Power Rangers Features Prominent Character with Autism

power rangers dean israelite 2017 featured

RJ Cyler, who will play Billy Cranston/Blue Ranger, in Dean Israelite's upcoming "Power Rangers" reboot, revealed that his character will be on the Autism Spectrum in the film.

"I just wanted to show a different...viewpoint of people that are seen as being on the spectrum... Or people diagnosed with Autism, 'cause it's like I feel like us being outsiders looking in and I take that, I cast my own stone when I say that, 'cause there’s a lot that I didn’t know before," Cyler told ScreenRant.

"I actually sat down and shut my mouth and actually just listened and you know, accepted every bit of information with no judgement," Cyler continued. "I knew that it was my job to show, you know, that people that are on the spectrum are just regular people, literally, just how we talk, how me and Becky [Becky G, Yellow Ranger] talk, they feel the same way, they have the same emotions, they wanna be loved, that want people to love, they want relationships they want, you know, connections, and it's just like I was really excited to be able to play that 'cause I know it means so much to so many people, 'cause all of us are affected by it… and it's something I feel like we needed to have in this movie to be honest."

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There are no further details on what role Billy's autism will play in the film, but this isn't the first major detail that's come out in the days leading up to the movie's release. While the original series was light-hearted and campy, the reboot seems to be more grounded in the real-world and its issues. In addition to depicting Billy as autistic, Israelite has also announced that Trini, the Yellow Ranger, will be queer in the upcoming movie. This creative choice will make Trini the first LGBT superhero to make it to the big screen, beating out both Marvel and DC.

"Power Rangers" is a reboot of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," Fox's hit 1993 children’s superhero show. The series borrowed much of its footage, particularly for fight scenes, from the Japanese show "Super Sentai," from which it was adapted. "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" followed five teens tasked with defending Earth from evil by Zordon, an alien sage. Aided by massive robots called Zords, the Power Rangers faced off against Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd, and all of their minions in their attempts to protect their world.

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"Power Rangers" will debut on March 24. A Lionsgate and Temple Hill Entertainment production, the movie is directed by Dean Israelite. The film will star Dacre Montgomery as Jason Scott, Naomi Scott as Kimberly Hart, RJ Cyler as Billy Cranston, Becky G as Trini Kwan, Ludi Lin as Zack Taylor, Bill Hader as Alpha 5, Bryan Cranston as Zordon and Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa.

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