The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are all set to return courtesy of Superbad team Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and now, several character descriptions have emerged offering an insight into their plans for the legendary gang of crimefighting reptiles. Rogen and Goldberg's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot is being made in conjunction with Nickelodeon and Point Grey Pictures and will be a CGI animated reboot of the popular franchise.
Beginning with Leonardo, who is often depicted as being the leader of the group, the character has been described as male, aged 13-16, any ethnicity, and a (V.O.) LEAD.
"The team leader. Leo is strictly business, all killer no filler - except when he's boasting and describing himself with dumb phrases like "all killer no filler." He cares about keeping the "team" on mission, and tells himself that his brothers would be lost without him. He's not the strongest (Ralph) or the smartest (Donnie), or the funniest (Mikey), but he's the hardest working turtle boy and he's proud of it. His brothers can get annoyed by his do-gooder attitude and the lectures that come with it, even when they know he's right. Leo's biggest fears are his brothers realizing that he needs them more than they need him."
Next is Raphael, who so often bumps heads with his team leader brother. Much like his sibling, he is described as male, 13-16, any ethnicity, and also a (V.O.) LEAD.
"The hot head. Raph likes to break s**t. Whether it's with his fists or someone else's fists as he throws them through a glass window. Ralph tends to react emotionally when he's overwhelmed, but he's actually super self-aware and working on it. With his hands in his pockets, crossed arms, and sullen face, he can come across as a little brooding. But beneath his impenetrable exterior is a soft, sensitive turtle boy who's just looking for someone to open up to. Ralph, who would hate ANY authority figure, resents Leo's leadership and thinks he should be in charge. His secrete shame? He knows deep down he wouldn't know how to lead the team if it ever came to it."
Fan-favorite turtle, Michelangelo will also be a male, the same age, any ethnicity, and a (V.O.) LEAD, with the description adding substance to the character's notoriously laid-back attitude.
"The goofball. With rare exception - takes nothing seriously. It could come across as aloofness or idiocy, but it actually comes from a place of wisdom and self-confidence. (knowing himself?) Mikey has his priorities in order, and at the top of the list is enjoying life and living in the present. He loves people and is endlessly curious, which leads to him having long conversations with complete strangers. He's that friend you tell your entire life story within minutes of meeting. He might not be good at martial arts training, or waking up on time, or even hygiene, but he's an endless well of positivity that his brothers often take for granted. Mikey gets teased the most by his brothers, and even though he always laughs it off. Deep down it gets to him."
Last but by no means least is the genius of the group, Donatello. All the basics remains the same (male, aged 13-16, any ethnicity (V.O.) LEAD), with the description likening him to Matt Damon from the 1997 Oscar winner Good Will Hunting.
"The intellectual. Feels like he's Matt Damon in Goodwill Hunting. He is made fun of by his brothers for being academic. They acknowledge his smarts are useful but don't appreciate it as much as he feels he deserves. His intelligence has its downsides though. Sometimes his intellectual self-assuredness can come across as arrogance, and his extreme pragmatism sometimes reads as coldness. It's not that he doesn't care, his brain is just thinking so many steps ahead about such complicated stuff that he often finds himself paralyzed with indecision. He can talk himself into something just as easily as he can talk himself out. Donnie knows he's smart, but his secret fear he'd never admit out loud is that if he was ever around people at his level, he worries he wouldn't be able to keep up. And if he's not as smart as he thought... what is he?"
These fairly detailed descriptions perfectly reflect what fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and general audiences know about the characters and have even gone some way to fill in gaps and go even further where their characterization and motivations are concerned.
Since the announcement of a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was made, Seth Rogen has provided some information regarding his and Evan Goldberg's approach the adapting the property, revealing that they 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," Rogen explained when discussing what drew him to the project.
"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," he continued. !I mean, not disregarding the rest, but really using that as kind of a jumping off point for the film."
Based on these descriptions of the main four, Seth Rogen is clearly sticking to his plan of emphasising the adolescent nature of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and it sounds like fans can rest easy with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot now being handled by a safe pair of hands.
Brian Robbins, President, Kids & Family for ViacomCBS clearly thinks so anyway, saying at the time of the movie's announcement that "Adding Seth, Evan and James' genius to the humor and action that's already an integral part of TMNT is going to make this a next-level reinvention of the property. I'm looking forward to see what they do, and I know that Ramsey Naito and her team are excited to take the Nick Animation Studio into another great direction with their first-ever CG-animated theatrical."
Franky, no movie based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property has ever lived up to the 1990 effort, but it sure sounds like Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are putting in the effort to ensure their take on the heroes in a half-shell has a fighting chance. This comes to us from The Illuminerdi.