The potential was all there for them to make a more serious incarnation that could take the franchise to the next level for a brand new generation, but with recent reports about the casting, I no longer have as much faith as I previously did.
Collider has reported that the film's budget is $35 million—which seems a bit low for something that would require a big special effects battle between a giant monster and the Megazord—and that the title has been changed to Saban's Power Rangers—which just seems ridiculous to me. Yes, it's not as silly as Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, but what was wrong with Power Rangers by itself sans the accreditation?
Before I rant too much on that, there are bigger stories to dive into. So far, four of the actors for the project have been announced along with the colors they will be representing. Naomi Scott will be the Pink Ranger, Ludi Lin will be the Black Ranger, RJ Cyler will be the Blue Ranger, and Dacre Montgomery will be the Red Ranger. The Yellow Ranger has yet to be announced, for some reason, but should be coming soon.
It was speculated that there would be changes to the characters to avoid the jokes of the past where the Asian girl was the Yellow Ranger and the black boy was the Black Ranger, and once Ludi Lin was revealed, we could tell that things weren't the way they used to be and there was a chance that these characters weren't the original ones at all.
Now that more information has been released, things are getting interesting, and there's one thing in particular that I have on my mind.
That's a bombshell that we'll get into in a bit, but first, we need to backtrack. The announcement I'm referring to deals with the names of the characters who will make up our new team of Power Rangers.
Ludi Lin's Black Ranger, instead of Zack Taylor, will be Oscar Fernandez. RJ Cyler's Blue Ranger will be named Brian Olson rather than Billy Cranston. Gone are the days of Kimberly Hart being the Pink Ranger (though she will remain in the hearts of every male who had a crush on her, such as myself), as our new Pterodactyl, Naomi Scott, will be Priya Patel. Our uncast Yellow Ranger will not be Trini Kwan but Teyana Jones. Most importantly, the leader of our team, the Red Ranger Dacre Montgomery, will be Callum Oliver.
Hold on a second—Oliver? For those who don't know or can't remember why that detail stands out, I present to you something that you do know:
It's far too coincidental for them to have chosen the Oliver surname and for this report to refer to these characters' powers as Tyrannosaurus, Pterodactyl, Triceratops, Mastodon, and Sabretooth Tiger—the original lineup. Nothing of the sort has been confirmed, but all signs seem to point to Callum Oliver being Tommy's son in this new film. I don't know how old Dacre Montgomery is, but Jason David Frank (Tommy) is 42 and the character of Callum is supposed to be 17. The age difference is enough where Tommy could have had a kid at age 25 with either of his love interests (Kimberly Hart and Katherine Hillard), and Callum would be at the right age now. Also, since both of his potential mothers were blonde, that could explain where Dacre gets his looks, since he doesn't resemble Tommy to a super remarkable level.
Although I haven't watched any of the numerous seasons since the Zeo group, I've kept up with the lore to an extent, and the way Tommy is viewed in later incarnations is basically as a god among men. They speak of him as being the greatest to ever lace up the boots and look at his example as what to strive for. He's been brought back multiple times to help out, provide wisdom and guidance, and get the fandom to go SQUEE!!!
While most cast members from the franchise have either faded into obscurity or moved on to other projects and put this behind them, Jason David Frank has still kept a good rapport with the fans and the creators. Similar to how Leonard Nimoy was used in the reboot for Star Trek, he could be brought in for this new film in that fashion, and he's hinted at making an appearance multiple times. At the very least, he could be used to endorse this new team so the audience can accept them a bit more, but what if the plans for him are much greater? What if Callum is his son and that's even more of a reason why he would appear? For that matter, what if Tommy is killed off by the new villains to show just how powerful they are? He could sacrifice himself à la Obi-Wan Kenobi and instead of being a Force ghost, he could be the new Zordon who brings back the original powers instead of this being a full-on reboot that acts as though what came before it never happened.
As much as I fear what's going to happen with this movie, the name Callum Oliver and the potential for Tommy's legacy to carry on has calmed some of those fears. Until the finished product is released—or at least more information is leaked—I won't be sure whether I should buy or sell this new film, but at the very least, it's keeping my attention.
What do you think of this theory? Would you like to see Callum Oliver turn out to be Tommy's son, or would you rather see a completely fresh reboot? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!