Paramount and Nickelodeon are bringing on Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form to produce a live-action film based on the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," reports Deadline. The trio join producers Galen Walker and Scott Mednick, all of whom will begin meeting with writers after the holiday weekend.
Platinum Dunes has a horrible reputation amongst the genre fan community as a creatively bankrupt company that uses its clout in the industry to make a quick buck remaking classic horror films such as "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Friday the 13th." While it's certainly encouraging to see the company expand its business outside of terribly lazy genre remakes, as a longtime "TMNT" fan, this news is, quite frankly, devastating.
I'm not really the target audience for this series anymore, but there's still a sense of nostalgia that has me rooting for these movies to be good. With Platinum Dunes now involved, I'm not so sure they will. I've given Fuller and Form every benefit of the doubt, but after seeing what they did with the "Nightmare on Elm St." remake, I've officially lost all faith in them. I'd love to be proved wrong, but I simply can't muster a "Cowabunga!" at this time.
You see, I grew up with the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" franchise. I read all the books and comics, owned most of the action-figures, spent hours playing the awesome Nintendo game and went as Donatello (the smart one) for Halloween multiple times. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze" is still the only movie that I've ever sat on the floor, in front of the first row of the theater, in order to watch. I don't think I could move my neck for a week but the pain seemed worth it at the time.
The point is that as a fan, all I want to see is the four pizza-eating reptilian heroes plus their mentor (Splinter) and human sidekick (Casey Jones) save their love interest (April O'Neil) from the likes of the villainous Shredder, his two main henchmen (Bebop and Rocksteady), his generic minions (The Foot Clan), and maybe, just maybe, the evil Krang, who would look really cool on a conceptual level. That's it! Just add the ingredients and stir. Simple, right? Watch Platinum Dunes mess it up somehow.
Nickelodeon purchased the worldwide rights to the entire "TMNT" franchise back in October for $60 million, so the film will be a co-production between the kid-centric company and fellow Viacom asset Paramount, which has a first-look deal with the Platinum Dunes principals.
Fun fact: Sam Rockwell and Skeet Ulrich played thugs in the original 1990 film, and Corey Feldman provided the voice of Donatello. Totally tubular, dude!