When Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers made its debut 25 years ago, it introduced countless viewers around the world to the maniacal, cackling, monster-creating glory of Rita Repulsa. The evil intergalactic space witch hellbent on conquering Earth and defeating those pesky Power Rangers was originally portrayed by Carla Perez onscreen and voiced by Barbara Goodson. Now, with Lionsgate’s reboot of the franchise, Elizabeth Banks is stepping into the sinister sorceress’ shoes, ready to terrify a new generation of super sentai fans.
This version may look more like Enchantress from Suicide Squad than the Flying Nun, but that’s because she is meant to instill more terror than laughter. In preparing for the character, Banks even did something that wound up surprising herself, as she told our reporter Hector Navarro at a recent LA press day: she ate gold. It’s a small detail that wound up becoming central to the character and took on a life beyond a simple acting choice, as audiences will see when the film hits theaters.In addition to speaking with Banks, Hector Navarro sat down with the new generation of Power Rangers too–RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Dacre Montgomery, and Naomi Scott–to talk about what it was like the first time they put on the Ranger suits, the joys and occasional weirdness of interacting with young fans, and acting opposite Elizabeth Banks as her scary onscreen alter ego. As for Banks, she had nothing but kind words for her young costars, going as far as to compare their camaraderie to the bonds she forged on the set of her first film, Wet Hot American Summer.
Are you excited to see Power Rangers? Let us know in the comments below!