Saban’s Power Rangers movie is now out on home video – on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.
And fans who’ve seen the movie know by now that it follows five teens, each of whom comes from a very different high school clique and background. Perhaps the one teen who’s faced the most scrutiny has been Kimberly Hart the Pink Ranger, the former queen bee who’s been ostracized from her popular group of friends.
Kimberly takes center stage in a cyberbullying scandal, as she leaks an inappropriate photo she receives from her closest friend, watching as the photo spreads around school as a result of her regrettable actions. Many fans have taken issue not only with bringing a cyberbullying storyline to Power Rangers, but also with the idea of feeling sympathetic for Kimberly, who ultimately plays the role of the bully.
But as Director Dean Israelite and Writer John Gatins note in the home video’s Audio Commentary, the plans for Kimberly’s backstory were originally even more hardcore, until Saban Brands, the owner of Power Rangers, required Kimberly’s storyline to be tamed.
“One thing that was difficult about Kimberly for me was that initially I just wanted her to have cyberbullied this girl [Amanda Clarke]. But it was hard, to ask a character who really is a straight up cyberbully, to buy her as one of the original Power Rangers. And Saban was like ‘Guys, that’s really hardcore’. So we had to kind of soften it and pull back a little bit and have it be that she didn’t take the picture, but she got the picture and redistributed it. Which is kind of a little bit of confusing math to make work.” – Writer John Gatkins
If fans found issue with Kimberly distributing a picture she received, they’d probably find the character’s original plans even more revolting. But as Israelite went on to note, the softer version of Kimberly’s story also played better into the overall message the duo was trying to tell with Saban’s Power Rangers movie.
“[The original plans] didn’t speak to the fact that she betrayed someone. It feels predatory in some way. But really her issue is that her friend trusted her, and she destroyed that trust. So somehow this version speaks better to this version of the movie.” – Director Dean Israelite
Kimberly’s character went through numerous rewrites throughout the process, as the character was initially written to fall in love, and eventually kiss Jason Scott, the movie’s Red Ranger and lead male. But those plans were scrapped when test audiences reacted negatively to the kiss, noting that it didn’t allow Kimberly to stand as her own character, but rather act as a supporting piece to Jason’s character (recap here).
Fans can watch the deleted kiss scene as part of the bonus features on the home video release of Saban’s Power Rangers movie.