The 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot proved one of the more divisive franchise relaunches in recent years, opening to mainly negative reviews (read ours here) but making more than $484 million worldwide. That kind of box office take was enough to greenlight a sequel, which will be directed by Earth to Echo helmer Dave Green and arrive in 2016.
At this point, we still don't know much about the plot to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, but it will include some classic, fan-favorite characters from previous incarnations of the property along with the returning Megan Fox as April O'Neil. Mutant henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady will appear, along with new characters, an all new Shredder, and the traditionally unhinged vigilante Casey Jones, to be played by Arrow star Stephen Amell.
In the place of the Michael Bay-produced reboot films, what if we saw a version of TMNT set in the 1990s, with the narrative from the point of view of Casey Jones? This is the premise of a new pitch by horror director Eric England on Dredd producer Adi Shankar’s The Bootleg Universe Pitch Show, wherein Shankar invites writers and directors to pitch their ideal version of someone else's property, in the spirit of the producer's non-canon short files (Power/Rangers, Venom: Truth in Journalism)
England, director of the body horror film Contracted and a life-long Turtles fan, pitches his own version of TMNT, filtered through Casey Jones' perspective. England's take on the property would be very fast-paced, set in the 90s and have a gritty tone he describes as "Fight Club meets Tony Scott." This version would focus on Casey Jones (England sees Thor star Chris Hemsworth in the role) as he takes on the mean streets of New York while shadowed by a mysterious entity in the background. Watch the video above.
Eric England's version of TMNT pushes the Turtles themselves into the background and focuses on Casey, his burgeoning relationship with April O'Neil, and the way he and April investigate the mysterious Foot Clan and their shadowy leader Shredder. In this iteration, the Turtles' mentor Splinter is not a giant rat and Shredder had a hand in creating the Turtles.
Some aspects of this pitch are similar to the 2014 reboot - notably England's somewhat confusing description of his third act, in which Shredder is revealed to be something of a middle man in a larger-scale Foot Clan network. The 2014 reboot had a garbled final act, with some head-scratching plot developments that were not straightened out by the film's reshoots.
For England, the details of this world appear to be what he's really interested in, and his description of the final showdown, in a multi-leveled building with Shredder and the mutant villains Tokka and Rahzar (who first appeared onscreen in 1991's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles II: The Secret of the Ooze), sounds like it could be full of video game-style urgency and action.
What really sets this take apart from the current series, of course, is seeing this mainly through the eyes of Casey Jones, even if he eventually teams up with the Turtles once he learns of their existence. Still, it sounds like Casey would really save the day here. Viewers are left with some questions; England would not make the Turtles completely CGI, but neither does he want to see guys in foam-rubber costumes... which doesn't leave much in between. Animatronics, maybe? In the end, this is one more creative fan's dream version of his favorite franchise, and placing Casey Jones front and center is an intriguing idea. We'll find out in 2016 how a modern incarnation of the character holds up.
Check into Adi Shankar’s Youtube page for episodes of The Bootleg Universe Pitch Shows as they are released.
Source: Adi Shankar