According to Variety, the global rights to our "heroes in the half-shell" were picked up by Nickelodeon, a division of Viacom, for $60MM from Mirage Group and 4Kids Entertainment. Nickelodeon will begin developing a new CG-animated (think Toy Story, not Disney's Robin Hood) TV series packed with turtle power to begin airing in 2012. Paramount Pictures (also owned by Viacom) will be putting the Turtles back on the big screen in 2012 as well.
Scott Mednick, executive producer of Where the Wild Things Are is set to produce the new film. Nickelodeon will be working with its regular co-collaborator, Playmate Toys, on action-figures, etc.
For those who knew no joy as children, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were the focus of comic books, tv shows, films, toys, lunch-boxes, Halloween costumes, etc., etc., with a global following at the height of their popularity in the late '80s and early '90s. The adolescent, anthropomorphic crime-fighters used their martial arts skills to beat up on bad guys and creatively devour pizza, while staying out of society's way in the New York City sewers. Now that I think about it, a certain HBO comedy also followed four archetypal characters through their New York adventures, substituting cabs for sewers, cosmos for pizza and you-know-what for ninjitsu - man, what hasn't TMNT influenced? The turtle empire originally spawned from a comic book created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, which was published by Mirage Studios way back in 1984.
If you really wanna scare yourself, look up Viacom's assets. Along with Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures, it owns MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1 and the video game developers behind the Rock Band phenomenon, Harmonix. They're probably negotiating right now for the exclusive rights to use your legs. The CW4Kids programming block that airs on Saturday mornings currently features a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated TV series and will continue to run the show through August, 2010.
I, for one, wish the guys would come back looking like they used to. Anyone else nostalgic, or is the world ready for a new look to these familiar characters?
The once and future Ninja kings will rise again in 2012.