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‘Project Almanac’ Director to Helm ‘Power Rangers’ for Lionsgate

After a lengthy search that saw several top-tier directors vying for the job, Lionsgate has tapped Dean Israelite to direct its reboot of “Power Rangers.”

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 July 22, 2016.

Israelite seemed like a long shot for the job, given the popularity of the property and his relative inexperience helming feature films (“Project Almanac”). But Lionsgate execs were said to have been impressed by his presentation and gave Israelite the job fairly quickly.

He is repped by Principato-Young Entertainment and CAA. The Wrap first reported the news.

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