Simon Bennett, New Showrunner of Power Rangers

Source: Facebook

Back in Jaunary, it was reported that Simon Bennett, had become an executive producer on the Power Rangers 28th season (now confirmed to be adapting Sentai’s Ryusoulger – revealed during Toy Fair 2020), and now it’s been revealed that he has taken on the mantle of the showrunner as well.

Now I’m Executive Producer/Showrunner for Power Rangers – the US kids’ superhero show, that has been keeping a lot of NZ film crew in work for a number of years. I get to work with NZ writers developing the scripts, and I’m looking forward to casting local actors in the next season. A fair few of whom are likely to be Toi Whakaari grads.

Simon Bennett, via Toi Acting – Facebook

To celebrate Toi Acting’s 50th anniversary – the acting department at Toi Whakaari, a performing arts school in New Zealand that Bennett graduated from in 1988 – Bennett took the time to explain his journey through the world of theater and directing and producing television. It was in this write-up, partially quoted above, where Bennett revealed that he is not only an executive producer for Power Rangers, but also a showrunner.

In his look back, Bennett describes how he went through acting school to help better himself as a theater director, how he got to work on South Pacific Pictures’s hit New Zealand soap Shortland Street through a directing course – a television series in which former Power Rangers actors have had roles over the years – how that led him to producing the show, and then becoming Head of Drama at the production company which led him to work on shows such as Outragerous Fortune, and The Almighty Johnsons. Through all that, he found connections with fellow Toi Whakaari graduates, who, he hopes to get the chance to cast in the upcoming sesaon of Power Rangers.

This news undoubtedly brings up the question: What about Chip Lynn? Is Bennett’s role in conjunction with Lynn? There is still no word at this time in regards to whether Chip Lynn is still working with the Power Rangers brand and to what capacity his role with Power Rangers is. Since Power Rangers Dino Charge, Lynn has held the role of executive producer, and showrunner for the television series. He also had a hand in writing episodes during what fans have called the Neo-Saban season – a role fans have noticed, has dwindled over time as Power Rangers Beast Morphers went on.

Writing credits for episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers has been credited to the Power Rangers Productions Story Department; with a teleplay credit given to a member of the story department (such as Becca Barnes or Alwyn Dale – both who joined the Power Rangers television crew as interns for Power Rangers Dino Charge and worked their way up through the positions of Staff Writer, Lead Writers, and to Story Editors within the story department, as well as co-producers) or an outside writer such as Johnny Hartmann and Denise Downer. While Hartmann has written episodes for another Hasbro property (Transformers: Robots in Disguise) Downer’s work for Power Rangers Beast Morphers was done as freelance work.

Austin St. John (Jason / Mighty Morphin Red Ranger) had explained at as Power Rangers Beast Morphers being the last season for Lynn as showrunner as he phased himself out:

And this looks to now be the case! (For those who wish to view the full panel at Galaxy Con where the question was asked, and Austin St. John discussing his return to the Power Rangers franchise after so long: via @RangerCommandPH)

Many fans have been wondering what does the coronavirus pandemic mean for production of the 28th season.

At this moment, there has not been any official word regarding whether production of this season will be hindered. Pre-production, such as casting for example, is still being completed. Casting sides for “Male Ranger” and “Female Ranger” roles was posted in late February, with casting sides for a “Comedic Duo” posted in late March in the United States. Near the end of April, New Zealand casting agencies started posting the same casting fliers on their social media pages encouraging actors to send in self-taped auditions. Auditions in New Zealand are currently being held, and accepted, for core cast roles and those that are short-listed will attend an in-person audition in studio once it’s deemed safe enough to do so to continue the casting process.

If you live in New Zealand and wish to audition for a role in the 28th season of Power Rangers, follow the instructions at the link shared at CNA Casting or Showbiz Christchurch or Auckland Academy of Dance to submit yourself for auditions.

Congratulations on the promotion, Mr. Bennett. We look forward to the 28th season of Power Rangers, and your iteration of a new dinosaur themed season.

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