The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brand has been alive and thriving for years now. Comics, shows, merchandise and, of course, feature films. There was a pretty significant gap in the wide release department between 1993’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III and 2007’s TMNT, but since then, we’ve been getting a new Ninja Turtles movie fairly regularly. Paramount Pictures went big in 2014 with their live-action, motion capture reboot, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While that film did wind up earning a sequel, when 2016’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows only took in $245.6 million on a reported $135 million production budget, that seemed to spell the end of that iteration of the franchise. But, this is Ninjas Turtles we’re talking about here! There had to be another go.
Sure enough, in June of 2018, news broke that Paramount was working on another Ninja Turtles movie with the Platinum Dunes team – Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller. However, in June of 2020 we got word that the plan was actually to make a CGI reboot with Nickelodeon and Point Grey Pictures, which is overseen by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. While chatting with Rogen for his upcoming HBO Max release, American Pickle, I asked him what it is about his Ninja Turtles movie that’ll make it stand out from the rest. Here’s what he said:
“As a lifelong fan of Ninja Turtles, weirdly the ‘Teenage’ part of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was always the part that stuck out to me the most. And as someone who loves teenage movies, and who’s made a lot of teenage movies, and who literally got their start in their entire profession by writing a teenage movie, the idea of kind of honing in on that element was really exciting to us. I mean, not disregarding the rest, but really using that as kind of a jumping off point for the film.”
As a diehard Ninja Turtles fan, I’ll take any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles adaptation I can get. But, given the strength of the coming-of-age films in Rogen’s filmography, the idea of him really embracing the “teenage” quality of the characters seems like a promising route to take, especially when the 2014 and 2016 movies had a grittier feel to them.