‘Mutant Mayhem 2’ May Introduce the ‘TMNT’ Multiverse

in Movies & TV

(L) Leonardo and Donatello looking scared in 'Mutant Mayhem' / (R) Michelangelo screaming in 'Out of the Shadows'

Credit: Nickelodeon Movies / Paramount Pictures

Mutant Mayhem 2 could be gearing up to explore the TMNT Multiverse…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is back on the map. While the franchise has never lost popularity over the last 39 years, there have been a couple of hiatuses in which they weren’t bursting onto the scene, such as the late ’90s and the early noughties.

Now, they’re back and almost as big as they were during the early ’90s (Turtle-Mania). But not all thanks is owed to the latest CG-animated reboot, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) — there’s also a very popular comic book keeping fans satisfied.

April O'Neil in 'TMNT: Mutant Mayhem'
Credit: Nickelodeon Movies / Paramount Pictures

Related: ‘Ninja Turtles’ Director Hints at “‘Dark Knight’”-Style Sequel, Throws Shade at Michael Bay Reboots

That said, Mutant Mayhem did gross $180 million worldwide (against a $70 million budget) and was a massive hit with fans and critics, all the while appealing to a new generation of fans (something the franchise has done repeatedly since its inception in 1984).

Now, a Mutant Mayhem shared universe is in development. A 2D-animated follow-up to the film titled Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2024) will also begin streaming on Paramount+ sometime next year. Needless to say, things are looking good for TMNT.

But while Mutant Mayhem isn’t canon with any previous version of the Ninja Turtles, it could be set to overlap with some of the many iterations that came before it.

Leonardo fighting with his katana blade in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem'
Credit: Nickelodeon Movies / Paramount Pictures

Mutant Mayhem 2

Following the success of Mutant Mayhem, Nickelodeon and Paramount wasted no time in greenlighting a sequel. Director Jeff Rowe will return to the helm, and producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are also expected to be back onboard.

Actors Nicolas Cantu (Leonardo), Micah Abbey (Donatello), Shamon Brown Jr. (Michelangelo), Brady Noon (Raphael), Jackie Chan (Splinter), and Ayo Edebiri (April O’Neil) are also expected to reprise their roles.

Raph smiling in 'Mutant Mayhem'
Credit: Nickelodeon Movies / Paramount Pictures

Related: Will One of These Actresses Play April O’Neil In the Live-Action ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot?!

Not much is known about the sequel yet, although Rowe has already talked about The Shredder being the main villain, who was teased in Mutant Mayhem‘s mid-credits scene during which it’s implied that he’ll be hired as a mercenary to take down the Ninja Turtles.

While Mutant Mayhem follows many TMNT tropes, it also makes some bold moves, not only in its animation style but by placing the Ninja Turtles in high school at the end of the film, forcing them “out of the shadows” and into the public high, something never before seen in the franchise.

The Ninja Turtles looking menacing on a rooftop in 'Mutant Mayhem'
Credit: Nickelodeon Movies / Paramount Pictures

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

It also sees the four brothers team up with other mutant characters who, until now, have been enemies of the Turtles throughout many iterations. So the sequel, tentatively titled Mutant Mayhem 2, may take even greater risks and explore the TMNT Multiverse.

Should this happen, it will likely come as no surprise. The film already takes a page out of the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse movies with its animation style; now, it could go even further by delving into alternate dimensions featuring legacy versions of the Turtles.

The Turtles with white eyes in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem'
Credit: Nickelodeon Movies / Paramount Pictures

Related: R-Rated, ‘Logan’-Inspired ‘Ninja Turtles’ Installment Confirmed

That said, the franchise is hardly a stranger to the Multiverse. The 2003 and 2012 animated shows already explored alternate dimensions, where the Turtles met their Multiversal counterparts, versions from previous comic books and television shows.

TMNT Multiverse

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) — “Turtles Forever”

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' (2003) poster
Credit: Nickelodeon

In the feature-length animated film Turtles Forever (2009), which serves as the finale to the animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), the titular half-shell heroes enter the TMNT Multiverse for the first time on screen in the franchise’s history.

They encounter the 1987 cartoon versions of the characters, as well as the dark versions of the Turtles from the original Mirage Studios comic books, known as the “Prime Turtles” (their dimension is known as “Prime”).

Related: ‘TMNT’ Sequel Geared Towards Adults Shares First Look

TMNT (2012) — “The Manhattan Project”

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' (2012)
Credit: Nickelodeon

In the 2012 animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), the CG-animated Turtles enter the TMNT Multiverse in the two-part storyline titled “The Manhattan Project,” where they encounter their 1987 cartoon-animated counterparts.

