For a '90s kid, there's nothing more sacred than the Power Rangers. Tommy, Kimberly, Billy, Jason, Zack, and Trini were our Avengers -- and now director Joseph Kahn has a truly "dark and gritty" take on what happened after the Rangers stopped morphing. And it is awesome. And super bloody and violent, but mostly awesome.
Kahn -- yes, the guy who directed Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" music video -- has released a 14-minute short film called "POWER/RANGERS" starring James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff as Power Rangers Rocky and Kimberly, respectively. (At first we thought Sackhoff was playing the role of the second Pink Ranger, Kat Hillard, and we nearly had a meltdown.)
In Kahn's fan film, the "MMPR" are defunct. Rocky turned his back on Zordon and the Rangers to team up with the Machine Empire, which has taken control over society. And now he's on a mission to find Tommy (Russ Bain) and kill him. Why? Because he believes Tommy is responsible for executing the other Rangers -- Jason, Zack, Billy, and Trini. (Yeah, we told you this was dark.) Now Kimberly is the only OG Power Ranger still alive, and she's the key to finding the troubled Green/White Ranger. Because despite her ill-fated marriage to Jason (ugh), Kimberly and Tommy are still the OTP of this universe.
Of course, it's not as simple as it all seems, and there's a very cool twist at the end that will make "Power Rangers" fans very nostalgic. If you can stomach seeing your childhood heroes killed off one by one, watch Kahn's darkest Power Rangers timeline below:
Speaking to HitFix, Kahn said his original inspiration for the film came out of boredom, but upon further research, it turned into a satirical take on Hollywood blockbusters. If you didn’t hear by now, there’s a new "Power Rangers" movie on the way, and Lionsgate promises it will be a "darker, grittier" reboot of the beloved series. But what does "dark and gritty" really mean in Hollywood? Here's Kahn's take:
"It's not just Lionsgate but all of Hollywood, they all keep toying around with this 'dark and gritty' concept, and they're all PG-13," he said. "Look at the gunshots. You have a guy going in there shooting a bunch of people and it's just like puffs of smoke. There's no repercussions to these gunshots, which to me is even more dangerous than when you actually show some blood. You're teaching kids that you can shoot a gun and there's no repercussions to it. It just looks like you fall down."
So when I did the dark and gritty version of this, I mean, we go full out. There's blood, there's brains, there's gunshots, there's sex, there's violence," he added. "This is the version I would personally want to see, but I also know this is the version that could never, ever be made in Hollywood. They would be crazy, it would be financially irresponsible, but this is what I personally would like to see out of a Power Rangers film."
Tbh, this is the kind of "Power Rangers" film we'd love to see made too, but it will never, ever happen. So if you want to see more of this, you're probably better off reading fanfiction.