Home Blog Will Paramount Go Back to Basics With the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

Will Paramount Go Back to Basics With the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

by Justin W
Could we see another TMNT movie like this from Paramount any time soon? Image Source: Set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Ever since Paramount Pictures began working with Platinum Dunes on the most recent iteration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there have been a lot of fans asking why the studio didn’t just go back to basics. Many shellheads have fond memories of the 90’s TMNT movies, and they want to see a similar approach taken with modern films based on the franchise. In particular, several people have mentioned that they would like to see a return to animatronic turtles instead of CGI animated heroes in a half shell. Unfortunately, most major studios have been pro-CGI for over 20 years and they show no signs of changing their minds.

That being said, the art of animatronics and practical effects are still alive in Hollywood, so it’s entirely possible that we could see a studio take a chance on putting these characters back into specialized costumes once more. Sadly, Paramount Pictures hasn’t exactly shown any interest in sticking with practical effects over the past few years. Although Universal Studios has continued to work with special effects masters such as Rick Baker and even has plans for yet another Chucky movie in 2017, Paramount doesn’t appear to be working with anything but CGI.

Back in the day, Jim Henson's Workshop was behind the creation of the animatronics and puppet work that made the original TMNT movie so darn good. Image Source: Set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Back in the day, Jim Henson’s Workshop was behind the creation of the animatronics and puppet work that made the original TMNT movie so darn good. Image Source: Set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Of course, it’s also worth pointing out that Paramount Pictures is currently in a lot of trouble. Many of their films flopped in 2016, and they are currently in the middle of a shake-up that could drastically affect how they approach film production. Studios in this position might be willing to take more chances, but they also make every attempt to cut back on budgets. Believe it or not, that could actually be exactly the environment needed for them to consider a return to the 90’s style of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies.

The first TMNT movie was actually an independent film, so the budget was fairly low at only $13.5 million. Even when you factor inflation into that, a modern equivalent budget would probably be something around $25-$30 million. Considering that the last two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films had a budget well over $100 million each, it wouldn’t hurt to consider a lower budget, and they might even be able to bring back animatronics and practical effects with that kind of approach. Not only would the film be cheaper to produce, but they’d also please a lot of fans by giving them the old school turtles that they know and love.

Sadly, although it’s entirely possible that Paramount Pictures could go back to basics with their next attempt at a TMNT movie, it’s not necessarily likely. Even if you present this to them as a means of lowering the budget and giving in to the demands of the audience, it would probably be far too difficult to convince them that people actually want to see something with less CGI. It’s always possible that they will change their minds, but I would be very surprised if Paramount actually went animatronic with their next Ninja Turtles project.

Could we see a Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie soon? Image Source: Nickelodeon.

Could we see a Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie soon? Image Source: Nickelodeon.

In all honesty, there is no way of knowing exactly what we will get with the next Ninja Turtles movie. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that we’re more likely to get another animated film before they make another attempt at a major motion picture. Viacom knows that their most successful TMNT product has been the Nickelodeon animated series, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see them make a safe bet by producing more content related to their most popular properties. They’ve already announced plans for a few movies related to retro Nicktoons, so it may only be a matter of time before they branch out by taking a chance on an animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

When it comes to the potential for another animatronic TMNT movie, I wouldn’t put any faith in either Viacom or Paramount Pictures; it’s always possible, but it’s definitely not probable. Ultimately, we’ll just have to wait and see what the studio and their parent company decides to do with this property. At the very least, we can expect them to continue producing the animated series. Here’s hoping that whatever they do next is a project that most fans can get behind, because there has been far too much animosity between shellheads with differing opinions over the past few years. Let’s get away from these divisive films and hopefully move on to far greener pastures!

What do you think? Should Paramount return to basics and give the fans another classic TMNT movie using animatronics and practical effects to create the turtles? Should they stick to animated Ninja Turtles projects? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments below or on facebook/twitter.

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NUMBER ONE TMNT FAN November 2, 2016 - 12:23 pm

I would love to see an animated movie based on the show. THAT WOULD BE TRULY INCREDIBLE AND I WOULD LOVE THAT. Personally i don’t really want to see a return to animatronic turtles. I grew up in the 2k3 era and i don’t feel much for the classic movies. That being said, they are the originals and i understand and respect why people would want to see a return to that approach. The 2012 series is what really got me started on TMNT and the 2014 movie is what made me a full-fledged ShellHead. So if they’re going to do something different from the current movies, i would be all for an animated movie based on the show. TURTLE POWAAAAHHH!!!

TigerClaw305 November 2, 2016 - 6:58 pm

I would like for the next movie to be adapting directly from the IDW comics.

Jarrett Tennis November 2, 2016 - 11:36 pm

I just want another movie where they actually treat Casey Jones correctly. The first movie got it right (even down to his casual murder attempt on the shredder) and they have been steadily running the character ever since.

Elisa November 4, 2016 - 8:02 am

I grew up with the 80s turtles and the 90s movies and while I love them, I don’t want a remake. Jim Henson’s work was absolutely brilliant and I don’t think it can be recaptured. I respect those movies for what they are and I’m totally fine with seeing a new adaptation. I actually did like the much more realistic take on the 2014-2016 turtles, though I get that not everyone was a fan. Moving forward I’d love to see films borrow from Nick or IDW. I think they’ve both done such a good job with character development and we’ve seen some really interesting storylines. And I want to see a much better execution of the female characters! Please! Karai is a skilled fighter. She should NOT be defeated by Vern of all people. 2007 Karai showed some promise, but then we never got a sequel. 🙁 Ok, I’m ranting… Done.

SKR Imaging November 17, 2016 - 10:52 pm

Take the IDW writers.. put them in a room with the director of the 1990 first movie.. bring back John Du Prez for the score… now here is the twist.. send a Netflix suit in the room to negotiate with Viacom and Paramount to allow TMNT live action IDW adapted series… Daredevil worked! Luke Cage worked.. both based in New York.. both dark.. don’t forget that Daredevil was the inpiration for the TMNT in the first place so makes sense for it to be the inspiration to bring the TMNT to the live action series avenue!… mic dropped! lol

Mitch Fletcher February 1, 2018 - 1:21 pm

Mind. BLOWN.

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