Saban’s POWER RANGERS (2017) Production Notes and Images
Official Site: PowerRangers.Movie (US), power-rangers.jp (Japan)
Hashtags: #PowerRangersMovie, #TogetherWeAReMore
Lionsgate has provided production notes, a trailer, high-res photos and a poster gallery for Saban’s POWER RANGERS, opening in U.S. theaters on March 24, 2017. Based on POWER RANGERS created by Haim Saban and Toei Company Ltd. — and developed from the Japanese “Super Sentai” franchise — the film is a production of Lionsgate and Saban Brands.
Saban’s POWER RANGERS follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.
Directed by Dean Israelite (PROJECT ALMANAC), Saban’s POWER RANGERS stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, featuring Bill Hader (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, TROPIC THUNDER, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS), with Bryan Cranston (BREAKING BAD, TOTAL RECALL, GODZILLA) and Elizabeth Banks (SPIDER-MAN, PITCH PERFECT series, THE HUNGER GAMES series). The screenplay is by John Gatins (KONG: SKULL ISLAND, REAL STEEL). Story is by Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless (DRACULA UNTOLD) and Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney. Producers are POWER RANGERS creator Haim Saban, Brian Casentini (POWER RANGERS TV series), Wyck Godfrey, and Marty Bowen (THE TWILIGHT SAGA, THE FAULT OF OUR STARS, THE MAZE RUNNER franchise).
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
In 1984, while on business in Japan, producer Haim Saban found himself mesmerized by a popular “Super Sentai” live-action television show from Toei Co. “I was watching these five kids in Spandex fighting rubber monsters and I fell in love with it,” he recalls. Saban tracked down the show’s owners and secured the rights worldwide outside of Asia. When the MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS show premiered in 1993, it became the most-watched children’s television program in the U.S. More than that, it became a cultural phenomenon around the globe.
“It was one of the first multi-ethnic superhero shows and also one of the first to feature superhero girls,” says Saban. “It really struck a chord and ever since, it has been on air in more than 150 countries.”
Now a new feature film based on the show, Saban’s POWER RANGERS, re-envisions the Power Rangers as five ordinary high-school teens who discover they have acquired unique super powers and must join forces to save the world.
Given the Power Rangers’ huge and ardent fan base, the filmmakers knew they needed to deliver a film that would satisfy longtime devotees as well as newcomers to the franchise. “When it first launched, the series developed a massive global following which has continued to grow and become multi-generational over the past 23 years,” comments Saban producer Brian Casentini. “We love our fans as much as they love the franchise so we made sure that, as we developed the film’s script, we stayed true to the original Mighty Morphin Ranger characters, but added additional layers of dimension to each of them.”
The film’s director, Dean Israelite, grew up watching MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS in South Africa. “It became a phenomenon there, just as it did all around the world,” he says. “What I remember most is how empowered the show made you feel. When it emerged that this project was going to re-imagine the show, I was very excited. I knew if I could tap into the feeling of the original it would be an incredible adventure.”
Remaining true to the spirit of the television series has been fundamental to every decision made by the production team, says Israelite. “We are here because of the fans who have sustained the series for over 23 years. It’s imperative that they come out of this movie feeling like we have taken what they love — and we love — about the series and brought it to life in a contemporary way while respecting the mythology.”
To play the iconic Power Ranger roles, the filmmakers assembled a diverse ensemble of emerging young stars who share many characteristics with their characters, and their predecessors in the roles, says the director.
“The cast embodies the spirit of the original Rangers and who they were,” he observes. “Australian actor Dacre Montgomery, who plays the Red Ranger, is such a conscientious, focused guy in real life. It’s amazing. He is a born leader. Before any of the actors knew each other, he was the one making sure they were all coordinating because they were from all around the world.”
