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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Two Upcoming Movie Reboots Explained

Fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will not have to wait much longer for a new TMNT movie. New York’s own Heroes in a Half-Shell are coming back to the theaters in two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie reboots, as well as spin-offs involving villains. Despite having gone six years without appearing on the big screen after the underwhelming results of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, the Ninja Turtles remain a strong brand whether in animated series, comics, or toys. The fact that not even a failed movie has stopped Paramount from green-lighting two Ninja Turtles reboots is a testament to the sheer strength of the IP.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ cinematic history goes back to 1990 with New Line’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The film, which had a budget of $13.5 million and made $200 million worldwide, received two sequels: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. The Ninja Turtles would not receive another movie until 2007 with the CG-animated TMNT, followed seven years later by finally another live-action production.

Related: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Hollywood’s Nostalgia Cycle

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, produced by Michael Bay and starring big names such as Megan Fox and Will Arnett, reinvigorated the cinematic side of the brand by earning $493 million at the box office. The sequel, however, did less than half as much as its predecessor and put the Paramount franchise on hold. There have been animated TMNT movies too, most recently the 2022 Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie on Netflix. Seth Rogen is taking the helm for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem reboot, and a new live-action TMNT movie is also planned. With two new TMNT movie options now on the way, it looks like that wait for another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is finally over.


Seth Rogen’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

The next new TMNT movie comes from Seth Rogen in 2023, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. In June 2021, Seth Rogen used his Twitter account to confirm that he would be producing a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles CG-animated movie. The unusual announcement (in the form of a sketchbook) revealed some of Rogen’s early ideas for his version of the Ninja Turtles and also indicated an August 2023 release date for the film. After Paramount pulled the original date forward by a week, the movie is currently set to release on August 4, 2023. Bad Neighbors’ Brendan O’Brien will write the film, with The Mitchells vs. The Machines’ Jeff Rowe serving as the director.


While not much is known about the story, Seth Rogen’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is expected to focus on the “Teenage” side of the characters rather than the “Mutant Ninja” aspect, diverging from the Michael Bay films’ approach. Rogen has indicated that Mutant Mayhem will be a coming-of-age story, and subsequent tweets have also confirmed he’s looking to cast teenagers as Leo, Raph, Mikey, and Donatello (a franchise first). Kevin Eastman, the co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is excited about Rogen’s take. Speaking at SDCC 2022 (via IGN), Eastman spilled that he was a “big fan” of Seth Rogen’s movies. Eastman is particularly happy that Rogen seems to be respecting the Teenage element of the Ninja Turtles, especially since they were only 15 in the original comics.


Spin-Offs Based On TMNT Villains

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is planned as a forerunner for multiple TMNT spin-offs based on the various members of the Turtles’ very well-populated rogues’ gallery. From obvious choices like Shredder and Kang to fan favorites like Bebop and Rocksteady, most of the TMNT villains have ambiguous yet intriguing Saturday Morning Cartoon backstories that present near-blank canvases ripe for adaptation. Baxter Stockman, for example, is a scientist who’s turned into a mutant fly by Kang in the cartoons. While this was an obvious parody of David Cronenberg’s The Fly in the 1987 cartoon, in the 2020s, it opens the door for a movie that nods to Hammer Horror body transformation flicks and weird science genre tropes. That’s just one example, too. As creators plan to explore the wealth of lesser-known TMNT characters, it seems strange that a Turtleverse full of spin-offs doesn’t already exist. However, there have been no details of the TMNT spin-offs yet beyond confirmation that they’re happening.


Related: Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – Every Easter Egg & Secret

Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Reboot

While a sequel to Out of the Shadows will not happen, producer Michael Bay remains attached to the Ninja Turtles franchise at Paramount and will be involved in a new reboot. First announced in 2018, this new live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie did not receive any updates until August 2021, when Paramount announced that Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and his brother Casey Jost would pen the script. Since the more realistic yet over-the-top aspects of Michael Bay’s TMNT franchise did not work in the long term, it is hard to anticipate what new take Platinum Dunes and Paramount will give to this new iteration of the Turtles. As of now, there is no date attached to the project.

There haven’t been any further updates about the Jost brothers’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie since they were announced as screenwriters. There’s been no word of cancelation though, so it’s likely that Rogen’s 2023 Mutant Mayhem TMNT reboot is the primary focus for new Turtles properties, and the Jost brothers’ TMNT project will follow thereafter. However, Turtles fans will have plenty to enjoy before the next Bay-produced TMNT, as both confirmed spinoff films have the potential to explore different sides of the characters and offer something new to the already vast legacy of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While comparisons are going to be inevitable, a well-planned release window for the two new franchises can avoid one overshadowing the other.



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