Producer Adi Shankar (Dredd, Lone Survivor) has become almost as famous for his Bootleg Universe as his silver screen films. Thus far, the (comparatively) big-budget fan-film series has added to the world of The Punisher, Spider-Man (via Venom), and even the world of Dredd with an animated semi-sequel series. For his latest “unbootleg” short, Shankar has delivered a violent update of the classic ’90s TV series Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
Consider the word “violent” extremely emphasized. This hard R-rated take on the kid’s action show is full of bloody deaths and adult language that makes the clip extremely NSFW and NSFSMT (not safe for Saturday morning TV). Entitled Power/Rangers, the short stars James Van Der Beek as Rocky/the Red Ranger opposite Katee Sackhoff as Kimberly/the Pink Ranger. Music video director Joseph Kahn (Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Muse, Torque) tells a twisted tale of grit, betrayal, and greed that’ll change the way you think of the Power Rangers forever. Check it out:
In a short feature about the bootleg, Shankar explains how the idea actually started when he was a child watching the TV series. When you think about it, he makes some pretty decent points about how the Rangers were essentially child soldiers drafted into an intergalactic war they really had nothing to do with. See what else he has to say below.
Lionsgate is currently developing a feature film reboot of Power Rangers with a script by Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller. Shankar and Kahn clearly state that their fan-film is in no way a pitch for that movie, and is purely for the nerd-joy of filmmaking. Lionsgate’s version is currently scheduled for a July 22nd, 2016 release, which would see it directly competing with Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot.