Original Pink ‘Power Ranger’ Amy Jo Johnson Writing New Comic Book Series: ‘It’s My Version’ (EXCLUSIVE)
It’s been 30 years since “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” premiered, but Amy Jo Johnson, who played the original Pink Ranger, isn’t finished with the franchise quite yet.
After raising $250,000 in less than 24 hours via a Kickstarter campaign for the “Power Rangers: A 30th Anniversary Comic Book Celebration,” Johnson will write a brand new “Power Rangers” comic book series with publisher Boom Studios, Variety can exclusively announce.
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Debuting the series next year, Johnson collaborated with her partner and director Matt Hotson to co-write it. She recalls coming up with the idea before the pandemic hit in 2020. “I was daydreaming about it and mentioned it to my boyfriend, Matt. He said, ‘Why don’t you try to write it as a comic book?'” Johnson tells Variety. “We had all the time on our hands, so we daydreamed up this entire comic book series knowing the 30th anniversary was coming.”
The new comic series is something that Johnson has been elated about for quite some time. “It has been so hard to sit on this and not talk about it for a year — three, really,” Johnson says. And she promises that the new series would be “different” from the original, “in the sense that it’s my version.”
For inspiration, she went back and watched the original episodes — for the first time. “I honestly had never watched [‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’],” Johnson says.
After leaving the series in 1995, Johnson says she “just moved on” from “Power Rangers” and had no idea about the fan outrage that ensued. “I didn’t even know they were [upset]. There was no internet, there was no social media.”
She says working on the set of “Power Rangers” had its flaws. The series was non-union and she made roughly $700 an episode. Oblivious to unions and the benefits that she could have received, Johnson admits she was “just excited to be working as an actor. I was getting paid more than I’ve ever been paid on a job a week.” She adds, “I matured, grew older and found out what was safe and normal.”
Post-“Power Rangers,” she acted in “Susie Q,” “Perfect Body,” “Felicity” and “Flashpoint.” For the last 10 years, she has turned her attention to behind the camera, writing and directing four short films, two feature films and made her directorial debut on the CW’s “Superman and Lois.”
One production she did not join, however, was Netflix’s upcoming “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always” reunion film. When Johnson’s original “Power Rangers” co-stars Walter Emanuel Jones and David Yost joined the cast, fans speculated about why she was not a part of the film. Johnson took to Twitter to address these claims, revealing that her decision had nothing to do with money.
Speaking with Variety, Johnson reveals, “There were a bunch of different factors that came into play. One of them [being] I was working on other projects, and I also have a 14-year-old…I stopped acting and switched my focus to writing [and] directing almost 10 years ago. I can give you a list of excuses.”
She adds, “It just didn’t even occur to me [to join the reunion] because I was so focused on this comic book and telling this story.”
While Johnson might not have said yes to the “Power Rangers” reunion movie, it’s clear that the franchise still holds a special place in her heart. Jason David Frank was one of Johnson’s original co-stars, and a dear friend who died in November 2022. “JDF was like family,” she says. “The whole franchise will always be very special to me. I can’t wait to see it.”
For now, she revels in the excitement that her fans will get to experience her new comic series. “This is my thank you, this is my love letter to the fans,” she says. “It’s just been incredible to have these kids who are now adults support me through all of [my career] changes.”
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