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For James Van Der Beek, the short film Power/Rangers — a gritty, viral hit directed by Joseph Kahn that caused a legal stir while racking up nearly 13 million YouTube clicks following its debut last week — is indicative of why he got into the entertainment biz.
Approached by producer pal Adi Shankar, the actor told THR that he signed on to work on the unauthorized project (which co-stars Katee Sackhoff) because he wanted to work with Shankar and with Kahn, whom he described as a “crazy visionary.”
“I really wanted to follow him on this journey of creating something that was completely his own, and we just did it to give it away for free to fans,” said Van Der Beek on Wednesday at the Jerry Seinfeld-hosted Fatherhood Luncheon at The Palm Beverly Hills, a fundraiser for the male-centric programs of Jessica Seinfeld‘s Baby Buggy. “It’s the essence of why we all got in the business: Let’s make something cool.”
Something cool that was pulled down for a few days after Haim Saban‘s company, Saban Brands, filed a copyright challenge citing ownership of the lucrative franchise. However, according to Van Der Beek, all sides agreed that the short film proved to be a positive for all parties.
“I think what happened is that everyone realized this is a win-win for that franchise and for the movie that Lionsgate is going to do,” he said, referring to the feature-length project at the studio that is scheduled for summer 2016. “Now it’s back up, and fan film, fan fiction is alive and well on the Internet.”
Van Der Beek can also be seen on the new CBS spinoff CSI: Cyber, which debuted on Wednesday night.
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