In 1993, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III was released, closing out the trilogy of Ninja Turtles films with a film that is decidedly sub-par. Especially when you compare it to the first two in the trilogy, the third just doesn’t measure up. 2007 brought us redemption in the form of TMNT, a CGI-driven Ninja Turtles film that captured the feel of the first two films in the series, while giving the Turtles more emotion and fighting style than they ever had before. It was exhilarating to finally see the Turtles as we’ve always imagined them to be. Not only that, but they had a lot of depth as well. In that world, they lived and breathed. I wasn’t too keen on the so-called ‘progression’ of April O’Niel and Casey Jones’ relationship, but I was still thrilled by the film, and was looking forward to a sequel.
Now it looks like that particular sequel will never happen. This effectively puts TMNT as the close of the original movies (as you might understand when you see the end of it). Kevin Eastman, one of the creators of the Ninja Turtles, has commented about the future of the franchise. And the future, it seems, is going back to the past.
“Although the CGI film did well enough to warrant a sequel, there has been much talk between Imagi and Warners to do a better “re-invention” of the TMNT’s, in a live action film–like what was done with Batman. Back to basics, back to the origin and the intro of the Shredder, etc…there have been talks, trips to Northampton to talk to Mr Laird, and discussions with the original “first” TMNT film director Steve Barron to come back and do it right–but no official
word yet…will keep you posted.”
So, essentially, the TMNT film did make enough to warrant a sequel, but the excellence of that film wasn’t enough for Warner Brothers and Imagi. Go figure, though. Warner’s had so much success since re-imagining Batman with both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, they are going to play up the origin stories. That’s alright, I suppose, but not really what I wanted to see.
But there is still hope. They’ve approached the director of the first TMNT film, Steve Barron, to offer him the chance to “do it right.” Whatever that means. I was very pleased with his first Turtles film, and still watch it often to this day. To have him back in the driver’s seat would ensure the film has the same feel as the original, while taking the Turtles into this century.
Either way, I’m looking forward to more new Turtles adventures. This is going to be fun!