The upcoming Power Rangers reboot continues to roll out marketing materials ahead of the movie’s 2017 release. It has taken advantage of the Internet’s immediacy and breadth of content with a website based on the fictional Angel Grove High School called “The Roar” (in honor of the school’s tiger mascot). Most of the site’s content focuses on the five young teenagers who become the Power Rangers in the movie, adding depth and detail to their backstories.
One character who has not received the same kind of publicity, however, is villainess Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) – who, outside of a few stills and a brief appearance in the film’s teaser trailer, hasn’t been the focus of Power Rangers‘ marketing so far. It’s clear that Lionsgate doesn’t want to reveal too much information about the film’s villains just yet, though a new photo does better showcase the alien sorceress’ revamped look in the reboot.
Per CBR, the Power Rangers viral website has released a new photo of Banks as Rita Repulsa, posed with her back turned to the camera but her face turned forward. A few other images from the movie were released too, highlighting such characters as Billy the Blue Ranger (played by Me and Earl and the Dying Girl‘s RJ Cyler), in particular. You can check out all of those Power Rangers photos, below:
The mysterious first look at Rita came in April, followed by a photo of her attacking one of the main characters in Power Rangers. This latest photo of the villain is the first one to arrive since the release of a pic showing Rita obscured by a strange pane of glass. What’s clear from all of the images is that Banks’ look is a drastic change from the look of the original Rita Repulsa from the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers TV series.
Though it’s becoming clearer by the week how Rita is going to look, exactly how she factors into the story of the movie or the backstory of the main characters remains a mystery. An intriguing fan theory posits that Rita used to be a Ranger herself – specifically, the Green Ranger. But that is only based on the similarities between Rita’s outfit and the classic Green Ranger’s uniform – which may be a mere coincidence. All that is known is that Banks herself said that Rita has a “backstory that connects her to the new Rangers” in some fashion.
It remains to be seen exactly how Rita will connect to the new Rangers and whether it would come before or after the main characters’ discovery of their superpowers. The Roar continues to add depth to the five new Rangers and how they fit in at the school, which is a good sign for the movie’s character development. It will be important for the characters to be interesting and not rely on action, effects, or nostalgia to make the Power Rangers reboot a hit – and that also applies to Rita. No matter how the movie ultimately turns out, it’s a positive sign that Lionsgate appears to be making a concerted effort to give the characters unique identities and a level of complexity never seen in the franchise.