Scripting Errors: Max Landis’ Power Rangers

Actual Rita Repulsa concept art from this script

Welcome back to Scripting Errors, where we look at movies that might have been! Since it would be a little shill-y to talk about the about the Power Rangers movie currently in theaters (especially so soon after Kong: Skull Island), we instead take a look at a 2014 draft of the script.

Who Wrote It and When?

Max Landis, son of John and writer of films like Chronicle, American Ultra, and Victor Frankenstein. As mentioned, this draft dates to 3/25/2014 – just shy of three years to the day before the final film hit theaters. This article is illustrated with art by comic artist Matt Frank, who actually did a Rita Repulsa concept for this script. The rest is thematically appropriate stuff from his DeviantArt page.

A cool Goldar drawing by Matt Frank


Jason Scott, Billy Cranston, Zack Taylor, Trini Kwan, and Kim Hart are high school seniors in the city of Angel Grove. While once close friends, they’ve all regretfully drifted apart over the years – until they get caught up in an alien invasion. Now they’ll have to set aside their differences to help onetime space cop Zordon repel the villainous Rita Repulsa and her gang The Dominators, lest Repulsa’s attempts to escape destroy the planet.

Points of Interest

  • The Pink & Black Rangers have their colors flipped, meaning the reimagined-as-a-football-player Zack is the Pink Ranger and the reimagined-as-a-juvenile-delinquent Kim is the Black Ranger. Zack’s notably unhappy about that arrangement…until he finds out his Zord is a fighter jet.

    Cool image of the final movie Rangers, also by Matt Frank.

  • On that note, each Ranger gets armor tailored to their strengths. The reimagined-as-track-star Trini is a near super speedster, the mostly unchanged Billy’s armor is festooned with gadgets, Kim’s black ranger armor generates spikes and brass knuckles, etc.
  • Alien characters who lotoked human in the original series – Zordon, Rita Repulsa, Babboo, and Scorpina – are stated to be explicitly alien looking. Zordon’s a squid, Scorpina is the Predator times a scorpion, and Rita is pictured above.
  • Zack and Scorpina get an awesome fight scene on the outside of the Megazord as it does battle with a giant Goldar. I don’t think the largely low-budget franchise has ever done something like that before, and it would have been really nifty to see.

Final Thoughts

This script is pretty great, in my opinion. It’s much more elaborate than the film we got, with a lot more action pieces, classic characters, morphed fights, etc. Unfortunately, that’s probably why it didn’t get made – I’m no expert, but I’d guess Max Landis’ vision would require an Avengers-level budget and that’s more than two times what the movie currently in theaters cost.

No relation to the script, but this Dragonzord Vs. Godzilla was too cool not to use.

Come back next week for another installment of Strange Times & Places!


About Chris Walker

Chris Walker (@back2past) is affectionately referred to as Back to the Past's social media lackey. He's all over finding nuggets of pop culture news, wherever they may be hiding!

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