First, Female Ninja Turtles, Now ‘TMNT’ Eyed For R-Rated Horror Reboot

in Movies & TV

Michelangelo screaming in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Oh dear. Just a few weeks after it was first confirmed that everyone’s favorite heroes in a half-shell have been replaced by female Ninja Turtles in a brand-new sequel, there’s word that the creators behind brand-new, low-budget horror flick Winne-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey (2023) now have their sights set on a TMNT horror reboot.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a lot like Batman, in that it works just as well as a dark and brooding actioner like in the original Mirage Comics from the 1980s and the ongoing IDW Publishing comic book series, as it does a cheesy, family-friendly caper just like all the several animated iterations and live-action films we’ve seen over the decades.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder's Revenge poster
Credit: IGN

Related: Paramount May Be Releasing an Open-World ‘Ninja Turtles’ Game In 2023

And while IDW’s brilliant “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin” (2020) series has taken fans back to the darker side of the titular, pizza-loving reptiles, we can only hope that one day we get the R-rated reboot this franchise deserves. And by R-rated reboot, we do of course mean one along the lines of, say, the John Wick films, and not, you know, a horror.

Well, we will have to keep on dreaming about that John Wick-style Ninja Turtles reboot, because it looks like we might be getting a TMNT horror reboot instead. The creators behind Winne-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey, which, as you can guess from the title, takes Disney’s “silly old bear” and turns him into a deranged killer, have set their sights on TMNT.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey Hundred Acre Wood sign
Credit: Jagged

Related: ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot Gets Official Title and Release Date, Potentially R-Rated

Despite a barrage of terrible reviews (hardly unexpected), Blood and Honey is currently slashing its way through theaters (very unexpected), and in a recent interview with Screen Rant, director Rhys Frake-Waterfield talked about other potential horror reboots of beloved franchises that have entered the public domain, such as Peter Pan and Bambi.

However, he also brought up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Teletubbies… Here are his full comments:

“I really want to do like some other crazy ideas like Teletubbies and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” the director said. “I think that’d be so fun to do. Now, they obviously have an IP, and they obviously have are still in copyright, so it may be a bit of a struggle to do those two concepts. But I want to try and find stuff like that, I want to find things which I could license, and I could do that are just crazy and wacky and weird, and they’re purely for people just to go and watch a horror movie and just have fun. I don’t want them to be too deep and too serious. I do like watching sort of grounded and elevated horror, but there is a big market for this. A lot of people do want this, they want to go there and just have fun.”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) official poster - turtles lifting the manhole cover
Credit: New Line Cinema

Related: All the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best

Fortunately, Frake-Waterfield is right — both Ninja Turtles and the Teletubbies are existing intellectual properties that are not in the public domain, which means they’re completely off-limits. At least for the time being. In the case of the Ninja Turtles, we can’t quite imagine Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon letting go of such an incredibly lucrative property.

So, for now, you can rest assured that Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello won’t be using their signature weapons to wreak havoc on the citizens of New York anytime soon (the same can be said about Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po). Phew. If, however, you’re a fan of Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, Bambi, and The Grinch, well…

"The Mean One" - a slasher remake of The Grinch
Credit: XYZ

Related: Seth Rogen’s Update For ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot May Disappoint Some Fans

In fact, this has made us all the more excited for actual upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles projects, such as animated reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) from producer Seth Rogen, and another live-action reboot from Saturday Night Live writers Casey Jost and Colin Jost.

And if you just can’t wait for Mutant Mayhem to hit theaters on August 4, you can always check out IDW Publishing’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin”, which now has a brand-new follow-up series subtitled “The Lost Years”, which has introduced a new set of half-shell heroes, including two female Ninja Turtles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin - The Lost Years' characters - Odyn, Yi, Moja, and Uno
Credit: IDW Publishing

Related: 10 Things We Want to See in an Open-World ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Game

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin — The Lost Years” Issue #1 and Issue #2 are on sale now. Ninja Turtles co-creator and “The Last Ronin” co-writer Kevin Eastman recently confirmed that the series will run five issues with a one-shot called “Lost Day”, which will lead into “The Last Ronin 2”.

Meanwhile, animated reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) from producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will be released in theaters on August 4, 2023. There are also a number of Ninja Turtles villain-focused projects heading for Paramount+.

Raphael poster for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Would you be interested in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles horror movie?! Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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