Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Almost Got R-Rated Reboot With Joe Manganiello

An R-rated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot is something fans have been waiting to see for a long time, but unfortunately, while Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon are hardly doing a bad job with the IP, all the iterations from over the best part of the last 40 years have been family-friendly. But now, it has been revealed that we actually came very close to such a project...

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Related: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem to Hit Theaters In Summer 2023

To say that every single version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles over the past 40 years has been family-friendly is untrue. We're only referring to anything on the small screen on the silver screen, whether live action or animated. As for IDW Publishing's long-running comic book series, these rules don't apply.

This is particularly true in the case of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin (2021), a gritty comic book series that recently got a prequel titled The Lost Years (2023). The series harkens back to the days of old, long before the popular '80s cartoon exploded into pop culture, when the original Mirage Comics were as underground as the sewer-dwelling reptiles themselves.

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Related: Seth Rogen's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot Gets New Release Date

Well, now, Hobo With a Shotgun (2011) director Jason Eisener has revealed that he once pitched an idea for a Casey Jones-led Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles spin-off movie. And yes, if you've seen Hobo With a Shotgun, then you won't be surprised to learn that Eisener's flick would have been R-rated.

Taking to Twitter, Eisener shared a film reel composed of footage from a number of different films, from The Raid 2 to some of his work, as well as Maniac Cop and the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film (1990).

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Related: Paramount Confirms SEVERAL New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movies!

Check out the tweet here.

"Five years ago I pitched a Casey Jones standalone film to Paramount with Shredders daughter Karai as the heel. The final act saw Casey team up with Raphael who was too look like he stepped out of the 1990 film. Here's the tone reel I made."

Responding to the tweet, as seen below, is DC and Marvel actor Joe Manganiello, best known for portraying Flash Thompson in Spider-Man (2002).

"About ten years ago, Paramount wanted to make something with me and I said I wanted to play Casey Jones… I would have done this in a heartbeat."

Turns out that Manganiello was set to play the vigilante Casey Jones, which, let's face it, would have been perfect casting. Unfortunately, it just wasn't meant to be, but knowing how the Internet works these days, we wouldn't be surprised if #castjoemanganielloascaseyjones starts trending any day now.

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Related: All the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movies Ranked Worst to Best

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) will be released in theaters on August 4, 2023.

As per Wikipedia, here's the plot for Mutant Mayhem:

After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtles set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O'Neil helps them take on a notorious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.

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Related: Where to Watch and Stream Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III Free Online

Mutant Mayhem will be the seventh TMNT film, following Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), TMNT, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.

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Related: Franchises That Should Be R-Rated

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