British actress and singer Naomi Scott plays Kimberly, the Pink Ranger. “She is a leader in the group in her own right and she’s such a studied actor with an incredible craft that she brings a depth and humanity to the character that I think will be exciting for the audience,” says Israelite. “What I’m proud of is that this isn’t a movie where the female lead is there to serve the male lead. She is wounded and complex and goes on her own important journey in the film.”
American R. J. Cycler, who plays Billy the Blue Ranger, brings to the role a distinct personality and acting skill set, according to the director. “He brings his own spin to every moment in the script. Most importantly his unique brand of humor and heart is infectious.”
Becky G, who plays Trini the Yellow Ranger, hails from Southern California. “She has her own philosophies on life, much as the original character did. She may be as quiet as the original Trini was, but beneath it all she’s fierce. She has an incredibly strong presence in everything she does.
“Then we’ve got Ludi Lin, who plays Zack, the Black Ranger,” Israelite continues. “Ludi has had an adventurous life; he can tell you where he’s lived in the world and the sort of mischief he’s gotten himself into and out of. He personifies the wild spirit that Zack had and should have. There’s never an emotional challenge or a physical stunt that Ludi will back away from and I think that courage embodies the original character perfectly.”
In addition to the exhilarating superhero action elements and the infectious camaraderie of the Power Rangers, the film spotlights interpersonal issues that teens grapple with and that everyone can relate to, says producer Marty Bowen. “Not everyone is captain of the football team, or student council or ‘most likely to succeed’ or ‘most beautiful.’ The rest of us don’t fit into those categories, we have challenges, we have issues with our parents, with our friends, and sometimes we feel alienated. So while the film focuses on the fun of a group of high-school kids being superheroes with their friends, we also wanted to counterbalance that with some of the realities of being a teenager today. I think that is what gives this film real humanity.”
At its core though, Saban’s POWER RANGERS is a thrilling adventure, says Israelite. “We go on a fantastic odyssey with these kids, which allows them to come of age in ways that are meaningful and profound. But they also have a lot of fun and so will the audience.”
POWER RANGER CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS
Jason Scott, the Red Ranger (DACRE MONTGOMERY) was a football legend in his small town of Angel Grove until one fateful mistake. When we first meet Jason, he is in need of redemption and is struggling to find himself. But soon he is given a chance to lead a new team made up of an unlikely group of teenage superheroes and must find it in himself to rise to the challenge.
Kimberly Hart, the Pink Ranger (NAOMI SCOTT) used to be Queen Bee of Angel Grove High, but has been cast out of the popular clique and is now struggling to find her identity. She has a new rebel-without-a-cause, edgy attitude, but this front is hiding a secret that makes her feel deeply vulnerable.
Billy Cranston, the Blue Ranger (RJ CYLER) has always been challenged in his abilities to communicate and interact socially. Whip-smart and sweet, he is the most pure-hearted of the group. Billy has never really had any friends, so finding teenagers that he is comfortable with is a big deal, and soon he begins connecting with people in a way he’s never been able to do before.
Trini, the Yellow Ranger (BECKY G) is mysterious but extremely bright. Her parents constantly move for work, making her the perpetual new girl to any school. A loner who owns it, Trini is self-sufficient and contemplative, but always observant. All she wants is to find her gang of friends, but she’ll never admit it — least of all to herself.
Zack, the Black Ranger (LUDI LIN) is filled with bravado and swagger. He is tough and cool on the exterior but has many layers beyond his fearless appearance. Zack advertises everything about himself, except the truth, which makes him feel deeply inferior to all his peers.
ABOUT THE CAST
DACRE MONTGOMERY (Jason/Red Ranger) makes his Hollywood acting debut in the film, having won the role while in his final month of a three-year student curriculum at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (which boasts Hugh Jackman as an alumnus).
Montgomery hails from Perth, Australia, and is a second generation professional, the son of an assistant-director mother (a Canadian native) and his Kiwi-born “soundie” (sound mixer) dad. He set his sights on an acting career as a 9-year-old while a student at Bayswater Primary School.
