It looks like we could be on the brink of another "Turtlemania", the phenomenon that swept the world in the late '80s and early '90s, during the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' height of popularity. It's not unrealistic for a major franchise to get a second wind, but the truth is that the Turtles' fame hasn't really waned over the last three decades. Now, though, Paramount Pictures is set to unleash a wave of new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies!
While we already know that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are working on a new CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, which Rogen promises will focus on the teenage aspect of the half-shell heroes, Paramount Pictures has unveiled plans to launch a whole bunch of separate movies on their streaming service, Paramount+.
At the Viacom CBS Investor Day, Paramount not only confirmed that the Rogen/Goldberg movie would be releasing in theaters in 2023, but that in the same year, Paramount+ will be hosting a series of non-related Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies that will focus on the villains! While a specific number wasn't made clear, this is pretty huge news for the fanbase.
What also wasn't revealed was exactly which villains will be getting their own movies, however, we can probably a hazard a guess that the likes of Shredder, Krang, Baxter Stockman, Bebop and Rocksteady will each likely headline their own movies, or at least in couple-up with one another (with the rhino and warthog being the most obvious pairing).
This news comes at a time when "shared universes" are all the craze, with the likes of the MCU and the DCEU still churning out movies and TV shows like there's no tomorrow. But the truth is that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license has been begging for something similar for a long time, especially considering the rich universe it has at its disposal.
One of the best comparisons is Batman, a property that boasts an extremely rich "Rogue's Gallery", with villains of all shapes and sizes - and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is really no different. Sure, the most "household names" are those we've just mentioned, but there are several other villains worthy of being explored in a mainstream movie or show.
And then there are other characters such as April O'Neil, Casey Jones, and Master Splinter. While Paramount Pictures spoke strictly of villain-led movies, it's plain to see that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IP is as rich as the likes of Batman. It's also an incredibly lucrative franchise, so it begs to question why this has never been attempted before.
Nevertheless, the time is ripe for a bunch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies to be unleashed, especially given the current trend. Not only that, but having them premiere on a streaming service is also the trendy thing to do. It makes the movies more accessible to consumers, and also allows them to be consumed pretty quickly too - a little like pizza.
In addition to Paramount's announcement, Nickelodeon has confirmed that the Paramount+ movies will not be related to Seth Rogen's animated reboot, though it's unclear whether the villain-focused projects will be animated or not (although, given the unwavering popularity of the Turtles in this medium, let's assume that they will be).
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But there's also an entirely different Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles project in the works, which is said to be of the live-action variety. SNL writers Colin and Casey Jost will be writing the script for the reboot, which, as far as we know, won't follow the Michael Bay-produced 2014 reboot and its 2016 sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
So it looks like there's a lot happening on the Ninja Turtles front, but quite frankly, it's about time. While the franchise has already enjoyed the spotlight - years of fame that can only really be compared to Beetlemania and Spice Girls Mania - it's still deserving of a round two. And never say never, because Jurassic Park is currently enjoying its second heyday.
So far, there have been six Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which span two separate continuities. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1995), and TMNT (2007) all form part of the same timeline, despite the latter film being entirely CG-animated.
The more recent movies, which were produced by Michael Bay, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), however, were reboots. But due to a poor box office performance for the sequel, a third movie was put on the back-burner, and will likely never see the light of day.
Now, between Seth Rogen's theatrical reboot and the villain-focused Paramount+ movies, it looks like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies will be in the double digits before the end of 2023! And that doesn't even include the new live-action movie...
Seth Rogen's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will release in theaters on August 4, 2023.