But when they enter the 1987 universe, the CG-animated Turtles become cartoon-animated, and then later in the episode, upon entering the 2012 universe, the ’87 Turtles become CG-animated. While it’s a lot of fun, the original cartoon becomes the butt of jokes in this episode.

Check out a clip below from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles YouTube channel:

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

As you can see, there’s a great opportunity for Mutant Mayhem 2 to dip its green toes into the TMNT Multiverse, and it wouldn’t need to restrict itself to animated shows and comic books.

Other Iterations That Could Appear in Mutant Mayhem 2

TMNT Movies

Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows poster
Credit: Paramount Pictures

There are four installments in the original TMNT film series: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), and TMNT (2007).

However, despite all four films being connected, when you get past The Secret of the Ooze, you end up with even more iterations of the heroes in a half-shell, as the Turtles look very different in the third film, while TMNT is a CG-animated sequel.

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

Having the Turtles from the 2007 film appear in Mutant Mayhem 2 would be easy, but live-action versions would be tricky. That said, Mutant Mayhem does feature live-action humans who appear in a montage of martial arts films and footage from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986).

While on the subject of live-action TMNT movies, why not throw the two Michael Bay-produced films in there, too: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016).

And seeing as the third film in that series was scrapped, we could even get a mini follow-up to Out of the Shadows via Mutant Mayhem 2, in the same way the defunct Amazing Spider-Man movies are continued through the appearance of Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Multiverse movie Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021).

Related: Dark and Gritty ‘Last Ronin’ Trailer Proves ‘Ninja Turtles’ Is the Next ‘John Wick’

TMNT Animated Shows

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' 2012
Credit: Nickelodeon

Seeing as the 1987, 2003, and 2012 Turtles have already explored the TMNT Multiverse, having them return in Mutant Mayhem 2 wouldn’t be that hard. But there’s also Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2018), the zany Nickelodeon cartoon series.

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

TMNT Live-Action Series

Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Venus de Milo in 'Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation'
Credit: Saban Entertainment / Mirage Studios

Speaking of zany, the live-action series Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation (1997) is perhaps the most bizarre installment in the TMNT franchise to date (okay, maybe not the most bizarre when you consider the Coming Out of Their Shells live concert tour in the ’90s…).

The Next Mutation could show up in Mutant Mayhem 2 as the “joke” of the wider franchise, in the same way that Batman and Robin (1997) is poked fun at with George Clooney’s cameo in DC Multiverse film The Flash (2023), or how the infamous Spider-Man 3 (2007) dance meme is parodied in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).

It’s unclear whether the live-action series is a sequel to the first three films, but, understandably, most fans consider it a separate entity.

Related: ‘TMNT’ Sequel Kills Off Original Heroes, Officially Replaces Them With Female Turtles

TMNT Comic Books

Michelangelo cover for 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin'
Credit: IDW Publishing

There are countless Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic books, which is no surprise considering it started under Mirage Studios in 1984. Since then, other publishers such as Archie Comics and Image Comics have released their own versions.

IDW Publishing took the helm in 2011, rebooting the Mirage Studios iteration and creating their own comic book universe, which has seen the Ninja Turtles cross over with other franchises such as Ghostbusters and Batman (in partnership with DC Comics) and Stranger Things (in partnership with Dark Horse Comics).

Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IDW Comics crossover
Credit: IDW Publishing

Though the main series is ongoing, an alternate storyline/sub-continuity has become incredibly popular. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin (2020) takes place in a dystopian future where a broken Michelangelo sets out to avenge his fallen brothers.

Since its release in 2020, it has had the follow-up series The Last Ronin — Lost Years (2023) and the one-shot comic Lost Day (2023). A third series titled The Last Ronin — Re-Evolution (2024) is due to be released early next year.

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

Mutant Mayhem 2 would do well to feature characters from The Last Ronin, seeing as both these iterations of the Ninja Turtles are currently very popular among fans. Even Mutant Mayhem‘s Michelangelo actor Shamon Brown Jr. said in an interview earlier this year that he’d love to play The Last Ronin-version of Mikey in a future project.

The “Ronin-Verse” also introduces four brand-new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Odyn, Yi, Moja, and Uno. It would be pretty exciting to see Mutant Mayhem 2 introduce these characters in some shape or form, even if their inclusion has nothing to do with the TMNT Multiverse.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Check out the trailer for Mutant Mayhem below:

Related: Will the Live-Action ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot Be All-Female?!

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.

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 is now available to watch at home.

The Last RoninLost Years, and Lost Day are out now. TMNT: The Last Ronin — Re-Evolution Issue #1 will be released on February 28, 2024.

There are no release dates for Mutant Mayhem 2 or TMNT: The Last Ronin game (TBA).

Would you like to see Mutant Mayhem 2 explore the TMNT Multiverse? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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