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Top 10 Actresses Who Should Play Rita Repulsa in the New Power Rangers Movie

14 Jan

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—I love me some Rita Repulsa.

So when I heard that Saban and Lionsgate were teaming up to bring a live-action Power Rangers movie to the big screen, my first thought was for my beloved empress of evil.  Like everybody else waiting for this movie, I started to think of what my dream cast would be – but then I kind of got stuck on Rita.

We already know which actors are going to be playing the Rangers themselves, so I wanted to share with you my top picks for Rita Repulsa—including the number one actress who I think should take on the role.

I wanted to note that I personally believe the role of Rita should be played by an Asian actress, however when compiling this speculative list I opened up the possibilities to all actresses. Rita is kind of a strange case because she was originally a character directly taken from the original Japanese footage and dubbed over. They eventually cast a new actress when they ran out of footage, but kept the dubbed over voice.

All of the actresses who have played Rita have been Asian and I feel that the producers of this movie should respect that in their casting decisions. However, I’m able to accept another actress as Rita, since the character herself is not technically Asian in origin—she’s a space alien whose brother is a skeleton and father is some kind of demon creature. As such, I cast a wider net when searching for the perfect Rita.

The many faces of Rita Repulsa

The many faces of Rita Repulsa

What to look for in a good Rita Repulsa

I don’t think I’m being melodramatic when I say that the right treatment of Rita could literally make or break this movie. As the movie’s villain she has to be threatening enough to create tension but also close enough to the source material to be familiar.

In the original TV show, Rita was sinister, irritable, flamboyant and funny. She openly reveled in being bad and causing pain with devilish glee. There are plenty of great character qualities for the producers of this movie to work with here.

So when casting my Rita, I kept things in perspective. I wanted an actress who could do the character justice, but update her for movie audiences. In fan casting Rita, I wanted someone audiences could believe as a threat worth imprisoning for ten thousand years, yet could still have a bit of fun with the role.

These ten actresses have the right combination of fierce, funny and frightening to pull off the character of Rita Repulsa.

10. Ming-Na Wen

Ming Na Wen

Photo Source: movieweb.com

Ming-Na Wen has plenty of experience playing heroes like Chun-Li and Mulan, but it’s her role as Agent Melinda May in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD that puts her in the running for Rita.  Agent May might be a hero, but Ming-Na plays her with such an icy coolness that you never know whose side she’s on. She’s perfected the art of freezing an entire room of people dead in their tracks with just a look—she could definitely play a would-be world conqueror like Rita Repulsa.

The only thing keeping Ming-Na Wen from being higher up on the list is that she works better with a dry sense of humor; we haven’t really seen her go completely nuts yet. She’d be a great choice for a serious Rita, but that’s not what we’re going for.

9. Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P Henson

Photo Source: eonline.com

You might be thinking that I only added Taraji P. Henson to this list based on her role as Cookie Lyons on the TV show Empire—and you’d basically be right. It’s not that I’m hopping on the Taraji P. bandwagon (okay, I am a little) but it’s because everything about the character of Cookie just screams Rita Repulsa to me. I mean, the scene in the first episode where she hits her son with a broom is exactly that kind of energy that would work for Rita. As Cookie, Henson is able to perfectly walk the line between fiery and vulnerable—her anger comes from years of imprisonment, which is something that would definitely translate to Rita.

But Taraji P. Henson’s connection with the character Cookie would also work against her as it’d be hard for audiences to forget about that role when she’s playing a character with a lot of similar personality traits. I also get the feeling that the actress is going to want to go after meatier roles now that she’s got the star power from Empire. She’s already been nominated for an Oscar before; I’m thinking she’s going to want to try for one again. And there’s no way Rita Repulsa is going to be the character to do that for her.

8. Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho

Photo Source: Sprint2thetable.com

 

I feel like Margaret Cho would have an absolute riot with this role. She’s a hilarious stand-up comedian with a lot of energy and a big ol’ mouth. I can easily imagine her screaming about her reoccurring headaches and beating her subjects with her magic wand. Margaret Cho would provide a great opportunity for this movie to have elements of camp and comedy, which just might be what it needs to be successful.