After graduating from the specialist arts course at Mt. Lawley Senior High School, Montgomery spent much of his next year in Canada before applying to WAAPA. Before attending the prestigious academy, he made his professional acting debut as a teenager in the short film BERTRAND THE TERRIBLE (2010) and a local TV pilot, FAMILY TREE (2011).
He recently made his big screen debut in the comedy, A FEW LESS MEN, the sequel to the 2011 Stephan Elliott feature, A FEW BEST MEN, and followed with a co-starring role opposite Patrick Warburton, Virginia Madsen and Ed Oxenbould in the upcoming thriller, SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD.
NAOMI SCOTT (Kimberly/Pink Ranger) A vibrant and charming actress on the rise, Naomi Scott is steadily building on her body of work with dynamic roles alongside notable actors and filmmakers.
Scott recently starred in Patricia Riggen’s THE 33 alongside Juliette Binoche, Gabriel Byrne and Antonio Banderas. The film is based on the 2010 rescue of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped for 69 days in a gold and copper mine. She stars as “Escarlette,” who is the daughter of Banderas, the lead miner.
Additional film credits include Ridley Scott’s THE MARTIANn, a lead role in the Disney Channel movie LEMONADE MOUTH and a lead role in Lee Toland Krieger’s short film MODERN/LOVE, produced by Roman Coppola. Television credits include a series regular role in Steven Spielberg’s television series TERRA NOVA.
In addition to acting, Scott is an accomplished singer and songwriter. Her EP “Promises” was released Friday, August 5, 2016.
RJ CYLER (Billy/Blue Ranger) made his motion-picture starring debut playing high-school filmmaker Earl in the bittersweet teen dramedy ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL opposite Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman and Connie Britton. For his work in the acclaimed film-festival favorite, Cyler collected nominations for the Black Reel, San Diego Film Critics and Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.
The film itself picked up 17 honors, notably the Heartland Film’s Truly Moving Picture Award, an Independent Spirit Award® for screenwriter Jesse Andrews (based on his Young Adult novel) and two prizes (a rare double coup) at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival — Grand Jury and Audience Awards for director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.
Cyler grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, the youngest of three sons (he was named after his truck driver dad, Ronald; his mom is a Cordon Bleu grad). After attending his first open audition in his hometown, he was invited to attend an acting camp in Los Angeles in 2012. His folks cashed in everything they had to relocate to Los Angeles to allow Cyler to pursue his love of performing. After finishing high school in California in 2013, he landed a bit part that same year in the indie feature SECOND CHANCES (playing, coincidentally, a character named ‘R.J.’).
Following his triumph in ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, Cyler completed a co-starring role in the big screen Middle East war satire, WAR MACHINE, which stars Brad Pitt, Will Poulter, Emory Cohen and Topher Grace. He is part of the cast of the second season of HBO’s dark comedy series VICE PRINCIPALS which was created by star Danny McBride, and also co-stars in the Showtime comedy, I’M DYING UP HERE, executive produced by Jim Carrey, which just got picked up for its first full season.
BECKY G (Trini/Yellow Ranger) was born for the spotlight. The 19-year-old star, whose achievements already include landing a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Latin Charts (“Can’t Get Enough” with Pitbull) and scoring a breakout role on the top-rated Fox drama series EMPIRE. Next up on the teenage sensation’s feverish agenda? Her long-awaited debut album, which the proud Mexican-American artist is recording fully in Spanish.
“I’m trying something new,” G says in regards to the project, which follows up 2013’s “Play It Again” EP. “I’m so proud of my roots and I’ve always loved Spanish music. Because I’m such a big fan and I knew I could make it, I felt like, why not? It was the perfect time to start a new chapter.”
G describes the album as “urban with mainstream pop appeal,” a fun, story-driven set to serve as inspiration for her devoted “Beasters” fan base—including 14 million supporters following her every move on social media.
