Producers from the Power Rangers fan made short film that went viral earlier today may be in for a fight as director Joseph Kahn says he is being “harassed” by Haim Saban who owns rights to the franchise. Saban is also currently producing his own Power Rangers film with Lionsgate.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, the gritty, R-rated film arrived on YouTube and Vimeo earlier today and quickly went viral. The short film stars Katie Sackhoff and James Van Der Beek (who also co-wrote the film).
The short film was produced by Adi Shankar (executive producer for Lone Survivor and A Walk Among the Tombstones). Vimeo removed the video after receiving a complaint from Saban Brands.
[UPDATE] On Thursday, YouTube removed the short film from its site. The video is still available on DailyMotion.
Kahn tweeted, “Saban is trying to shut Power/Rangers down. If you’d like to keep watching, tell them to stop harassing me.” Kahn also laid out his defense in separate tweets stating that all the footage is original and there is no copyrighted footage in the film. He adds that he isn’t making any money on it and refuses to accept any from anyone. “This was made to be given away for free. It is just as if I drew a pic of Power Rangers on a napkin and I gave it to my friend. Is it illegal to give pic I drew of a character on a napkin to someone for free? No.”
“I just wanted to make Power Rangers good for once,” Kahn told Deadline. “It’s kind of a silly franchise. It was an experiment in tone; it was a challenge. I took the silliest property I could think of and tried to see if I could make it serious enough.”
Kahn adds the project took nine months to finish and a week to film.