‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot To Be An Origin Story

Published 6 years ago by , Updated October 15th, 2012 at 10:26 am,

teenage mutant ninja turtles live action remake Ninja Turtles Reboot To Be An Origin Story

Back in May, 300 and Superman Returns producer Scott Mednick gave us some early details on the upcoming live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. He revealed things such as the fact that it will definitely be live-action, that they’re using the original Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird comics as a starting point (citing them as, “the best source material”), and they’re trying to bring a whole new generation into the Turtles universe.

Expanding on the latter, Mednick has said the new movie will feature the origin of our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Mednick recently spoke to Mania about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, specifically about such things as bringing a new audience up to speed with the TMNT universe and how the Turtles will look in the live-action/CGI movie. Here’s some of what he had to say:

We are intent on re-telling the origin, as it was in Batman, as it was in Superman, frankly as it was in Spider-Man, to tell the origin story. We have an entire new generation of fans who really don’t know the full back story.

You have a much more sophisticated audience [nowadays]. Even the younger kids are more sophisticated by the information they receive. Things have become a little darker and a little edgier, just in general. Certainly as filmmakers the technology has come so far. It really gives us an opportunity to revisit the material and come at it, hopefully, in a new dramatic way, from a filmmaking standpoint, and honor the old, and bring in the new.

We want the Turtles to be real. We want them to be in the movie, not Gollumed… We’re excited about the opportunity to use all of these new technologies to give the experience that you really believe the turtles are real, they’re teenagers, they have great personalities, not guys in suits.

For the rest of what Mednick had to say about the live action Ninja Turtles movie – which includes comparisons between it and the upcoming Where The Wild Things Are – you can head over to Mania.

tmnt original movie Ninja Turtles Reboot To Be An Origin Story

Although I like the whole idea of using today’s technology to give the new Ninja Turtles a cool look (although I don’t know about Mednick’s comment about Gollum), I’m still not sold on the idea of the new movie being live-action. The three Ninja Turtles live-action films they made in the 90′s (with silly looking men-in-suits) were cheesy and certainly worlds away from the kickass Ninja Turtles I know I, at least, want to see on the big-screen.

I will say this is a situation where I wouldn’t mind the movie being an origin story, simply because they kind of have to do that with TMNT if it’s going to be a reboot, don’t they? Look at the wonders it did for Batman when he began! Although it’s doubtful, here’s hoping this new TMNT movie follows in Batman’s footsteps.

What do you think about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot being an origin story? Do you think live action/CGI is the way to go?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is currently in the early development stages (no writer or director attached yet) and doesn’t yet have a release date.

Source: Mania

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  1. “I’m still not sold on the idea of the new movie being live-action.”

    I agree…I think this would work out better if it was animated like the previous film.

    • I think the movie will suck if its not real guys. thats what made the movies as a kid so great. the fact that they were realy there and not some kind of blue screened affect. make new suits. make them buff, make them kick a**. But stick to the original idea. ANd give them the dam turtle van in this one

  2. I thought the first TMNT movie was quite good. The martial arts was great (for the time) and the suits were well done. The next two were trash, but the CGI one of a couple years ago was very entertaining.

    I will be interested to see what they can do. If, and I mean IF, they can acquire some of the tech supposedly being used in Avatar, then, well …

  3. “Not Gollumed?”

    Gollum made a character as real as CGI could get… for the time being.

    I don’t know what he means by that either.

  4. @Phil G,

    I know, I think that comment may have just been something he said off the cuff and didn’t really mean it. But if he did, that was pretty dumb – dissing the CGI of CGI at a peak? Wow.

  5. Should I even comment…

    I’m not against “rebooting”, as-long as they make it more real it seems to work, and as-long as they DON’T make another crap animation like the last one and none of that time, future crap that’s on TV.


    “The three Ninja Turtles live-action films they made in the 90’s (with silly looking men-in-suits) were cheesy and certainly worlds away from the kickass Ninja Turtles”

    You have no idea what your talking about.
    firstly a few questions for curiosity —
    How old where you when they came out?
    Did you watch them or where you raised on them?

    I was raised on them so yes I love them in there original format not the crap there producing now. and the live-action is still one of the best adaptations I have ever seen to this day.

    I will now be searching for them on DVD, hopefully there out there.

    And I hope you keep us informed on this project.

  6. @aGeneral,

    You don’t think those men-in-suit turtles were silly looking? And I’m 20 FYI, and yes I was brought up on the Turtles.

  7. This has some potential. I grew up on the Turtles and as much I liked the most recent movie (TMNT), I would love to see a return to live-action. And since a significant amount of time has passed in-between movies I think an origin story is in order. They need the Shredder back

  8. The first live action movie was partially based on the Eastman and Laird Source material, and was good. The following two movies were not, and they were bad. (Vanilla Ice!)

    If you can find the original graphic novels of the Turtles I highly recommend them. They all wore red, and were not constantly eating pizza and yelling Cowa Bunga! The original comics were more suited for adults, and had well defined characters and good stories.

    As with all movies these days, regardless of the directors promise, they will stray too far from the source material and leave us with a movie for the lowest common denominator. (Transformers anyone?)

    Why cant directors just stick with what gave them the opportunity to make the film in the first place?

  9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 1990 was awesome, and if they make something like that again I can’t wait.
    I think the idea of animated movie adaptions are boring, it’s like having a tv movie, and CGI is getting lame.
    A lot of movies from that time were cheesy, Ninja Turtles did what it set out to do perfectly.
    The first movie is dated at most.
    I find a lot of the humor in it refreshing (cept for the Casey and April fights)
    No one looked at that movie when it came out and said “those men-in-suit turtles were silly looking” those were good Special effects for the time, and I think it could look even better now, as long as they follow the first, don’t dumb it down for the audience, AND Leave out the CGI! Be creative take the time to make the effects special, not mediocre.

  10. nah i agree, 22 grew up on them too, the live action- For its time- and for its audience was so cool..

    i can still go back and watch em though and they still pretty good.
    and the detail those suits gave and presented should be APPLAUDED. to show any emotion, humor for the time we’re thinking of, its just not given enough praise.

    thinking about it now compared to today is not fair at all. if you can do a live action film, AND TAKE TDK suit design ( basically it let bale move a lot more, react, to embody a more realistic fighting take in martial arts) so that the turtles move fast as hell, quick fighting kinda like old star wars compared to ep 1 than this could be VERY COOL.

    Sad though cause i feel this film has left our generation. I cant see this not being aimed primarily at kids younger (way younger) than me lol. theyre teenage turtles, who are also ninjas, and love pizza.

  11. The first Turtles film was genuinely good, and actually quite dark. And I don’t think the suits were ‘silly looking’ at all, they worked just fine. The mouths didn’t quite move realistically when they talked, but I’m sure they could improve on that now.

    It would be quite refreshing if they used similar suits now, with animatronics etc, but CGI would probably look equally as good – it’s just a style choice really, both technologies have come a long way.

    They should have that brain thing (Krang?) in it. Don’t know if he was in the comics or not, but he hasn’t been in any of the movies yet…

  12. Personally I always thought the first two live action movies of TMNT were good, but the third one I hated. As for guys-in-suits… considering the technologies of the time (1990s) I think they did an excellent job without going too far overboard with the cheesiness. The animated cartoons I hated though, and the recent 3D Animated film would have been fine on its own but it certainly was odd to watch knowing of the live action movies before it.

    To me, TMNT II was probably the pinnacle of the story telling, but definitely different than say the graphic novels. TMNT II live action and the graphic novels are the version of TMNT that I remember… everything else is just a poor imitation.

  13. @ Ross

    Absolutely not especially at my age in school(I’m 26 now) maybe it was bigger here in Australia, I remember our schools hallways lined with posters and going on an excursion just to see the movie, everyone had masks and swards and was hitting each other that was some of the most fun we ever had.

    I went to Youtube to watch some of the movie and I must say it definitely typified the 90′s, the whole men in suits just made the Turtles real and as a kid seeing a cartoon in real-life was the best thing you could get.

    But I did just see it on Youtube and I guess it could benefit from a modernizing as-long as they don’t do another cg movie or a “Yoda”, which only leaves men in suits.

  14. The only problem with suits is that they are hot and uncomfortable, and could eventually lead cost more due to wear and tear especially doing the martial arts. At the time TMNT movies came out they looked tight in their suites, and Ernie Reyes Jr. (as the body for Donatello) could still whip ass in a turtle suite. I have TMNT 1 and 2 (3 is not worthy to purchase), as with age its easier to see things you may not have noticed before, like how soft and flat the shells really were lol, and the side zipper on the suites.


    never been to Australia, but Im sure oyu can get the DVDs from Amazon, Ebay, FYE, or some mainstream movie store, even if u have to special order it.

    @ Ross Miller

    They should jsut do it how they Did Dr. manhattan(and many other films_ – Get a Mocap Set up on the Actors and CGi the turtles in if they want CGI after they’ve got the motion for the scenes they need, but a 100% CGI movie I feel would lead to it being too kiddy and wont really be dark enough

  15. I am 100% for a new TMNT live action movie. The less CGI the better. Movies that rely too heavily on CGI are usually huge disappointments and creatively lazy ( with very few exceptions). And as far as the old movies are concerned, The first one was perfect for what it was when it came out and still is the hands down THE BEST TMNT movie that has been made. It was the closest to the comic book any of them were, dark and had real depth to it, and get over it- the suits were awesome for the time! I remember being a kid a freaking out when I saw that movie in the theatres. The second was also pretty good (save for the vanilla ice part). The third movie when they decided not to go with the jim Henson company.. oooh really bad.

    For those of you who are for that crap CGI movie that came out… You shouldnt have a voice in this matter. The plot was terrible and if it wasnt for that fight scen between Raph and Leo the movie was worthless and just as good as the third movie. The turtles looked more like frogs for petes sake the CGI was terrible… And April as a fighter?… Really?

  16. i thought the first two live action movies were awsome, shoot, i just watched 1 and 2 last night.#3 was a load of crap. but i hope they do use men in suits again, especially with todays tech. except, dont use too much light in it.

    #1 had awsome lighting, it reminds me of a comic book, just like Sin City did. although #2 went with a more humorous approach, i still got into it.

    i know i like to see more of Leonardo, more fight scenes and The Shredder. and i hope they use their weapons more too.

  17. no animation….TMNT was classic part 2 classic and i am pretty sure no one saud they were cheesy until the 3rd segment suits!! how is the suits was cheesy if they really blew up with the looks of 1 and 2?!!!

  18. that batman dark knight was written by miller; i think in the late eighties or early nineties. so it would of been difficult to use a movie plot with all the other batman history they had to fill first. like the recovery from the campy “bamf” years of adam west. Therefore dark knight is a modern story not the “beginning” of batman even though that is how they made it sound with the title. So in contrast I believe; growing up reading eastman lairds comics, the turtles always had their stories to work with. But the puppets did a hard job in the original movies. adding to some believability to the turtles. so i hope they take from the puppet and just clean it up a little with modern technology. because they were fairly believable. so therefore the nineties batmans were bad and needed a revival over time, but the original turtles had a lot of good qualities cheesy puppets and all that need to be saved. therefore 90s batman = evolution of 70′s batman but turtles always had some things right. or something like that.

  19. They should use real people like the first 3 orignal movies sqrew animation just fix up da costumes a bit more
    And you should use jet lee as the shredder