Attention nineties kids, kids of nineties kids, and anyone who likes superhero sagas: Saban’s Power Rangers, the re-imagining of the iconic and eternal Power Rangers for the big screen, has launched on Blu-ray, featuring an intergalactic onslaught of cool stunts, even cooler costumes, five fresh faces in the title roles and Elizabeth Banks as the most nefarious villain this side of the galaxy. While production took place in Vancouver, Canada, Wētā Workshop was busy at the opposite end of the globe creating a sleek new set of suits for one of pop culture’s most iconic quintets.
Mission One: update the skin-tight Spandex of the original series with a futuristic new look. Through 2D and 3D, Wētā Workshop’s concept designers explored texture and colour options for the Rangers’ suits, visors and underlays, working from original designs provided by Legacy Effects. Stylised fight sequences, playful martial arts and clever stunt work are a pre-requisite for any Power Rangers story, so the suits’ hard exteriors had to be light and flexible, while proving more than a match for the explosions, karate chops and roundhouse kicks that were to come their way.
So far so good. When it comes to the art of making armour, it would be a cosmic understatement to say that Wētā Workshop has a weapon or two in its arsenal. This is, after all, the crew that cut their teeth on Xena and Hercules, crafted thousands of pieces for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and kitted out the armies of 2016’s Warcraft. The Rangers’ uniforms, however, posed a new challenge altogether.