But the problem with Cho is that she doesn’t really work well as a global threat to humanity. I could easily see her playing a villain, don’t get me wrong, but I think if audience see a stand-up comedian coming out of a space dumpster they’re going to have a hard time taking anything that comes next seriously.

7. Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter

Photo Source: misscablackburn.blogspot.com/

 

Helena Bonham Carter is a total weirdo—and I mean that in the most loving way imaginable.  She’s got a thing for taking on twisted, dark, crazy characters like the infamous Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter movies.  She can be terrifying, unhinged and comical all at the same time, she’s the perfect triple threat to take on Rita Repulsa.

The only problem with Helena Bonham Carter, other than the fact that she’s not Asian, is that audiences seem to be getting a little fatigued by her whole dark and moody schtickt. It doesn’t help that she shows up in every movie her husband Tim Burton makes with Johnny Depp, and there haven’t been a lot of winners in that list lately.

6. Michelle Yeoh

Michelle Yeoh

Photo Source: renaud corlouer

Michelle Yeoh has international acclaim and an acting pedigree that includes hit movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha and Sunshine. She even holds the distinction of being a Bond Girl. She’s the type of actress you’d call if you want Rita to have some depth to her. She could make Rita seem powerful, intimidating and sympathetic all in one go.

So the biggest question is—where has she been lately? We haven’t seen much of her lately, although she is starring in the upcoming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Sword of Destiny for Netflix which will bring her back into the spotlight. And even if you ignore the fact that she may not have box office draw, she’s not really known for her loud, brash, funny characters. She’d be a no-nonsense Rita and I feel like Rita has to have at least some nonsense.

5. Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara

Photo Source: machetekillsmovie.tumblr.com/

Meanwhile, Sofia Vergara is pretty much all nonsense.  Mostly known for her role on the sitcom Modern Family, Vergara is a loud, expressive, animated comic actress—but she’s no stranger to kicking butt either. Her role in Machete Kills as the leader of a group of assassin prostitutes shows she has what it takes to play Rita—weird metallic bra and all.

But like Margaret Cho, Sofia Vergara might be a little too funny to pull off a serious Rita Repulsa. If the producers of this movie want to crank up the camp factor, then she’s a perfect choice, but it’ll take a lot for audiences to forget her comedic past.

4. Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett

Photo Source: Tumblr

Angela Bassett is a goddess—she could play this role in a heartbeat. You might think I’m basing this decision entirely on her role as voodoo queen Marie Laveau in American Horror Story: Coven—and I won’t lie, that role factors in heavily here. But she has an amazing body of work that proves she’s got the right stuff. I mean, her role as Amanda Waller was the best part of that shitty Green Lantern movie.

There’s almost nothing holding Angela Basset back from being the perfect Rita—she can be commanding, wild, scary and funny all at the same time. The only problem is that her humor tends to be a little more biting that we’re used to with Rita. Don’t get me wrong, Rita’s got attitude in spades, but Angela Basset could cut you with words while Rita would just call you an idiot and smack you with her wand.

3. Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton

Photo Source: femaledoctorwho.tumblr.com

Tilda Swinton is the shit you guys. I absolutely love her in everything and she’s great at disappearing into a role. She’d have a riot playing Rita Repulsa, I mean just check out her performance as the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe if you want to get an idea of what she’d do with a role like this.  Not only that, but she’s played a lot of great goofy characters in the past in movies like Snowpiercer and The Grand Budapest Hotel.  I just really want to see what she’d do with a character like this.

But there’s no way in hell she should be Rita—not after the whole recent debacle when she was cast as the Ancient One in Marvel’s Dr. Strange movie. The Ancient One is typically depicted as an Asian man and a lot of people were upset that a role was taken away from a POC actor to be given to a white woman. I don’t think she’d want to go through something like that again and she’s probably too wrapped up in Dr. Strange to even be a serious contender anyway.

2. Constance Wu

Constance Wu

Photo Source: deadline.com

I have to admit, I can’t take all the credit for this pick. I saw someone on Reddit name her as their ideal Rita and I just had to steal it. Sorry person who I’m totally stealing this pick from, but you were so right about how Constance Wu has the right sense of humor to portray Rita. If you haven’t seen her on Fresh off the Boat yet, you need to stop and go watch it right now, it’s on Hulu damn it!  She can be playfully icy in such a way that would make for an excellent Rita.

The only thing keeping Constance Wu out of the number one spot is the fact that she’s just a little too adorable to be menacing. There’s a great scene in the Halloween episode of Fresh off the Boat where her character is confronting some teen hoodlums in the middle of the street. She’s hilariously furious and it’s one of the funniest scenes on the show so far, but it makes me feel like her portrayal of Rita would be just a hair shy of actually intimidating.

1. Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu

Photo Source: xavierpop.com

Look, I’ve spent a lot of time and energy researching the perfect Rita Repulsa and Lucy Liu is the best pick. She has all the criteria and then some.  She can be campy, badass, funny, icy, commanding, threatening and all at the same time.  If you don’t believe me, just take a look at her credentials. Her iconic role as O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill is a perfect example of her ability to be kind of campy and badass all at once. Charlie’s Angels is another film where she’s been able to flex both her humor muscles and her action muscles at the same time.

I think she’d have a lot of fun in this role and she’d bring a little star power boost to the cast, who so far are all young actors and unknowns. I could see her menacing a bunch of teenagers, I really could, in a way that would be fun but also have some high stakes tension and drama.

So there you have it. I’m interested to see who they’ll actually pick to play Rita in the upcoming Power Rangers movie.  If it’s anybody off of this list I’m going to personally take credit.

Who do you think should play Rita? Leave a comment below with your top picks!

 

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What I Learned From Taking a Year off From Comics (And Why I Wish I Hadn’t)

12 Jan

Which is worse—moving in the wrong direction or not moving at all?

It’s a question that I recently heard on an episode of Scriptnotes, an amazing podcast about screenwriting (and just writing in general) and I’ve been mulling it over in my head ever since. The reason why the question struck such a chord in me is because I feel like I just spent the past year not moving at all, in lieu of accidentally moving in the wrong direction and now that I’m on the other side of it I have to wonder if it did me any good.

Probably not. But at the same time, it wasn’t completely worthless.

It’s not like I went into 2015 thinking “yeah, I deserve a break.” In fact, it was quite the opposite. I remember clearly what my emotional state was last New Year’s Eve. I had big things brewing, big opportunities on the horizon and a lot of lofty ideas about how I wasn’t even going to be the same person in a year’s time. Only one of those things ended up being true and not in the way I was imagining.

So why did I fall off the face of the comic world for a year? The answer is something that I think all comic book creators go through at some point in their careers.

happy-new-year-crappy-old-year

The Little Red Hen Syndrome

As a comic book writer, I often liken myself to the story of The Little Red Hen.  If you’ve never read the story as a kid, the Cliff Notes version is that this little red hen wants to make some bread, so she goes around the farm asking the other animals to help her out. She’s all up in their face like “Who will help me make this bread?” And nobody wants to help her.

So she goes about all of the labor by her own damn self. I mean, this chicken is straight up planting wheat for this bread. She’s harvesting and milling her own grains and shit. And every step of the way she asks the other animals if they want to help her out, but they don’t. In the end, she makes this delicious bread and all the animals want to eat it, but she’s like “Fuck off, this is my bread, I’m the only one who worked for it.”

I always liked this fable because it shows how something as simple and ordinary as a loaf of bread requires time, patience and hard work to create.  Before you can even make the dough a bunch of things have to happen: wheat has to grow, eggs have to be laid, yeast has to—yeast up or whatever it does. And as a comic book writer, I often feel like that little red hen, running around all like “Who will help me make this comic?”

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What Comic Book Artists Need to Know About the Writers They Work With

8 Apr

Comic book artists deserve to be paid.

But here’s the hard truth nobody wants to ever deal with—so do comic book writers.

Lately I’ve watched as the conversation about paying comics book artists has shifted into a dangerous direction, with artists essentially declaring that they’re most important member of the team while simultaneously dismissing the contributions that writers bring to the table.

And as much as it bothers me, I understand why it’s gotten to this point, because I think artists get the wrong impression about what comic book writers actually do and what we have to go through to work in this industry.

