‘TMNT’ Reboot Aimed at Kids Will Be “Shockingly Emotional”, Director Says

in Movies & TV

Michelangelo caught by the police in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Kids could be leaving theaters in floods of tears after watching the upcoming TMNT reboot!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) will be hitting theaters on August 2, and while the trailers for the CG-animated reboot have led us to believe that it’s aimed primarily towards younger audiences, along with diehard fans of the TMNT franchise, it seems that we may be underestimating just how emotional the film’s going to be.

Mutant Mayhem is the seventh theatrical outing for the Ninja Turtles, following Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), TMNT (2007), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016).

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

Related: This ‘Ninja Turtles’ Fan Theory Will Blow Your Mind!

However, as it’s reboot, it isn’t connected to any of the previous two sets of films — neither the original four installments nor the two Michael Bay-produced reboots. This means that Mutant Mayhem is free for a complete do-over, in its visual design, storytelling, characters, and overall tone and feel, all of which it’s certainly taken advantage of.

But while the trailers suggest that the TMNT reboot will live up to its name — there’s a lot of “mutant mayhem” taking place, as the Ninja Turtles take on a new wave of villains in the hope that New York City will come to accept them and welcome them as their own — the filmmakers, from producer Seth Rogen to director Jeff Rowe, are adamant that this is actually a coming-of-age story, having even previously compared it to the likes of Stephen King’s Stand By Me (1986).

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer TMNT
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

Related: ‘TMNT’ Cinematic Universe Reportedly in the Works, With TV Series Set to Follow Reboot

There’s room for both, of course, but right now it’s tricky to see how a film that looks so comedic and action-heavy — perfect ingredients for a Ninja Turtles outing, sure — will also be able to satisfy audiences on a deep emotional level. Well, director Jeff Rowe is convinced that it will be “shockingly emotional”, and that audiences will leave theaters in tears!

In the latest issue of Total Film magazine, here’s what he had to say:

“There were a lot of things that were skated past, and we took a lot of time to make it really operate from a place of character and relatability that, I think, will be shockingly emotional. The goal early on in our conversations with [co-writer] Seth [Rogen] were: ‘We want people to leave the theatre, and be like, ‘I can’t believe I just cried at a Ninja Turtles movie.'”

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

Related: New ‘Ninja Turtles’ Trailer Predictably Angers Anti-Woke Mob With Character of Color

Ever since the TMNT reboot was first announced in 2020, we’ve known that it will lean heavily into the “teenage aspect” of the four Ninja Turtles, which has become increasingly evident in recent months, particularly with the reveal that Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael will, for the first time in TMNT history, be played by actual teenagers.

It hardly sounds like a movie adaptation of the dark and gritty comic book series “The Last Ronin” (2020), but having any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that resonates with the audience on an emotional level can only be a good thing.

Recently, an early screening of the film at the Annecy Festival received a six-minute standing ovation, so clearly the filmmakers have done something right.

Check out the brand-new trailer for Mutant Mayhem below:

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

As per Wikipedia, here’s the official synopsis for Mutant Mayhem:

After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtles set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O’Neil helps them take on a notorious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.

Donatello in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer
Credit: Paramount Pictures / Nickelodeon Movies (via Nickelodeon’s 2023 Kids Choice Awards, YouTube)

Related: ‘Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem’ Full Characters and Cast Guide

Mutant Mayhem stars Nicolas Cantu (Leonardo), Micah Abbey (Donatello), Shamon Brown Jr. (Michelangelo), Brady Noon (Raphael), Jackie Chan (Splinter), Ayo Edebiri (April O’Neil), Seth Rogen (Bebop), John Cena (Rocksteady), Hannibal Buress (Genghis Frog), Rose Byrne (Leatherhead), Ice Cube (Superfly), Post Malone (Ray Fillet), Paul Rudd (Mondo Gecko), Maya Rudolph (Cynthia Utrom), Natasia Demetriou (Wingnut), and Giancarlo Esposito (Baxter Stockman).

Mutant Mayhem (2023) will be released in theaters on August 2, 2023.

Do you think Mutant Mayhem will be different to what we’ve been expecting? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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