News has been circulating about a live action ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ reboot from Michael Bay’s company Platinum Dunes since 2010. Finally, after an extremely long dormant period, we have some new news about the project. THR says that Jonathan Liebesman, the director of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning’, ‘Battle: Los Angeles’, and the upcoming ‘Wrath of the Titans’, is in the final stages of negotiations to direct the turtles for Bay and Paramount.
Starting out as a black and white comic in the 80s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gained most of its popularity as a Saturday morning staple, which then spawned a live action trilogy from New Line Cinema in the 90s. A fourth CGI animated film was made in 2007, but it was met with mixed reviews. Regardless of which version you’re watching, the Ninja Turtles are four teenage anthropomorphic turtles named after four of the most famous Renaissance artists who are well versed in the martial arts and pizza consummation. Together, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael keep the streets of New York safe from all sorts of threats, usually caused by the evil Shredder and his Foot Clan.
Back in 2010, Iron Man writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway worked on a draft of the reboot. Then, in 2011, ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ writers Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec were hired for a rewrite. Together with the MI writers, Platinum Dunes, who has been largely known for rebooting classic horror franchises with lackluster results, and Liebesman, who has worked on his share of dark and gritty subject matter, it looks like Paramount is going for a less kiddie take than the foam rubber flicks that I grew up on from the 90s. It’s also likely that they might take a page from the ‘Rise of the Planet’ of the Apes’ playbook and use CGI characters inserted into live action footage.
Ignoring Platinum Dunes’ track record, I’m still excited to see the heroes in a half shell return to the realm of live action movies. It’s a bummer that we probably won’t see Elias Koteas as Casey Jones, but I’m holding out hopes that we’ll see Ernie Reyes, Jr (Keno from the second Turtles film) and his awesome martial arts prowess again.