our extensive interview with Red Ranger Dacre Montgomery, as well as more from our conversation with Israelite.
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