‘Power Rangers’ Director Claims That PG-13 Rating Hurt His Film
Alright, I’m going to be completely honest: when I saw that Power Rangers director Dean Isrealite had commented on his film’s PG-13 rating, I thought we were in for another round of confusing comments about the need for R-rated summer movies. Given the worldwide success of Deadpool, we’ve seen plenty of studios succumb to the siren song of mature adaptations. Warner Bros. has openly pledged to make more R-rated DC animated movies. 20th Century Fox will reportedly push for an R-rating with its upcoming Venom cinematic universe. Even Marvel, the current lead dog of superhero films, has felt compelled to weigh in on the issue (spoiler alert: it’s not going to happen). So sure, why not add Power Rangers to the mix?
So consider the amount of relief I felt when I read that Isrealite told Screen Rant (via Heroic Hollywood) that he thought his film’s PG-13 rating was too severe instead of not severe enough. Here’s what Isrealite had to say:
Yes, definitely. Definitely. And not only do I think it, but there’s been market studies on it, and the findings have been that if the movie were rated PG — I don’t want to go into the specific numbers — but if the movie had been rated PG, there would have been more traffic. I think parents were unsure if they could bring their kids to the movie, which surprised me, because the movie is a tame PG-13.
Well, that’s a nice change of pace. It’s important to remember that a PG-13 rating doesn’t just affect the content of the film, but also how the movie is marketed. The trailers and teaser for Power Rangers did suggest a darker and more mature take on the film’s universe, and while that might’ve pleased some fans who grew up watching the show, it’s also possible that the tone turned away countless parents who would’ve let their kids see it otherwise. If Power Rangers had aimed for a more friendly PG rating — and it certainly seems like a conscious decision on the part of the studio rather than an unwanted decision by the MPAA — it may have been given a chance by parents who deemed it “too dark” for their own kids. Would a brighter and bolder Power Rangers have won over young fans? I guess we’ll never know, but count both Isrealite and myself among those who will feel free to wonder.