2020 has been the weirdest year ever. It hath giveth and it have taketh away – a lot, actually. But it has given us some small good things. One of those things is the news that an animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is on the way. THR broke the news.
Nickelodeon Animation is the studio behind the movie, which will be the first theatrical release from the animation studio. It previously revived the franchise in 2012 with a CG-animated series for Nickelodeon that got great reviews. The studio is also partnering with Netflix for a feature film based on the Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series. Clearly, Nickelodeon Animation sees its future in the four pizza-eating brothers.
It’s a smart bet. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles started as an indie comic from Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird and first published in 1984. The story of the four ninjutsu-practicing brothers who mutated into humanoid turtle forms was originally dark and subversive in the comics. But a wildly popular animated TV series adaptation that was much more lighthearted in tone debuted a few years later, and TMNT blew up. Multiple movies spun off the franchise, as well as an avalanche of merchandise, making it one of the most popular and successful kids franchises of all time. Nickelodeon Animation is smart to reinvent the cash cow, and is bringing a great team on board to do it.
Neighbors screenwriter Brendan O’Brian is writing the script and Jeff Rowe is set to direct. He’s currently the co-director on the upcoming Phil Lord and Chris Miller-produced Connected. O’Brian isn’t the only Neighbors connection behind the TMNT project, however. Point Grey Pictures, the production company of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver, is producing, with Josh Fagen overseeing it for Point Grey. Paramount Pictures will be distributing the movie.
Brian Robbins, president of Kids & Family Entertainment for ViacomCBS, had this to say about the involvement of Rogen & co:
“Adding Seth, Evan and James’ genius to the humor and action that’s already an integral part of TMNT is going to make this a next-level reinvention of the property. I’m looking forward to see what they do, and I know that Ramsey Naito and her team are excited to take the Nick Animation Studio into another great direction with their first-ever CG-animated theatrical.”
As with many projects being announced right now, no release date has yet been set, but we’ll keep you updated as more news drops.