“Each of the album’s songs, for me as the artist, is very inspiring,” she says. “It’s easy to visualize the music videos, the stage choreography at tours and award shows. There’s a dynamic to each song, a lot of texture and a lot of layers. Even if you don’t speak the language, music is universal (as we know) and it’s something everybody speaks.”
The album’s buzz single “Sola” debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Latin Pop chart. The song’s video, which G co-directed, amassed more than 15 million views on YouTube in less than three weeks. “It was time for me to dabble into the crossover world,” she says of her present musical direction.
Armed with an unrivaled work ethic (as a 9-year-old, she convinced her parents to allow her to start going to auditions for commercials to contribute to the family’s income after they lost their home and moved into her grandparents’ converted garage), G’s singing, writing and production talents as a young teen first came to the attention of Kemosabe Records’ founder Dr. Luke through YouTube covers, in particular her version of Jay Z and Kanye West’s “Otis.”
“I would have signed her off that video alone,” Dr. Luke says. “I was 100 percent in. She has so much personality and her voice just pops out of the speakers. Then I met her and discovered she could also sing and play the guitar and I thought, ‘This is even better.’ Then I found out she could write and it was like, ‘What else are you going to tell me, that you’re also Van Gogh?’ Her potential is limitless.”
A current CoverGirl® spokeswoman, Becky G was recently honored by her home city of Inglewood, California, for contributions to the Hispanic community — including recording 2015’s “We Are Mexico,” a song G released in response to Donald Trump’s remarks against illegal Mexican immigrants — and has been one to watch since her official debut single “Becky From The Block” received instant acclaim in 2013 (the video racked up 55 million views on YouTube, with a cameo from Jennifer Lopez). Recognized as one of Rolling Stone’s “18 Teens Shaking Up Pop Culture,” G will next be heard as lead voice talent in the animated comedy GNOME ALONE, slated for a spring 2017 release.
LUDI LIN (林路迪) (Zack/Black Ranger) is one of Asia’s fastest rising stars.
For Lin, the appeal to become an actor began at an early age when he watched his mother perform from behind the curtain of a Chinese theatrical stage. Although she urged him not to follow her footsteps, he continued to pursue the art and eventually graduated with a double major in dietetics and theater from the University of British Columbia.
His television credits include roles in Netflix’s MARCO POLO, LEVEL UP! and HOLIDAY SPIN; his Chinese film credits include the upcoming feature COME ACROSS LOVE (不期而遇), CRAZY IN LOVE (疯富的爱, 2012), I’M SORRY, I LOVE YOU (对不起我爱你, 2013), A SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS (一仆二主, 2014), and MONSTER HUNT (捉妖记), which is currently the second highest-grossing Chinese film released to date.
Lin is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese and proficient in Muay Thai and JiuJitsu. He currently maintains residences in Beijing and Vancouver.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
DEAN ISRAELITE (Director) directs his second feature film following his big-screen debut on the 2015 time-travel adventure PROJECT ALMANAC, which was produced by Michael Bayʼs Platinum Dunes and released by Paramount Pictures.
Israelite hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied film, theater and literature and earned a master of fine arts (class of 2008) at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.
JOHN GATINS (screenwriter) received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay for Robert Zemeckisʼ 2012 drama, FLIGHT, which starred Best Actor Oscar® nominee Denzel Washington. His script was also honored with nominations by the Writers Guild, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the NAACP Image Award, while taking second place for the 2012 Humanitas Prize.
Gatins is the son of a New York City police officer who grew up in Dutchess County (Poughkeepsie) and earned a degree in drama from Vassar College. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, winning early roles in a pair of low-budget horror films. Simultaneously, he began dabbling in screenwriting, and fatefully landed a part (ultimately cut) in Brian Robbinsʼ hit coming-of-age drama, VARSITY BLUES, on which he did uncredited rewrites on the script.
