At Wizard World Chicago, I recently interviewed the original green Power Ranger, Jason David Frank, aka JDF. He's a UFC fan so although he missed watching the second Nick Diaz versus Connor McGregor fight, he did checkout the highlights. I asked him if he could fight any celebrity in a UFC match who would it be? I was hoping he might want to knockout Justin Beiber in a match, but he said it was CM Punk he'd fight. The Green Ranger would go go all the way to a knockout versus CM Punk. CM Punk, aka Phillip Brooks, is really just learning mixed martial arts so that can't makeup for a lifetime of training in various martial arts like JDF has done. Though Punk would have a better chance winning a match against the Green Ranger than against an actual full-time MMA fighter.
Jason David Frank will put his martial arts skills to some more good use in a Bat in the Sun release coming up at New York Comic Con. The Youtube page does some great fandom fight videos between pop culture characters. He also has his show going on season four, "My Morphin Life." He had a lot to say in the realm of Power Rangers' news. Check out his show on Bat in the Sun here.
As the interview progressed I asked JDF about the new Power Rangers movie coming out, and he surprisingly believed it would be really good. Not surprisingly, most rebooted films end up being pretty bad. They usually are poorly written, dependent on stars who don't understand the original characters and source material, and as a result are soulless.
JDF believes that Elizabeth Banks and Bryan Cranston would be in the movie, which he has full confidence in. Banks is playing Rita Repulsa, while Cranson will play Zordon. Although Cranston is a brilliant actor and Banks isn't bad--I'm not sure both their acting abilities combined can make a great Power Rangers movie. JDF also mentioned the huge budget of $120 million for the new movie, but it seems the best movies don't require huge budgets. Great movies usually have strong story and character development at the end of the day. Most of the greatest movies were made for a fraction of what the new Power Rangers movie will take such as El Mariachi ($7,000), Night of the Living Dead ($114,000), Napoleon Dynamite ($400,000), Mad Max ($400,000), Street Fighter Assassin's Fist ($800,000)Rocky (1 million), Terminator ($6 million), Ex Machina ($15 million). Hollywood needs to realize it's about the stories and characters, not the money or star power or how great things look that make a great movie. You can pay all the money you want to produce things, but just as in the music world, it just starts sounding plastic or in this case looking more and more plastic like the power rangers suits themselves for the new movie. They look as if they were manufactured by the Ironman's Stark Industries. Personally I won't know if they're bad until I see them in action, but to many people, this seems childhood-ruining.
However, one of the biggest keys that wasn't mentioned in the interview is that one of the co-creators from the original show, Shuki Levy, would be a major part in the new movie. He wrote the script, and he actually composed the original theme music for the Mighy Morphin Power Rangers TV show. To me, if the music is solid almost everything else falls into place in a TV show or movie, so because of this I am excited to go check out the movie. When a creator has that sense of music in their veins it's usually the most solid foundation for any project. It's also the creators of the stories and characters that bring the soul of the franchises with them, in this case Power Rangers. Without the creators there is no Green Ranger for fans and Jason David Frank to benefit from.
Talking to Jason David Frank was a lot of fun as we walked through the Wizard World floor. You never know what someone believes or thinks until you ask them. It's surprising what you learn when talking to people. You get an insight into who they are, and learn things that really change your perception of them. Most surprisingly, I learned that Green Ranger Jason David Frank's favorite color isn't green. It's black.