Whether it be for nostalgic reasons or otherwise, there is a significant amount of excitement surrounding the forthcoming Power Rangers reboot. Originally a smash hit television show in the ’90s, the Power Rangers franchise typically focused upon a gang of regular teenagers being gifted with a variety of superhuman capabilities, stylish weapons and giant mech creatures – often by a big floating face called Zordon – in order to protect Earth from a host of unhinged villains.
Although there have been countless iterations of the Power Rangers franchise over the years, it’s the original and most popular series, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, the new movie is taking its inspiration from and the production’s marketing machine is slowly beginning to kick into gear. Some promotional shots showing each Ranger – and part of their respective Zords – as well as a teaser trailer have recently been unveiled, however Lionsgate has kicked things up a notch with the launch of a new promotional website posing as the student news site of the movie’s fictional Angel Grove High School.
The website can be found at angelgrovehighschool.com and does a rather impressive impersonation of a genuine school website. Although there are only a limited number of features at present, the site does contain a few mock articles concerning some of the Rangers, including a sports piece on Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery), a gossip column about Kimberly (Naomi Scott) and a “new student” feature on Trini (Becky G). Those three respectively make up your Red, Pink and Yellow Power Rangers. Sections entitled Arts & Entertainment and Staff are marked as “Coming soon”.
Although viral marketing websites are nothing new, indeed both Cloverfield and Monsters University utilized them to great effect, they certainly seem to be becoming more common, with Warner Bros. recently launching one to promote the home media release of Suicide Squad. Although there currently isn’t anything on the site that gives away any huge plot details, it certainly provides Power Rangers fans with a more interesting way to experience the movie’s promotional campaign in the run up to the theatrical release and is also a strong sign that Lionsgate has a decent amount of faith in the movie succeeding at the box office.
Perhaps the launch of the site will also deflect some of the more negative comments surrounding the re-imagined Power Rangers universe. The trailer has received criticism from some quarters for taking itself too seriously, displaying none of the original series’ sense of fun or humor, and previously fans spoke out against both the breast armor on the female Rangers’ suits and the radical redesign of arch villain Rita Repulsa, played by Elizabeth Banks.
Despite such critiques, the original five Power Rangers still hold a dear place in the hearts of children from the ’90s and many of them will likely buy a ticket out of curiosity or a sense of nostalgia alone. The fact that original creator, Haim Saban, has taken on a producer role should mean that the feel and spirit of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers is retained, despite the movie’s seemingly serious new tone and modern aesthetic.
Power Rangers is released in U.S. theaters on March 24th 2017.