Gatinsʼ first produced screenplay was for the Freddie Prinze Jr. baseball movie, SUMMER CATCH (2001), produced by none other than Brian Robbins. He continued in the hardball arena for his next script, HARD BALL with Robbins this time directing star Keanu Reeves, before switching from the baseball diamond to the basketball court for Thomas Carterʼs inspirational true story, COACH CARTER, which starred Samuel L. Jackson.
With his writing career now at full gallop, Gatins continued in the sports genre, making his directorial debut on DREAMER: INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY with Kurt Russell. The film, from his own original screenplay, premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival and earned nominations for the Broadcast Film Critics Award (Best Family Drama) and the ESPY Award (Best Sports Film).
Following this triumph, Gatins jumped from the race track into the boxing ring with Shawn Levyʼs sci-fi twist on the fight film REAL STEEL, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis and starring Hugh Jackman. Gatins based his script on a 1956 story by famed science fiction writer Richard Matheson (a sequel has been announced, with Gatins penning the script). Still moonlighting in front of the camera, Gatins also landed the role of Kingpin in the film.
In recent works, Gatins has stepped out of the sports arena with such screenplays as the crime thriller, NEED FOR SPEED (story credit for the final script written by his brother, George), the supernatural sci-fier SPECTRAL and Legendary Picturesʼ reimagination of the King Kong epic, KONG: SKULL ISLAND.
In front of the camera, Gatins has logged roles in GODS AND MONSTERS, NORBIT, MEET DAVE, NEED FOR SPEED, Gary Flederʼs IMPOSTOR, Robbinsʼ A THOUSAND WORDS and A SHAGGY DOG, Levyʼs BIG FAT LIAR and the sci-fi mystery THE NINES, in which he played himself.
MATT SAZAMA & BURK SHARPLESS (Story By) made their feature-film screenwriting debut with the 2014 horror fantasy DRACULA UNTOLD (2014), a reinvention of Bram Stoker’s classic character based on Vlad the Impaler. The spec script was first recognized on Hollywood’s “Back List” as one of the best un-produced screenplays of 2006.
While the film took eight years to reach the big screen, the writing partners found continued success with two back-to-back releases — Breck Eisner’s fantasy thriller, THE LAST WITCH HUNTER (2015) with Vin Diesel, and Alex Proyas’ ancient mythological epic, GODS OF EGYPT, starring Gerard Butler, which hit screens in 2016.
The writing partners have several other high-profile projects in the works, notably a new television adaptation for Netflix of the 1960s series LOST IN SPACE which will premiere in 2018.
Sazama and Sharpless both hail from Green Bay Packers territory.
MICHELE MULRONEY & KIERAN MULRONEY (aka THE MULRONEYS) (Story By) are a husband-and-wife writing team. They made their feature-film debut with their Sundance Lab project, PAPER MAN, starring Jeff Daniels, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Lisa Kudrow, which they co-wrote and directed. It was the opening-night film of the 2009 LA Film Festival.
The Mulroneys have written several projects for Warner Bros., including director George Miller’s JUSTICE LEAGUE: MORTAL and SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. They have served as script doctors on films including MR. & MRS. SMITH, POSEIDON, THIS MEANS WAR and GEOSTORM, among others.
They are currently working on features for Warner Bros. and Paramount and developing their first TV pilot. They recently completed two stage plays. Michele is workshopping an original stage musical and Kieran is releasing his debut album with his LA based band, Cranky George.
The Mulroneys live in Los Angeles with their daughter, Stella, and too many dogs.
HAIM SABAN (Producer/Creator) is the creator and producer of the POWER RANGERS phenomenon, which debuted on American television in 1993. Two decades later, the brand continues to be a global phenomenon, not only as one of the top-selling boys’ action toy products in the United States, but, in its 23rd season both domestically (where it airs on Nickelodeon every day) and globally, it is one of the longest-running and most-watched kids’ action series in television history.
