While many older fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles won’t believe it until they see it, according to Paramount’s chief, Brian Robbins, the new Seth Rogen Ninja Turtles movie will kick off a franchise that will “work for kids, parents, Gen Z-ers and Millenials. Considering the strong opinions about any remakes and reboots of franchises that made their first screen appearance in the 80s and 90s, that is a strong statement to make and it will be interesting to see how well it ages over time.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are fondly remembered by many 30 to 40-year-olds as the 1987 animated TV series and a series of live-action movies from the early 1990s. Since then, there have been many other animated outings for the fab foursome, two Michael Bay-produced live-action movies that were better received by fans than critics, and a new animated movie heading to Netflix. Now Rogen’s version will be a CG-animated style similar to that in 2007’s TMNT, and while that will instantly put some fans off, Robbins seems pretty confident in the future of the Turtles. Speaking to Variety, he said:
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“It’s animated, and it goes back to the roots of the Turtles. Seth and his producing partner Evan Goldberg were brilliant choices because no one can tell stories about being teenagers better than those guys. They’re passionate and super nerdy about the Turtles. It’s going to work for kids, parents, Gen Z-ers and Millennials. We have plans to do multiple animated movies this way, but one day we might go back to a hybrid live-action version of the Turtles.”
Will Michael Bay Return to the Turtles Franchise?
Although Rogen’s list of previous movies, with his many mature and raunchy comedies, could seem to sit a little at ease with a franchise like the Ninja Turtles, the actor has made it quite apparent that he has a deep love of the franchise. As we have seen recently with Rob Zombie’s complete out-of-character turn in charge of the new Munsters movie, sometimes a passion project is what is needed for a franchise to hit the same spot as its original version. Robbins’s comments have suggested that Michael Bay may get a chance to return to the franchise and his live-action movies at some point, and while Bay himself had suggested that a new soft-reboot to his movies was already in development that could be further off than expected.
One of the main issues that has always haunted the Ninja Turtles franchise on screen is the relationship to the comics it originated in, which were much darker and more brutal than anything in any of the animated shows. Even when the 1990 movie was released with a more grounded vision than the cartoon series, there were complaints from parents who believed it was too violent. Whether Rogen can manage to bring something of the Eastman and Laird comics into this new movie is something that we will have to wait to find out, but from the initial images and designs seen so far, the animation doesn’t suggest that the movie will be much different in tone to what has already been seen in other iterations.