This is in no way my counterattack against artists (though ya’ll have done plenty of attacking on writers lately) instead it’s me doing my thing—writing about the world the way I see it. And I hope that by sharing my perspective with my fellow comic book creators, we can all get back to making comics together like the badass super teams we are, instead of the divided front we’ve created recently.

my-so-called-comic-book-writer-lifeA little about my perspective

So I don’t know how other comic book writers do it and I don’t even know if I’m doing this right. All I can do is share with you my story thus far to give you a better understanding of what I’ve had to go through to work in this industry. I’m not saying my story is typical, just that it’s mine. Continue reading

K is for Komics 2.0 – Now with a store and header sass!

2 Jun header sass

So you might have noticed a fresh coat of paint on the place– it was just one of those moments where you look at your blog and go “no, tear it all down.” The new style of K is for Komics is designed to represent my identity as a writer using text as a visual component.

header sass

An example of some of the “header sass” you might randomly encounter on the site.

There’s a new feature for you to play around with, I’m calling it “header sass.” Depending on your web browser, each time you visit a new page, a randomly selected sassy subtitle will appear under the K is for Komics header. There’s 20 in all, so come back often and see if you can catch them all.

But the best feature of all is the fact that the K is for Komics online store is finally open. So now you can buy my comic books and even buttons from the comfort of your own home. You might notice there’s even a new product up in the store– Saturday Morning Snack Attack! vol. 2 is now for sale.  I’ll be spilling the beans all about this new anthology tomorrow, so come back and find out!

10 Popular Characters We Probably Won’t See in “Avengers 2”

2 Jul She-Hulk

Movie Avengers AssembleEver since The Avengers made movie history (and a kajillion dollars in revenue) it seems like every comic fan with a keyboard has put in his or her two cents about which characters we can expect to see for the sequel. These lists are filled with the usual suspects—the most popular and longest-lasting characters to grace the pages of any Avengers comics.

The problem is—from a logistical standpoint, a lot of these characters just aren’t probable for new recruits the next time around. As much as fans might be clamoring to see these characters join the ranks, don’t expect these ten Avengers to show up on the big screen any time soon.

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Five Reasons Why I Love Rita Repulsa

27 Mar Rita Gets Crunk

So I thought long and hard about what my first official blog post should be about. Should I discuss the trials and tribulations of being a self-published comic book writer? Should I discuss my theories and opinions of the latest comic books and films? While I pondered I looked up from the screen, hoping to be struck with divine inspiration, I spotted my Rita Repulsa figure looking down at me. Her hands were in the thumbs-up position as if to say–

Power Rangers Rita Repulsa

Image Source: Myspace

“After 10,000 years I’m free—it’s time to conquer your blog!”

For those of you who didn’t grow up in the 90s, Rita Repulsa is the main antagonist from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rita is an evil sorceress who was imprisoned in a space dumpster and left to rot on the moon, until some astronauts disturbed her slumber. When she woke up she took one look around and said “Fuck it, I’m taking over.”

I’ve always had a special place in my geeky heart for Power Rangers and Rita is my all-time number one homegirl. If I ever decided to do drag, I’d be Rita Repulsa—no punny name necessary, no elaborate drag outfit, I’d literally just become Rita.

So you might be wondering why such a throwaway character from my childhood has stuck with me for so long and why I continue to love her. Well I can’t give you one good reason— but I can give you five.

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B is for Blog

25 Mar

When it comes to creating comics, sometimes it feels like the writer gets the short end of the stick. We can keep writing scripts and working in the background, but our efforts often go unnoticed because writing isn’t as visual as art. While comic artists can sell sketches and commissions at comic conventions, writers can’t exactly offer to writescripts for their fans.

The same goes with promoting their work. While artists can have blogs and Tumblrs and Facebook albums full of sketches and thumbnails, us writers don’t exactly go posting every creative  thought that comes into our head.

Oh wait. We do– it’s called blogging.

So, in an effort to make sure my plate is always full and to keep people from thinking I’m dead when I don’t have a new book to publish, I’ve decided to keep up a blog on this site.

Stay tuned for more details!

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