While now might be a good time for Paramount executives to start thinking of a new word for “reboot” (a “reconfiguration,” perchance?), Deadline are reporting they’re plowing ahead with a second reboot of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” series in a demented attempt to spawn a legitimate franchise anyway, just four years after their first attempt failed. Best of luck to them.
Specifically they’ve summoned writing duo Josh Applebaum and André Nemec, the men responsible for the upcoming and yet grammatically-confused “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”. The two have also just overseen a rewrite on Louis Letterier‘s pending magical heist thriller “Now You See Me“, which has just begun casting.
The potted history of the ‘Turtles’ franchise, which spans comics, myriad TV shows and video games, is marginally less convoluted than the Russian Politburo in the 1930s. Film-wise, the live-action 1990 original was barely above “Super Mario Bros.” in the competency stakes, but is fondly remembered and somehow managed to spawn two sequels (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze” in 1991, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III” in 1993), before being reconfigured in the recent 2007 animated job, “TMNT“, which was spirited, if anonymous, hokum.
What Applebaum and Nemec can bring to the table is anyone’s guess. Paramount also butt-dialled “Iron Man” screenwriters Art Marcum and Matt Holloway last August, but presumably their draft for the live action film has turned up nothing. Whatever the cause of the hold-up is, no-one can realistically say it’s for lack of a non-specific blueprint when the turtles’ character traits are in the damn theme song (Michaelangelo is a PARTY DUDE). The last reincarnation of the epic ‘Turtles’ saga sought to shake the show of its pizza-chomping, bodacious, “Radical, dude!” 1990s origins and shuffle closer towards more ‘mature’ territory. As it stands, with no director attached and no plot details revealed, this latest entry looks unlikely to make its original 2012 release date. We await what spin these two newest writers can put on a weary formula. It will probably involve — wild guess — defeating a nutcase called Shredder whilst a mutant rat trains them in a sewer.