Sources tell Variety the studio is about to begin testing young talent, looking at up-and-coming actors and actresses to make up the team. Sources say Daniel Zovatto (“It Follows”), Ross Butler (“Chasing Life”) and Brian “Sene” Marc are among those testing for Zack (aka the Black Ranger), while KJ Apa (“Shortland Street”), Austin Butler (“The Shannara Chronicles”) and Mitchell Hope (“The Descendants”) are testing for Jason (aka the Red Ranger).
Sources also say Naomi Scott (“The Martian”) and newcomer Stephanie Scott are up for the role of Kimberley (aka the Pink Ranger). Insiders say the studio is looking for fresh faces to fill out the team and will probably look for a big name to play the antagonist for the films, though no offers have been made for that part.
Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz are penning the script, with Haim Saban, Brian Casentini and Allison Shearmur producing.
The story reimagines the origins of the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” a group of high school kids who find themselves infused with extraterrestrial powers and unite to save the world, with the aid of giant mechanical vehicles known as Zords.
The 1993 Fox Kids TV series became a pop culture phenomenon and inspired a theatrical film, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie,” in 1995. The original iteration of the series ran until 1996, when the franchise was renamed simply “Power Rangers,” with different subtitles every season.
In later seasons, the title teens were replaced with new characters and vehicles every year. A second theatrical pic, “Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie,” was released in 1997 and was presented as a link between “Power Rangers” series “Zeo” and “Turbo.” The show was originally adapted from the long-running Japanese “Super Sentai” series, recycling footage from the Japanese version to cut down on production costs.
The pic is expected to go up against Guy Ritchie’s retelling of the “King Arthur” story, which also bows on Jan. 13, 2017.
Lionsgate declined to comment.