A native of Alexandria, Egypt, Saban immigrated to Israel at the age of 12, attending agricultural school and serving in the Israeli Defense Force. While in Israel, he built the country’s premier tour promotion business. In 1975 the Yom Kippur War brought about his relocation to France. There, he established an independent record company that soon catapulted to the top of the European labels industry, selling more than 18 million records over a period of eight years.
Looking to build on his European music-industry success, Saban moved to Los Angeles in 1983, where he launched a chain of recording studios that rapidly became the top supplier of music for television. He would venture into television production in 1988, when he formed Saban Entertainment, an international television, production, distribution and merchandising company. The company produced several major hits, including THE X-MEN and numerous other shows and products developed around Marvel Comics characters.
Most notably, under Saban’s guidance, the organization introduced to the U.S. the MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS, which quickly became a global phenomenon.
In 1997 the Saban-Fox partnership acquired the Fox Family Channel, a fully distributed cable network, reaching 81 million homes. This partnership was restructured under the Fox Family Worldwide banner, which included the Fox Family Channel, the Fox Kids Network, Saban Entertainment, and Fox Kids International Network, a publicly traded, European-based company with cable and satellite networks reaching 53 countries in Europe and the Middle East. Together, they offered an unparalleled breadth and diversity of programming (6,500 negatives) and an extraordinary global distribution platform reaching more than 250 million homes worldwide.
Saban and Murdoch sold Fox Family Worldwide to The Walt Disney Company on October 24, 2001. The deal, spearheaded by Saban, was notable as the largest cash transaction conducted by a single individual in the history of Hollywood. Shortly thereafter, he formed Saban Capital Group (SCG).
In 2003 SCG led a group of investors that acquired a controlling stake in ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Germany’s largest broadcasting group. Saban served as ProSiebenSat.1’s Chairman of the Supervisory Board. SCG sold the group’s controlling stake in the company in 2007 to private equity firms KKR and Permira.
In 2005 SCG teamed with Apax Partners and Arkin Communications to acquire a controlling stake in Bezeq The Israel Telecommunication Corp., Ltd., as part of the government’s privatization of the company. Two years later, SCG teamed with a group of investors to acquire Univision Communications Inc., the premier Spanish-language media company in the U.S., with the No. 1-ranked Spanish-language television network.
Saban’s passionate devotion to the philanthropic and political arenas reflects both his wide breadth of interests and his commitment to a strong relationship between the United States and Israel. Saban and his wife Cheryl started the Saban Family Foundation in 1999, which supports medical, children’s and education programs, including the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Soroka Children’s Hospital in Israel, the John Wayne Cancer Institute, the Motion Picture and Television Fund, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, American Israel Education Foundation, William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, and the United Friends of the Children. In 2002 Mr. Saban founded the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and he currently chairs its International Advisory Council.
The Saban Family is on BusinessWeek’s list of the 50 most generous philanthropists in the U.S. His fortune also ranks among the world’s top 200 in Forbes Magazine.
BRIAN CASENTINI (Producer) serves as executive producer of the POWER RANGERS TV series for Saban Brands, currently airing on Nickelodeon in the U.S. and other top networks worldwide. He oversees all multi-platform content development and production for the POWER RANGERS franchise.
Since joining Saban Brands in 2010, Casentini has also served as Senior Vice President of Development and Production, responsible for overseeing all multi-platform content for Saban Brands.
During his tenure, Casentini has served as Executive Producer on POWER RANGERS DINO CHARGE in 2015. Prior to that, he co-produced 46 episodes of POWER RANGERS SAMURAI (2011-12) and 21 episodes of POWER RANGERS MEGAFORCE (2013). Other projects produced in his time at Saban Brands include the series POPPLES, JULIUS JR., GLITTER FORCE, DIGIMON FUSION and the upcoming Netflix original series, CIRQUE DE SOLEIL JR’S LUNA PETUNIA.
