Paramount studios have just hired a writer to reboot their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film franchise. Yep, just two-years after the Michael Bay addled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows hit theatres, it looks like Paramount is giving this another go. TMNT is a beloved franchise and since the cartoon debuted in 1987, as far as quality goes, the entire property has been in a perpetual state of flux. It’s not that the various takes on the Turtles have to be bad, it’s just that most of them are.
The original TMNT cartoon was a huge hit and spawned comic books, at least two animated films, a live-action television series, five live-action movies (only two of which, thank god, were directed by Michael Bay, but one of which featured an infamous Vanilla Ice cameo) While Bay has not been confirmed as a director this time around, his production company The Platinum Dunes, will be handling the film. While the franchise remains popular, the fact that of the last two TMNT movies, the first was a critical flop and the second was a commercial failure, was cause to try again.
This is all part of Jim Gianopulos’, the new head of Paramount, plan to “refocus [the studio’s] franchises.”
The thing is, the original live-action movies were cheesy, but they were also earnest and kind of steered into the skid. Since that original film run ended, the turtles have kind of struggled to not come off weird—at least not outside the context of a cartoon. The two most recent Michael Bay entries into their canon feature these awkward hyper-realistic-yet-clearly-CGI turtles that totally distracted from whatever redeemable qualities the screenplay may have had. Still, money talks, and it had words with the TMNT franchise. While the recent films may be categorically bad, Paramount knows how much money there is in things like toys and random gear, especially in a franchise aimed at kids. Most movie studios would make the same terrible movie every week is there were millions of dollars worth of merch sales to look forward to.
Maybe it was the costumes that were clearly costumes, or the habitually kitschy dialogue, but there was just something so low to the ground about the first entries into the TMNT movie canon, and that’s what made it as cool as it was. It’s hard to say if anyone can recreate that kind of lighting in a bottle in 2018. But hey, reboots are all the rage, and no one is shying away from the nostalgia. So maybe this time we’ll get some of that obviously fake goodness that made the first few films so damn, well, good.