The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are only still teenagers in canon, having been hot media stars since 1987 and introduced in comic books three years before that. Despite pushing forty, Leo, Don, Raph and Mike still remain some of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world. Ever since Nickelodeon acquired the property in 2012 they’ve kept it active, launching two long-running series to date…the first self-titled, the second called “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and animated in 2D.
Their latest TMNT project, though, will be 3D CGI again and this time it’s meant for the big screen. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who together run the production company Point Grey Pictures, have been put in charge of a new TMNT movie from Nickelodeon and Paramount. The film will be directed by Jeff Rowe (Gravity Falls, Connected) from a screenplay written by Brendan Oâ€™Brien (Neighbors: Sorority Rising).
Those of you with extensive knowledge of franchise history might be saying “What, again?” A CG Ninja Turtles movie simply called “TMNT” was released in 2007. However this is far from the Turtles’ first venture to the big screen. With existing movies based around animation, live-action AND puppetry, no matter which medium we were talking about, we’d have to say “again”….though I suppose stop-motion hasn’t been tried yet.
Jim Henson’s studio made the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie possible, released in the spring of 1990 (the making of that movie is a fascinating story, if you’ve got the time). A couple of sequels with diminishing returns followed. After a long absence, the aforementioned 2007 CG movie appeared, followed by a pair of mangled Michael Bay takes on the franchise. Not every TMNT movie has been great, but there have been some high moments.
There is no release window as of yet for the new Ninja Turtles movie. A completely different animated movie, meant for TV and an extension of the Rise TV show, is also in production.