We’re getting a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. This is something I’m very pleased about.
This new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie will be a reboot rather than a continuation of the current TMNT series. This is something I’m OK with – but I’m sad there’s no follow on from 2016’s Out of the Shadows.
The movie will still be produced by Michael Bay. This is something I’m less enthused about, but I’m confident this movie could still turn out alright.
Positive vibes, right? Well yes – but a fair bit of thought really needs to go into this movie in order to ensure this reboot is worth it.
I’m a fan of the Turtles and have been since the 1980s. Of all the movies released so far, there are only two I don’t care for – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III could and should have been much better than it was. Basically, it’s not awful it’s just really, really boring and suffered from a crap story and a reduced budget.
As for the Jonathan Liebesman directed/Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, it’s just a hot mess plain and simple. The film starts off OK, but it quickly becomes clear that aspects of the story were changed mid-shoot and by the end the film everything falls apart.
The rest of the Turtles movies I really like. Yes, even the most recent TMNT movie, Out of the Shadows. In fact, I think that’s a really fun Turtles movie, it just suffered from the audience disinterest thanks to the crap-a-rama that was the 2014 offering.
Had Out of the Shadows come out first I think audiences would have quite liked it. Timing was the issue here.
Anyway, my point is, to date there have been good Turtles movies and there have been bad Turtles movies. Some have made money and have been hits with the fans and some have not.
In order for this next Turtles movie to land into the ‘good’ category and to make money, it needs to a.) offer something fresh and b.) understand what has worked/not worked in the past.
For me, there are a number of important factors to address here:
- Firstly, the look. While it is easy to chalk it up to nostalgia, the simple fact is audiences liked the look of the Turtles from the early ’90s movies, but they didn’t like the look of the Turtles from the recent movies. Why? Because in the most recent films the Turtles looked creepy as hell. One thing that this next movie needs to do is work on the look of the Turtles so that they look like the ones seen in the comics & TV shows, not some weird humanoid things.
- Secondly, each Turtle MUST have his own unique personality. Audiences need to be able to identify with the Turtles as individuals – it’s what makes the Turtles as popular as they are.
- Thirdly, introduce new villains that don’t just rely on Shredder being the main adversary. That’s not to say that Shredder should be absent from the film, but make sure other villains are added into the mix.
- Finally, figure out who the movie is aimed at. Is this a movie aimed at kids? Is it aimed at comic book fans? The nostalgia crowd? Who exactly is this movie trying to appeal to? Be clear and stick to this decision.
With regards to which era of Turtles this movie should be based on, there are now so many different versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that it will be hard to filter that down to just one. In my opinion, the movie should not try to adapt anything from the ’80s cartoon.
Hang on, hear me out.
I love the ’80s ‘toon, it’s my jam, man – but Out of the Shadows tried that and audiences simply didn’t show up. To convince audiences to return to the cinema to watch this next entry, it’s time to try something else.
My suggestion would be to dive into the current IDW comics for inspiration, or to borrow ideas (and the overall tone) from the 2012 Turtles cartoon. Both are pretty awesome and are filled with characters and story beats that could be adapted for the big screen.
Oh and… THERE IS NO NEED FOR A TURTLES ORIGIN MOVIE. This is one thing I most certainly don’t want to see.
There are enough movies, cartoons and comics out there for audiences to do their own research if they don’t know where the Turtles came from. What is needed is a movie that is prepared to create a story without the desire for an origin (again).
But what do you think? What is needed to make this next Turtles movie a success? Is there a certain character you’d like to see? What about an iconic storyline? How should the next Turtles movie make its mark?
Sound off in the comments section. I also want to know what your favourite era of the Turtles is.