It was recently announced that a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles CGI animated reboot was in the works with Nickelodeon and Point Grey Pictures. Seth Rogen along with Evan Goldberg are attached to the project in the capacity of producers. In an interview with Collider, Rogen explained how their latest adaptation of the TMNT franchise will use the 'teenage' aspect of the characters as a jumping-off point.
"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."
So it seems the upcoming feature will draw more than a little inspiration from classic teen movies of yesteryear. Does that mean audiences will get to see the turtles embark on a wacky quest filled with hijinks to lose their virginities before the end of the school year, à la American Pie, The Girl Next Door or Superbad? Will the turtles enter a karate tournament against Shredder's clan, where the only way to win is by using the secret crane kick technique taught to them by Master Splinter? Only time will tell.
A more teen-friendly approach to the story of the turtles might be just what the franchise needs at this point. Michael Bay and co. tried to give the mutant ninjas the 'Hollywood extravaganza' treatment back in 2014 and 2016, complete with giant action set pieces, an obligatory world-ending threat, and more main characters than the script could accommodate.
But the lukewarm response to the two live-action movies reminded the film industry that, much like Batman works best in stories dealing with street-level crimes in Gotham instead of fighting off otherworldly parademons alongside the Justice League, the turtles are also at their best when dealing with lower, city-level stakes and relying on the chemistry between the characters and their interpersonal relationships to drive the plot.
As Seth Rogen states, his experience working on teen movies and comedies make him well-suited to mining the chemistry between the four turtles, their master Splinter, and their allies. The fact that the reboot will also be CGI instead of live-action will reduce costs, put less pressure on the creative team, and follow in the footsteps of the CGI-animated TMNT movie released by Imagi Animation Studio back in 2007, which went on to become a favorite among audiences.
Considering how well well the popularity of TMNT has endured for decades despite frequently disappointing movie and tv show outings, it would only take one really well made and properly marketed new film to put 'Turtle Power' back on the pop culture map. This story arrives from our friends at Collider.