Cowabunga, dudes! A CG film reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is in the works from Nickelodeon and Seth Rogen, the network announced today. The "first-ever CG theatrical production for Nickelodeon Animation Studio," it's being overseen in-house by Executive Vice President of Animation Production and Development, Ramsey Naito.
Brendan O’Brian (Neighbors, Sorority Rising) has been tapped to pen the pizza-loving script, with Jeff Rowe (Gravity Falls, Connected) attached to direct. Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Weaver will produce the movie under their Point Grey Pictures banner. Josh Fagen is running point at Point Grey and Paramount Pictures is handling worldwide distribution.
"Adding Seth, Evan, and James’ genius to the humor and action that’s already an integral part of TMNT is going to make this a next-level reinvention of the property," Brian Robbins, President, Kids & Family for ViacomCBS, said in a statement. "I’m looking forward to see what they do, and I know that Ramsey Naito and her team are excited to take the Nick Animation Studio into another great direction with their first-ever CG-animated theatrical."
While we have yet to see any character designs, it's not too crazy to think the movie may utilize an animation style similar to Nick's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series that ran for five seasons between 2012 and 2017. The IP was reimagined last year as the 2D Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Based on a previous arrangement, Netflix will release a film based on Rise.
The choice to reboot TMNT's big screen presence with an animated feature rather than a live-action one is interesting, but not altogether surprising. Nick and Paramount blended live-action with motion-captured CGI turtles in 2014's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from director Jonathan Liebesman. It was a critical failure, but racked up nearly $500 million at the global box office, promoting a sequel in 2016. Directed by Dave Green, TMNT: Out of the Shadows brought in fan favorites like Bebop, Rocksteady, and Krang, but was panned by critics and barely turned a profit.