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It’s Morphin time for Jonathan Entwistle
The filmmaker, perhaps best known for creating the Netflix series The End of the F—ing World, is taking on Power Rangers, a new version of the colorful family adventure franchise, this time set up at Paramount.
Entwistle is in early negotiations to direct a new feature project that would reboot the title.
Power Rangers was a ’90s TV series and global marketing franchise, initially called The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, that used footage from a Japanese children’s show. The premise involved a group of kids who become superheroes, each with his or her own color-coordinated outfit and matching helmet. The show first aired on Fox Kids, then on Disney-owned channel in the 2000ss. A movie also hit theaters in 1995.
In 2017, Lionsgate produced and released a feature that rebooted the title, making it less kid-friendly and giving it a more brooding YA edge. The pic bombed, grossing only $142 million worldwide on a budget of around $100 million, and plans for a series of films were scrapped.
Now in Paramount’s court, Power Rangers is getting rebooted once more, in a way that hopes to return the franchise to its roots. The story is said to involve a time-travel element that brings the kids to the 1990s and, in Back to the Future fashion, they have to find a way to get back to their present. Patrick Burleigh, who wrote the upcoming Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, is penning the script.
Hasbro, which bought the property from creator Haim Saban in 2018, is producing the feature via its film arm, Allspark Pictures.
On the surface, Entwistle is an outside-the-box choice for the shiny franchise as his Netflix show The End of the F—ing World was dark and envelope-pushing, nearly the opposite of what you can get for a Hasbro property. The series, a dark comedy that he directed and executive produced and which debuted its second season in November, told of the growing friendship between a teenage boy who believes he is a sociopath and is looking for a person to kill and a girl who persuades him to ditch their homes for a road trip.
Entwistle is currently in postproduction on I’m Not Okay With This, another Netflix show he co-created, exec produced and directed. Also teenage-centric, Not Okay focuses on a girl dealing with high school life, her budding sexuality and superpowers.
But the director, repped by CAA and Grandview, has shown he has a grasp on the voice of the younger generation, which Paramount execs hope will translate into something unique and appealing onscreen.
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Jonathan Rhys Meyers
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
Red Sea Film Festival