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Hasbro, Inc. has acquired the rights to several Saban entertainment brands, most notably Power Rangers. Paramount inked a deal with Hasbro just last fall, with the intention of developing movie franchises based on the company’s popular IPs like G.I. Joe, Micronauts, ROM the Spaceknight, and M.A.S.K. This fresh deal between Hasbro and Saban gives Paramount even more brands to add to that collection and could even pave the way to an eventual big screen reboot of the Power Rangers franchise.
Lionsgate only just released its own Power Rangers movie reboot last year, featuring new versions of the characters from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers property. The film certainly has its supporters, but overall critics were lukewarm on its efforts to combine Breakfast Club-style raw teen drama with the campy action and villains of the Power Rangers brand. Power Rangers also disappointed financially, taking in $142.3 million at the worldwide box office on a $100 million budget (not counting marketing costs). While fans have been holding out hope for a sequel in spite of all that, a direct followup has been a remote possibility for awhile now.
Now the Power Rangers brand has been purchased by Hasbro in a deal with Saban Properties LLC. The deal is valued at $522 million in cash and stock and includes the Power Rangers IP, along with Saban properties like My Pet Monster, Popples, Julius Jr., Luna Petunia, and Treehouse Detectives. Power Rangers is naturally the crown jewel of the deal and is highlighted accordingly in the official statement that Hasbro CEO and chairman Brian Goldner issued to go with the announcement:
“Power Rangers is an iconic brand built on a heritage of great storytelling and merchandising with tremendous upside potential when fully executed across Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint. Shortly after entering into our licensing arrangement, it became clear that now was the time to begin investing in unlocking Power Rangers’ full potential. We see significant opportunity for Power Rangers across our entire Brand Blueprint, including toys and games, consumer products, digital gaming and entertainment, as well as geographically throughout our global retail footprint. We couldn’t be more pleased that Haim Saban will continue in a consulting role to further guide our development of this valuable property for the next generation of Power Rangers fans.”
The Power Rangers IP turns 25 this year and spans several mediums, as Goldner notes in his statement. Hasbro’s recent movie deal with Paramount suggests that a big screen relaunch could be part of the company’s efforts to unlock “Power Rangers’ full potential”, as the Hasbro CEO puts it. That doesn’t necessarily mean a hard reboot of the Power Rangers films either. The main cast of the 2017 movie have continuously expressed a desire to reprise their roles over the past year and would almost certainly be willing to do so in a soft reboot, if possible.
Alternatively, Hasbro may decide to focus on growing the Power Ranger brand in other mediums in the foreseeable future, rather than moving straight into a movie reboot. The live-action Power Rangers films have never been huge performers at the box office and the franchise has long enjoyed more success with its TV shows, comic books, and video games by comparison. Perhaps for that reason, Goldner avoids mentioning film specifically as being an area where Hasbro sees “significant opportunity” for additional growth of the Power Rangers IP in his statement about the deal.
Either way, Paramount is actively moving forward with other movie adaptations of Hasbro properties. That includes a ROM: Spaceknight film that Zak Penn (Ready Player One) is writing and a M.A.S.K. movie that F. Gary Gray (The Fate of the Furious) is attached to direct. Look for further announcements regarding the future of Power Rangers and other Saban IPs acquired by Hasbro on the big screen, over the year ahead.