Director Joseph Kahn, known for his videos for top music celebrities like Taylor Swift and Britney Spears as well as spots for Target, Turkish Airlines, Adidas and more, has brought a dark take to the Power Rangers kids sci-fi franchise with his new short film, "Power/Rangers."
The film stars James Van Der Beek as former Red Power Ranger Rocky DeSantos and Katee Sackhoff as former Pink Power Ranger Kimberly Hart. (For those non-geeks, Ms. Sackhoff is perhaps best known for playing Starbuck in another sci-fi reboot, Battlestar Galactica.) Now mature adults, the two find themselves at odds after Red defects to the evil Machine Empire. Pink has tried to stay true to her roots, although she's seen tragedy befall her former cohorts -- she was married to original Red Ranger Jason Lee Scott for eight hours when he was gunned down by a group of thugs, for example. DeSantos and Hart face off until the film ultimately reveals the true, even more sinister fate of the superhero team.
On the lighter side, Mr. Kahn, who's repped for spots and videos out of HSI, said that the film is filled with many Easter Eggs, including the chair on which Mr. Van Der Beek sits. "The chair in POWER/RANGERS is not THE chair but yes, it is a call out to the Britney Stronger chair," he posted on Twitter.
Since Mr. Kahn released the video online earlier this week, legal issues have been potentially brewing, according to Deadline.com. Yesterday, Mr. Kahn tweeted that Haim Saban, who owns rights to the Power Rangers franchise and is producing a new Power Rangers film with Lionsgate, is "trying to shut POWER/RANGERS down." Vimeo, on which the film was first posted, took the film down and subsequently posted this explanation.
"The irony here is that I wouldn't even want to make "Power Rangers: The Movie' for real," Mr. Kahn told Hitfix's Drew McWeeny. "Like if I had to make a 'Power Rangers' movie, this is it. It's 14 minutes long and it's violent and this is what I have in me. If they offered me the 200 million version, the PG-13 version, I literally wouldn't do it. It's just not interesting to me."
The short was also produced by Adi Shankar, producer of films "The Grey" and "Lone Survivor," as well as "bootleg" versions of pop culture properties, including The Punisher, Judge Dredd and Venom.