This weekend sees the release of the new Power Rangers movie, a decided upgrade from the Mighty Morphin’ type you might remember from back in the Triassic Period era known as the ‘90s. Along with a $120 million budget—which is probably $119 million more than was spent on every episode of the show combined—there’s also a new commitment to contemporary franchise storytelling, which is another way of saying they’d wouldn’t do anything so silly as craft a standalone film. As Variety reports, Power Rangers Svengali Haim Saban has charted a course for the characters that goes way beyond this latest origin-story adventure. “We already have a six-movie story arc,” Saban announces, presumably while lighting his cigar with a hundred-dollar bill.
This lengthy plan depends on the success of the new film, but the whole thing is based on a reimagining of the characters and universe in a much more adult way, in part because Saban doesn’t think kids want to see a big-screen movie where cheaply produced interstitials are edited into pre-existing Japanese TV series that are campy as fuck. “Today’s young audience is much more sophisticated,” Saban says, because flattery is a necessary weapon in anyone’s rhetorical arsenal. “Think about movies like Jungle Book and Arrival. The effects are mind-boggling. So does the young audience expect more? You bet they do—and they will have it.” Aside from the relative weirdness of using Arrival as an example of youth-oriented entertainment, his point is taken. So get ready for a lot more Power Ranger presence at your local multiplex in the coming years—unless, of course, this first movie sucks. (Though even then, if it makes enough money, its shittiness would be no impediment to further films, a Hollywood law known as the Transformer axiom.)
[Note: Saban is a co-owner of Univision, of which The A.V. Club is a subsidiary.]