Things are changing in the world of Power Rangers. When the franchise was sold by Saban Brands to Hasbro in 2018 it was expected change was coming but it took until 2019 to really start to see the effects of the sale.
First up in March 2019 Jason Bischoff, the Global Franchise Director for Power Rangers, who had been with the franchise for three years was let go. In July Brian Casentini, Senior Vice President of Power Rangers Franchise Development and Production for Allspark Pictures and Executive Producer on Power Rangers Beast Morphers and Super Ninja Steel, left the franchise after being with it for ten years.
At the time he stated in an interivew with ComicBook.com that he departed to purse a number of projects he’d wanted to work on for a very long time but, in reference to the Power Rangers brand, “there is a very smooth transition planned that will be announced soon and the future of Power Rangers is extremely bright.”
There’s been no official word on what that smooth transition would be but in early January 2020 we learned that the TV series would be getting a new executive producer, Simon Bennett (director of various Ninja Steel and Beast Morphers episodes.) At the time we didn’t know what that meant for current executive producer Chip Lynn and what his role would be in the franchise after the second season of Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Lynn has been with the series for years, working on the original nine seasons (1993-2001) before returning as executive producer for the second half of RPM (2009) and then taking over as executive producer once again with Dino Charge through Beast Morphers (2015-Present.)
Now, thanks thanks to Austin St. John (Jason, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) we learned that Chip Lynn is getting ready to leave the franchise as well.
On a panel at GalaxyCon Louisville in December 2019 the actor spoke about why he chose to return for Power Rangers Beast Morphers after years of turning down requests to make a guest appearance on the series. During that story he let slip where Chip Lynn is heading in terms of Power Rangers. (News via NPS.)
“What got me back this year after 18 years of telling them ‘no’ was — Normally they would have their casting agents and my people would email…and I was like, ‘Nope. Not a chance.’ Well, two weeks later I get a phone call from the executive producer [Chip Lynn]. And it turns out that the executive producer was a guy who started and was working on the show with me 25 years ago, so I knew him personally. And he calls me up and he goes, ‘Look, I know you’re always saying no.’ And he says, ‘And I’m getting ready to leave. Like, I’m done. This is my last hurrah.’ And now he’s actually — he’s phasing out.”
The phrase “phasing out” seems to line up with the “smooth transition” Casentini spoke of in his interview. For now we don’t know what role Lynn will have in future seasons of the franchise but it seems as if it will be in a smaller capicity than what he’s been doing for the past six years.
This news also came to light at the same time Melissa Flores, Director of Storytelling for the Power Rangers brand, announced on Monday that her time on the franchise had come to an end. Like Casentini she had worked with the franchise for ten years, starting as a Development and Production Coordinator for the brand before rising in the ranks.
Could Flores’ depature be part of the “smooth transition” Casentini talked about? We aren’t sure. It very well could be Flores left of her own accord thanks to another job opportunity. Still, that means three major players in the Power Rangers franchise who worked at Saban Brands have left or been let go by Hasbro. The only major player from the Saban days still left at the company is Paul Strickland who’s been with the franchise since 2014 at Saban and Hasbro. It should be noted his job title previously, per his LinkedIn, was “Development & Production – Power Rangers” before September 2019. Now it’s simply, “Assistant Brand Manager – Global Brand Development & Marketing.” Perhaps Strickland has moved away from the Power Rangers brand?
Whatever the case, it looks to be that the “smooth transition” has slowly but surely happened and Hasbro is letting the old Saban team go. This may be to make room for a whole group to take over and for now it looks like a whole new era of the Power Rangers franchise is coming. With a new movie on the way it may be one of the biggest changes yet.
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter! He also co-hosts a Robotech podcast, which covers the original series and the new comics. Give it a listen! Read more articles by him here!