It has been two years since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows came out and while movie ended up grossing $245 million against a $135 million budget, there were still no moves towards a sequel. Until now.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount has hired screenwriter Andrew Dodge (Strong Words) to craft the next installment in the TMNT movie universe. The new chairman of the movie studio, Jim Gianopulos, is looking to bring some quality to the brand, which has always gotten a mixed response when it comes to critical reception.
There is no news yet if this upcoming movie will be a reboot or a relaunch of the series (I hope Megan Fox can stay on as April O’Neil), but there are some doubts if the Turtles are the kind of franchise people will come out for, especially since the last handful of Turtles movies were a mix of bad and creepy looking.
To which I say, heck yeah people will come out to see Turtles! The Ninja Turtles, for those who grew up with them, are right up there with Transformers and other major franchises. I even remember getting copies of the Mirage Studios original run of the comics. It is a property with legs, even if recent attempts to transform the series into blockbuster events haven’t worked out.
For me, to get the Turtles right isn’t just about nailing the humor, it’s also about nailing the fight scenes. The Turtles were inspired by Daredevil in both their origin and the ninja elements, so maybe it’s time to lean into that. What made the first season of Daredevil so good to watch was the incredible fight scenes and feeling the creativity of how Marvel/Netflix created a fighting style for Matt.
While the Turtles have gone too deep into the family franchise nexus to go back to their violent gritty roots, and honestly it’s for the better (I don’t think we need to see Donatello dripping with the blood of victims), but I think actually spending time to give each of them their own fighting style and taking the time to make those scenes interesting would be worth it. If you can come up with the equivalent of a “hallway scene” for the Turtles, that will go a long way in terms of word of mouth.
We’ve had funny Turtles movies—the 90s ones are … charming. Yet it’s been done before, and I’m not a fan of Mikey’s humor in modern day being turned into horny teenage boy humor. There is a way to balance both elements without needing to turn Mikey into Peter Quill, and it comes with not wanting to capture something nostalgic and instead, trying to just create a solid story.
The Turtles are rooted in Indie comics, so maybe it’s time to put someone with that sort of inclination behind the franchise instead of Michael Bay.
So, for me, bring on the Turtles. I loved seeing them pop up in Injustice 2 as DLC characters, but let’s just remember that these characters aren’t just comedic relief: they are badass ninja warriors, so let’s see some badass ninja fights.
And maybe let’s kill Splinter for real … just saying!
(via SlashFilm, image: Paramount)
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