When the first teaser-trailer for Saban’s Power Rangers movie debuted in October 2016, one scene immediately stood out – “the kiss”.
It was the kiss that rocked many Power Rangers fans, as it showed Lionsgate’s intent to lead Jason and Kimberly, the Red and Pink Rangers, down a romantic path, something that never happened in the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show.
But fans who’ve seen Saban’s Power Rangers movie know that the kiss never quite made it. The scene was cut during the editing phase, and now exists solely as a non-canon moment exclusive to the movie’s trailer. But what really happened behind the scenes that prevented actors Dacre Montgomery and Naomi Scott from ever locking lips? Saban’s Power Rangers movie director Dean Israelite explained all in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“Nobody liked the kiss. It’s one of those rare times in a preview when something is so unanimous.”
Israelite explained that when the film was shown in front of test audiences, viewers were incredibly against the kiss, feeling that it detracted from Kimberly’s overall character growth. The goal was always to portray Kimberly as her own independent character, on her own coming of age journey, rather than just a love interest existing to satisfy Jason’s story arc.
“For that scene to culminate in some kind of romantic moment between her and Jason undermines her character and feels a little old-fashioned and becomes a movie trope of the female lead there to support some kind of male arc. I think it was actually kind of lovely that the audience pushed so hard against that, and the moment we took it out, everybody liked Kimberly way more and felt she was much stronger, and I loved that we got that reaction.”
And ever since cutting the scene, Israelite has been more than pleased with the result.
“I loved that we [cut] it because my intention was never to have a female character try and be there for the male’s arc. It was always that she needed to stand independent of him.”
But fans looking for romance between Jason and Kimberly shouldn’t lose hope. Saban’s Power Rangers movie pulled in a promising opening weekend performance at the box office, potentially ensuring a sequel down the road. So who’s to say Jason and Kimberly can’t lock lips one more time, this time when it counts?
And if a certain Green Ranger finds his way into a future film? Lionsgate may just have another love triangle on their hands, much like their previous franchises of The Hunger Games and Twilight.
Saban’s Power Rangers movie is in theaters now.