Power Rangers, a big-screen reboot of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise, hits U.S. theaters in late March and, surprise surprise, it looks as gloomy and self-serious as many other supposed-to-be-for-kids franchises these days. Just watch the trailer; it’s got a freakin’ Halsey cover of Johnny Cash playing under it, for Christ’s sake.
It wasn’t always supposed to be so. Screenwriter Max Landis hasn’t been silent about how much he believes in the draft he wrote, nor about how it seemed the powers-that-be just wanted him to recycle his breakout hit, Chronicle.
Well, now we can judge just how silly, fun, goofy, and retro it is, because Landis’ draft has appeared online. And, according to Gizmodo, at least, it’s pretty great. “Not only does it totally embrace the mania of the franchise, giant robots, power coins, and all,” Gizmodo writes, “it’s also refreshingly funny.”
The piece provides an exhaustive look at how Landis’ script both dovetails and differs from the original series, from its approach to the heroes and villains to how Landis envisioned the film’s visual aesthetic. Perhaps most interesting is the way in which Landis toyed with the series’ mythology:
As part of Rita and Zordon’s backstory, the movie also fleshes out the backstory of the Power Rangers mythos, turning the Rangers into a quasi-Green Lantern Corps-esque organization of space cops. Zordon’s team is just one of many different squadrons that are law enforcement for the planet Eltar (perhaps Landis’ subtle attempt to lay in a way for future incarnations of Power Rangers beyond the Mighty Morphin team to appear in future movies), a bastion of peace in a larger Eltarian empire. However, it’s eventually revealed by Rita that all the other Power Ranger teams were destroyed over the last 10,000 years, defeated by Zedd’s army.
That sounds insane. And much, much better than the emo Transformers we appear to be getting.
[Note: Gizmodo, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]