Following Hasbro’s acquisition of Entertainment One in 2020, the wheels have been set in motion for a whole world of game shows, series and potentially movies based on the hundreds of toy lines under the Hasbro banner, and one of the biggest properties in development is a brand new Power Rangers universe that will be finding a home on Netflix. The news was confirmed on Twitter by director Jonathan Entwistle, who said “I guess the cat’s out of the bag! The new Power Rangers universe is coming to Netflix.”
Entwistle’s comments came on the back of a report from Deadline, who published the details of an interview with Michael Lombardo, who was appointed as Entertainment One’s President of Global Television in June 2020, in which he revealed the programming strategy he has planned for the Hasbro IP. After detailing the plan to have a number of scripted and unscripted shows based in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, Monopoly, Risk, Mouse Trap and Guess Who?, it was revealed that Entwistle will be in charge of a multi-movie and series project based on the Power Rangers with Netflix.
Lombardo was asked if he could give an update on the new project, which was originally expected to be a reboot movie with the streamer when it was discussed several months ago. He replied, “Since we set up Power Rangers with Jonathan, we pitched really a whole-world approach. It’s not just one show, it is shows followed by films, some kids’ programming. We have found a great writing partner for him, they are off. Knock on wood, Netflix is excited, we’re excited, we hope to have some news soon.”
The Power Rangers were originally based on a Japanese franchise called Super Sentai and arrived on TV in the early 1990s in the form of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, a series that took the footage from the original Japanese show and added the English speaking cast to unmasked segments of the series along with dubbed voiceovers. The series was accompanied by a range of action figures and toys made by Bandai at the time, and by 2001 the franchise had generated over $6 billion in toy sales. Although the series gained criticism for its violence, the series has been a huge success from the moment it arrived, and so far has produced 28 seasons across 21 differently themed TV series and three Power Rangers movies.
While the first two movies came in the height of the Power Rangers’ popularity, the 2017 reboot did nothing to help out the franchise. Despite boasting a cast including Stranger Things star Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Bill Hader and Bryan Cranston, the movie was a box office bomb, taking only $142 million on the back of a hefty $105 million budget. The critics tore down the movie for managing to lose the “campy fun” of the original series but not manage to replace that with any “blockbuster quality”. Audiences who saw the movie seemed more generous on the whole, but in money terms there was no good review going to undo the damage and the franchise limped away to recover.
Entwistle was originally linked to a new Power Rangers movie being planned with Paramount Pictures two years ago, which at the time was said to feature “a time travel element” but there has been no word on whether that idea has now been transferred to a part of the Netflix universe. There has already also been no word on exactly when the new movies and series will arrive.
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