Casentini began his industry career as a development associate with Walt Disney Television Animation, where he developed original series for syndication along with ABC’s “One Saturday Morning” block, generating ratings growth that propelled the network from No. 3 to No. 1 in less than a year.
He then moved to Fox Family Channel as Director of Programming and Development, overseeing production of the network’s live-action and animated daytime series. Casentini’s next role was at Fox Family Worldwide as Vice President, Current Programming, a post that entailed responsibility for the network’s daytime schedule as well as for Fox Kids Network’s Saturday morning schedule. Staying in the family-television programming arena, he next took his expertise to ABC Family Channel as Vice President, Development and Current Programming, responsible for the development and production of original primetime alternative series and specials.
Then, as an Executive Producer/Media Consultant, Casentini formed Golden Ticket Media where he developed an animated series for Playhouse Disney, had a production deal with Saban Virtual Studios, and served as executive in charge of production for Nickelodeon’s THE MIGHTY B! starring Amy Poehler, and the Emmy®-winning FANBOY AND CHUM.
The San Jose native earned his B.S. in business administration from UC Berkeley before graduating with both an MBA and J.D. from Santa Clara University.
MARTY BOWEN (Producer) continues as Partner (with Wyck Godfrey) in Temple Hill Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based film and television production company established in February 2006. Over their first decade in business, the company has triumphed with a number of successful film franchises, notably the TWILIGHT SAGA quinary (based on Stephenie Meyerʼs popular novels) and THE MAZE RUNNER trilogy, with the third installment, MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE, having just completed filming.
Before beginning his second career as a film producer, the Fort Worth native (and Harvard grad who studied American History) struck out for the west coast, where he found a job in the mailroom at UTA and began working his way up the agency ladder. He would subsequently rep such clients as Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana (Brokeback Mountain) and Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), among others.
Restless in the agency world, the hardworking Bowen decided to strike out on his own and take a more active role in the movie-making experience. Along with partner Godfrey, under their new Temple Hill banner, the pair first produced THE NATIVITY STORY (2006), starring Oscar Isaac under Catherine Hardwickeʼs direction.
When Summit Entertainmentʼs Erik Feig called Bowen and Godfrey about launching a film franchise based on Meyerʼs blockbuster novels, they helped guide the production as executive producers of TWILIGHT (working again with Hardwicke in the directorʼs chair on that first film). The partners continued in the same role on the franchiseʼs four sequels (NEW MOON, ECLIPSE, BREAKING DAWN – Part 1, BREAKING DAWN – Part 2), with the series having now surpassed $3 billion in worldwide theatrical ticket sales.
The TWILIGHT triumphs established Bowen and Godfrey in the key young-adult movie-going demographic, where they continued as producers of hit romantic dramas adapted from the novels of Nicholas Sparks and John Green — Lasse Hallströmʼs DEAR JOHN and SAFE HAVEN and George Tillman Jr.ʼs THE LONGEST RIDE from Sparksʼ work, and THE FAULT OF OUR STARS and PAPER TOWNS from Greenʼs books.
Bowen and Godfrey hit pay dirt again when they launched yet another popular film franchise in the big-screen adaptation of James Dashnerʻs Utopian sci-fi thriller, THE MAZE RUNNER, which earned almost a quarter billions dollars worldwide. Directed by Wes Ball, the original filmʼs success spawned two sequels — MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS and the upcoming MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE.
Other past projects under the Temple Hill banner include MANAGEMENT with Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn (which debuted at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival); the Raymond Carver story EVERYTHING MUST GO, starring Will Ferrell and Rebecca Hall, which premiered at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival (as well as Texasʼ Lone Star International Film Festival the same year); and Jamie Lindenʼs 10 YEARS, which marked a reunion with star Channing Tatum and filmmaker Linden (who adapted DEAR JOHN). Bowen has also optioned the Stephen King novel Mr. Mercedes, with David Kelley penning the screenplay.
