THE PERFECT TMNT MOVIE
A few months back I wrote one of these ‘perfect movies’ for Batman. In my mind I had a few ideas and just wrote it all in one hit. Because of this there were points I missed and points I could have taken further. So this time around I’m trying to make the whole thing a little more cohesive. Then I can add my ‘perfect movie’ concept as a recurring blog.
Do We Need An Origin Movie?
The easy answer is no. The Turtles in multiple formats have been around for thirty years now. If there ever is a new movie the majority of people going to see it are going to be hardcore TMNT fans. They don’t need the origin story again. What they certainly don’t need is a heavily changed version of it too! Now I’m not saying the movie can’t be set in their early days but we don’t need the lab experiments or the fateful plunge into the sewer. Obviously studios have to cater to new comers and the chances are high they will include an origin story. I suggest the best way to please everybody is to put a very simple true to the source material into a montage in the opening credits. If they want to pay the ultimate homage do it in black and white and or animated.
Would It Work As A Period Piece?
Hell yes! The two most recent films had highs and many lows but something felt off about them. For me it was the modern day setting. While the 1990 movie may not be perfect it still holds up pretty well today. So with that in mind there is no reason why a new movie can’t be done in the vain of a 80’s/90’s action movie. The Eighties is big business right now. Stranger Things and Guardians of The Galaxy being at the forefront of this. The Turtles were a huge part of the 80’s! From ’87 to the mid 90’s they owned it. How many imitations came after them? So why not return to their roots and jump on the 80’s homage bandwagon. It would feel so right them going back to that era. The current IDW comic may be a a counter argument for The Turtles working in a modern setting but comics and movies are completely different beasts.
What Villain Do They Use?
I would say if they are leaving out the origin they can leave out Shredder too. Of course if the first movie is a success they will be looking to build a fresh franchise. So Shredder is always available for the future alas Thanos in MCU. I would allow The Foot to make an appearance. Say just once scene where some soldiers clash with our heroes as an interlude to the main plot. With Shredder off the board there is still a plethora of villains to choose from. Baxter Stockman if done right could easily work. Lets be honest there was absolutely no point in him being in that last movie Although Bebop and Rocksteady are fond memories for many I don’t think they work on the big screen. Would other anthropomorphic villains work in place of Bebop and Rocksteady? The biggest question being would movie goers be open to more anthropomorphic goodness? Old Hob has been a good addition to The Turtles rogues in the IDW series. Hob would work where Bebop and Rocksteady don’t because he is more of a cunning as a villain. If they are so set on doing an origin story the first story arc from the IDW series would be perfect. That way they can then work in Old Hob and potentially Slash.
What Are The Possibilities For A Franchise?
Huge! While I’ve said the 1990 film holds up very well the sequels gradually went down hill. That being said you kind of have to give the studio some credit for going down the time travel route. If you go right back to the early days of the comics right through any iteration of the animated series there has always been a strong sci-fi element. If they do introduce time travel down the line would a director be brave enough to do a samurai story better than TMNT III? I don’t the legalities but could they use Usagi Yojimbo? Adding a sci-fi element makes the scope for a franchise massive. You have all the vigilante street level stuff to play with, like the Foot, The Purple Dragons, Shredder, Old Hob and other endless choices there. Then with the sci-fi element you widen the scope and add Fugitoid, Krang, General Traag, Dimension X and everything that comes with that. The recent version of the animated series had a very kid friendly feel and it does a great job of blending the street level stuff with the sci-fi. In one series they even went off Earth for a long time to fight the Triceraton Empire. The IDW mini series ‘Secret History of The Foot Clan’ would make an amazing movie. It makes a slight change to continuity in that some technology from Krang’s world is responsible for Shredders resurrection in modern times. This makes a great opening for the movie franchise to combine the street level with the sci-fi. Even without looking at the wider picture of whether a movie is street level or sci-fi based there is plenty of room for making a franchise. Would it be a step to far to have The Turtles split up into solo movies? A simple homage to the ‘micro comics’ may just seem like a cash grab but I bet its crossed someone’s mind already. A Raphael/Casey Jones team up movie? Yes please! There is always the chance to play the long game too. Baxter Stockman could be introduced as a scientist with Mousers way before he becomes The Human Fly. Same with Fugitoid. Professor Honeycutt can be introduced early on. So there is lots of room to play the thing will be making the right choices to tell good cohesive stories rather than just putting stuff out for money.
Who Could Direct?
The first name that immediately pops into my head is James Gunn. He has displayed with GOTG that he can be true to the source material whilst making it his own thing. With Super and GOTG he has shown he can do vigilante level and bigger sci-fi level stuff. He has shown he can do all the levels that would be needed for a TMNT movie franchise. He can do action, comedy, lighter moments, build from the ground up. What seals the deal for me his his understanding of what music to use and when. When you look at the era The Turtles made their debut there is a wealth of music to pull from. Run DMC, Beastie Boys, U2, Madonna, Guns n Roses, Grandmaster Flash, Sugar hill Gang the list is endless and Gunn could work them in. At this current time in Hollywood James Gunn and The Turtles seem at opposite ends of the spectrum so it probably wouldn’t be on his radar unless he was a fan growing up. What TMNT fan wouldn’t want a shot a rebuilding the movie franchise from the ground up? Lets be realistic and say they can’t get Gunn. Go for an unknown. We are in the age of fan fiction becoming a reality. Look at Ryan Coogler on Creed! Now hes doing Black Panther! There has to be a Coogler out there for the Heroes in a Half Shell. Like I suggested with my ‘Perfect Batman Movie’ assemble a strong writers room. In a perfect world they would shop their vision to a unknown director rather than the studio big wigs making decisions they no nothing about. Could they do the impossible and reunite Eastman and Laird? I’ve mentioned the IDW series a few times already so even if Peter Laird isn’t on board Kevin Eastman needs to be along with his co-scripter on that series Tom Waltz. Heres another pair worth throwing into the mix Craig Kyle and Chris Yost. They both have experience in comics and adapting comics for the big screen. Their comics work has incorporated ensemble teams like in their very successful run on X-Force. Next they are part of the team on the excellent looking Thor Ragnarok. These are choices I’m glad I don’t have to make but they are choices that need to be made if they want a long successful franchise to please hardcore fans and newcomers alike.
About Ian Wells
Ian currently runs the THEBLOGOFCOMICSHOTTOPICS blog. Check him out on Twitter @IanWells87.
About Language of Bromance
Together Richard and Shawn formed the podcast The Language of Bromance and from there it has been nothing but fun. The duo laugh about things they go through, stories in the news and even getting serious discussing net neutrality along with other issues. Every so often their friendship turns to a bitter rivalry with their nerdiest creation the draft episodes. An original take on a best of or a top 10 list. The draft episodes are done like an NFL Draft 7 rounds where Richard and Shawn flip-flop picks on various topics.
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