Last month we reported that a new live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was in the works. Since that time, Ninja Turtles co-creator Peter Laird has spoken up about what fans can expect from the new film; even more recently, MTV News spoke with Scott Mednick, producer of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. And Mr. Mednick had quite a bit to say.
Scott Mednick was also an executive producer on 300 and Superman Returns, which gives him a 50% average for adapting comic book properties into $uccessful films. I’m just kidding. Mednick obviously has passion for the comic book movie genre – enough so that he’s willing to put his money where his geek is. As producer of Where The Wild Things Are, he also knows a thing or two about bringing strange creatures to life on the big screen (and did I also mention he’s producing the upcoming American Gladiators movie???). Busy man, that Scott Mednick.
But I digress: here’s an abridged version of MTV’s talk with Mednick about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles flick:
MTV: With the new “Mutant Turtles” movie, a lot of talk thus far has been about potential storylines. Peter [Laird] told me it’s being envisioned as a sort of “reboot” of the live-action movie franchise. Is that the case?
SCOTT MEDNICK: Well, it is the case, that’s certainly how it’s being envisioned. I was part of the reboot of Superman, and a part of the reboot of Batman, and what happens after a certain amount of time — and certainly 25 years is a lot of time — is you’ve gone through multiple generations of fans. And we have a group of fans that love the property, and a group of fans who don’t really understand all of the intricacies of how these characters came to be.
What we want to do is service the story in a way that we have technology and ability that we didn’t have 25 years ago to say “here’s the story” to the fans, and bring in a whole new generation of fans that can then start with us again.
MTV: Story-wise, are you planning to revisit any specific stories? Is it going to be following the first story arc of the “Ninja Turtles” comics?
MEDNICK: Certainly, the first group of comics that Laird and [Kevin] Eastman wrote are just the very best of source material. We have 25 years of rear-view mirror to look into, and to see where the franchise has gone. But we’re also looking at where the audiences are now. The audience today is very different than it was 25 years ago.
So it’s really trying to modulate the expectations of the fans today, the expectations of those kids and teenagers of today, the origins of the Turtles themselves and their world, and blend those together. That’s the fun, that’s the challenge.
MTV: It’s at an early stage thus far, but Peter mentioned that he was hoping to get in Baxter Stockman and the mousers, and said Shredder was a very necessary part if you’re going to tell an origin story for the Turtles. What’s on the table?
MEDNICK: Well, I won’t talk about what’s on or off the table, but what I will tell you is, if you go back to the origin story, you’ve got one of the great villains. I mean, Shredder is just one of the great villains for us to play with, and we are certainly expecting to bring the entire origin story — which could not be told without Shredder.
MTV: It’s been said that filming will involve a live-action/CGI hybrid, with live actors and computer effects putting the Turtles’ faces over them. Can you elaborate on that process and how you envision it?
MEDNICK: Well, we’re in the early development stage, so no critical decisions have been made. However, that being said, I can tell you that yes, it’s a live-action film. We’ve gone through an animated version of the Turtles for quite some time, but if you return to those original movies, they were live-action.
I’m an executive producer on “Where the Wild Things Are,” which also used, if you will, creatures. And we have some technology today that they just didn’t have when the previous live-action movies were made, and what we’re hoping to do is to bring all of the cinematic tricks that are in the 2009 bag into this effort.
MTV: Going back to Turtles themselves, has there been any talk thus far in terms of casting? In a perfect world, is there someone you’d like to have in one of the roles?
MEDNICK: We’re finding that — and this is fascinating for us — there are many, many actors, writers and directors who, when they’ve heard about this project, say “I love the Turtles! Oh, man, I’d love to write that!” or “I’d love to direct that!” because they just loved it. And I’m looking for that passion. When you find an actor or a director who grew up with it or wants to be a part of it, we’re definitely talking to those people.
That’s the meaty version of the interview, but if you want to read the full transcript it includes Mednick discussing where some of F/X tech for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles might come from, as well as the startling revelation that a certain Iron Man 2 star got his acting start as part of the Foot Clan. You can check all of that out by going here.
In the meantime, what do you think about Scott Mednick’s conception of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Does the whole Avatar-tech approach work for you? Or did you like the quasi-Muppet Turtles of the original live-action films?
Source: MTV News
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