Apart from the their successful film franchises, Temple Hill has also ventured into television, with Bowen and Godfrey executive producing the recent Fox-TV crime drama, ROSEWOOD, and the long-running ABC drama, REVENGE.
WYCK GODFREY (Producer) continues as Partner (with Marty Bowen) in Temple Hill Entertainment (the TWILIGHT SAGA quinary and THE MAZE RUNNER Trilogy).
Godfrey began his career as a creative executive at New Line Cinema after graduating from Princeton University in 1990 with a B.A. in English Literature. While at NLC, he worked on such hit films as THE MASK, DUMB AND DUMBER and assorted films in the popular HOUSE PARTY and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchises. In 1995 he joined Horizon Pictures, fronted by producers Paul Schiff and Michael London, as SVP/Production, overseeing their slate of projects at 20th-Century Fox.
He next joined Davis Entertainment as EVP, developing John Mooreʼs action hit, BEHIND ENEMY LINES. After his promotion to president of the company, Godfrey developed and produced the comedy DADDY DAY CARE with Eddie Murphy. He reunited with director Moore on the 2004 remake of FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX while also producing Alex Proyasʼ futuristic thriller, I, ROBOT, with Will Smith.
Other projects at the time included producing (or executive producing) eight features between 2002 and 2006. Those titles included the Screen Gems remake of the acclaimed 1979 horror hit, WHEN A STRANGER CALLS. He developed and executive produced Foxʼs franchise hit, AVP: ALIEN VS. PREDATOR, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, then produced Foxʼs 2006 Christmas tentpole, ERAGON, based on Christopher Paoliniʼs bestselling novel.
In 2006 he partnered with former UTA agent Bowen to form their own production company, Temple Hill Entertainment. Their first project was Catherine Hardwickeʼs THE NATIVITY STORY, a modestly budgeted, Christmas-themed movie that would lead to the companyʼs big break two years later, when Hardwicke would direct the first feature in the TWILIGHT SAGA franchise. TWILIGHT claimed an opening weekend box-office record of $69.6 million on its way to a $400 million global take. The pair continued in the same role on the franchiseʼs four sequels.
U.S. Release Date: March 24, 2017
Cast: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, featuring Bill Hader, with Bryan Cranston, and Elizabeth Banks
Directed by: Dean Israelite
Screenplay by: John Gatins
Story by: Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless and Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney
Based upon: POWER RANGERS created by Haim Saban and Toei Company Ltd.
Produced by: Haim Saban, p.g.a.; Brian Casentini, p.g.a.; Wyck Godfrey, p.g.a.; Marty Bowen, p.g.a.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as THE LINCOLN LAWYER, TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY, THE EXPENDABLES, MARGIN CALL, THE LAST EXORCISM and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards. With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company now has the two leading young adult franchises — the blockbuster TWILIGHT SAGA, which has grossed more than $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office, and the HUNGER GAMES franchise, whose first film will be released on March 23. Recent Summit hits include RED, LETTERS TO JULIET, KNOWING, the STEP UP franchise and the Academy Award winning Best Picture THE HURT LOCKER.
Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
About Saban Brands
Formed in 2010 as a subsidiary of Saban Capital Group, Saban Brands (SB) was established to acquire and develop a world-class portfolio of properties and capitalize on the company’s experience, track record and capabilities in growing and monetizing consumer brands. SB applies a strategic transmedia management approach to enhancing and extending its brands in markets worldwide and to consumers of all ages. The company provides full-service management, marketing, promotion and strategic business development for its intellectual properties including comprehensive strategies unique to each brand, trademark and copyright management and enforcement, creative design, retail development, direct-to-consumer initiatives and specialized property extensions. SB is led by a superior management team with decades of experience in licensing, marketing and finance. For more information, visit sabanbrands.com.
For more information on Saban’s POWER RANGERS, please see the previous coverage here on SciFi Japan: