The fight for Adi Shankar’s epic Power Rangers fan film should sound familiar to those acquainted with the world of fan media. Devoted fans have been creating fan films, trailers, and other unauthorized art based on properties they don’t own for decades. In recent years, the advent of the internet has sped up the spread and expanded the scale of these projects. The response from the companies that hold the rights to these iconic characters and stories has been…inconsistent at best. Some amazing films have been shut down by the powerful corporations who own the rights, and others have been allowed to flourish. In the case of Power Rangers, Saban is probably worried that Shankar’s film will overshadow or distract from the authorized version currently being developed by Lionsgate.
Today we took a dive into the world of fan films and collected our favorites:
If you’re a 90’s kid pining for Power Rangers than chances are you also have fond memories of Mortal Kombat. The almost comically gruesome fighting game has been through more incarnations than we can count, but its core characters are still fan favorites. Most of us can still remember the button combos for Sub-Zero’s ice blast or Sonya Blade’s bicycle kick from muscle memory. That’s why when gaming focused MCN Machinima created a fan film for the game, it received such rave reviews that it spawned an ongoing series.
Of course not everyone was a Mortal Kombat fan. For some the fighting game of choice was Capcom’s Street Fighter series which pitted fighters from all around world against each other. Armed with cartoonish powers from stretchable arms, to psychic blasts, to electrified skin, these characters would duke out it for the title of champion. Like Mortal Kombat, the expansive cast of iconic characters was just waiting for a loving fan adaptation, which it received from the team behind Street Fighter: Legacy.
There have been countless attempts to bring Batman to the big and small screen, but one of his most popular companion characters typically gets the short end of the stick in these adaptations. Nightwing, the alterego of former Batman sidekick Dick Grayson, has consistently been one of DC Comics most beloved characters. He has all the skills of his mentor, but instead of dark and brooding he’s fun loving and carefree. Despite all his charm, Dick Grayson has yet to grace our screens in a meaningful way. Danny Shepherd and Jeremy Le of the YouTube channel Ismahawk have given us a perfect example of how awesome a Nightwing TV series could be.
This pilot for “Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope,” a web series adaptation of “DBZ: The History of Trunks” series by Robot Underdog and Machinima, has only been online since Tuesday and already it has more than 4 million views. This impressive action-packed trailer is intended as a pitch to get the rights for the rest of the web series or potentially larger projects — we’ll see if its fandom support and high production quality will convince the “Dragon Ball Z” franchise.