Netflix’s Might Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always, a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers reunion celebrating the franchise’s 30th anniversary, will feature a different version of the Green Ranger following the tragic passing of original Tommy Oliver actor Jason David Frank at the age of 49. Though anniversary special episodes are common in the Power Rangers franchise, Netflix’s Power Rangers reunion is set to be even more important. Power Rangers: Once & Always will be the first proper Mighty Morphin Power Rangers reunion since the original show ended in 1996.
While the Green Ranger was not part of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers lineup, Tommy Oliver joined the story after just a few episodes for “Green With Evil.” This multiple-episode arc introduced the evil Green Ranger created and controlled by Rita Repulsa. Tommy later broke free of Rita Repulsa’s magic and joined Zordon’s team as the first sixth Ranger. From villain to hero, the Green Ranger is arguably one of the most iconic Power Rangers in the franchise’s history. As such, it is no surprise that at least a version of the Green Ranger will appear in Netflix’s Power Rangers reunion.
At Least 4 Characters Could Be Power Rangers: Once & Always’ Green Ranger
Filming for Netflix’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always began in the latter half of 2021, before the tragic passing of Jason David Frank. At the time, the original Green Ranger actor was not listed as part of the returning Mighty Morphin Power Rangers lineup. Though it was possible Jason David Frank filmed a Tommy Oliver cameo for the Power Rangers 30th anniversary, it ended up not happening. There was also the possibility that Adam Park, played by Johnny Yong Bosch, could become the Mighty Morphin Green Ranger for the Netflix special.
Adam was the Zeo Green Ranger and the Turbo Green Ranger now that Tommy had become the Red Ranger for both seasons. Given that Johnny Yong Bosch’s Adam is returning for the Netflix Power Rangers reunion as part of the mysterious SPA, it would make sense for Adam to be the Mighty Morphin Green Ranger in Once & Always. Another possibility is that Matt, Tommy’s successor as the Green Ranger after Power Rangers’ Shattered Grid event, makes his live-action debut in the Power Rangers 30th-anniversary special. Last, the Power Rangers reunion’s Green Ranger could be J.J. Oliver, Tommy’s son, if time travel is somehow involved.
Power Rangers 30th Anniversary’s Green Ranger Will Be Bittersweet
Netflix’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always is set to be an emotional reunion bringing back part of the original cast to once again save the world. It’s difficult to imagine a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers celebration without the Green Ranger, as the first Evil Power Ranger turned into a hero remains one of the most iconic characters in the franchise. Still, seeing any version of the Green Ranger after the loss of Jason David Frank will be bittersweet. Whatever way the Power Rangers 30th anniversary incorporates the Green Ranger, it will surely reference how important the bearer of the Dragon Zord dagger was to the Power Rangers universe.
Why It’s Not Jason David Frank
However, there is actually a reason why Jason David Frank was not in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always. He was never going to be in the reunion movie, and it was his choice to move on. While some fans might be upset at the Power Rangers franchise, Frank said he was finished with the entire franchise, and he didn’t want to return. Before his death, Frank revealed that he refused to participate in the reunion movie, saying he had done enough with the franchise and wouldn’t cover his tattoos (via Facebook Live).
Instead, Frank said he wanted to make his own movie, Legend of the White Dragon, instead. He began working on that movie a decade ago, and it will finally get released later in 2023. In that movie, Frank plays Erik Reed aka the White Dragon, a man who has been a fugitive for three years and returns to his home to protect it once more while trying to clear his name.
As the new trailer showed, several originals will return for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always, including David Yost’s Blue Ranger and Walter E. Jones Black Ranger. Also coming back is Steve Cardenas’ second Red Ranger, Catherine Sutherland’s second Pink Ranger, and Karan Ashley’s second Yellow Ranger. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always hits Netflix on April 19, 2023.