R-Rated ‘TMNT’ Movie Everything We Know: Plot, Cast, Trailer, Release Date, and More

in Movies & TV

Michelangelo in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' (1990)

Credit: New Line Cinema

With this year marking the 40th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who started life in the gritty Mirage Comics graphic novels back in 1984, unsurprisingly, there have already been several announcements regarding upcoming projects. We’re getting a theatrical sequel to the 3D-animated box office hit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023), a 2D animated series follow-up, and a video game adaptation. And that’s just the Mutant Mayhem universe. IDW Publishing, which has been churning out TMNT comic books since 2011, has renewed its licensing deal with Paramount and confirmed a roster of new stories from Marvel Comics and DC Comics writer Jason Aaron.

In addition to the main series, IDW also oversees the “Ronin-Verse,” which started with TMNT: The Last Ronin (2020), a dark and gritty take on the half-shell heroes that has proven hugely popular since its arrival four years ago. The first issue of the third series, TMNT: The Last Ronin — Re-Evolution (2024), hit shelves in February. There’s also a “AAA” video game adaptation in development with Black Forest Games and THQ Nordic. However, while franchise co-creator Kevin Eastman confirmed last year that Nickelodeon and Paramount were focused on developing the Mutant Mayhem universe and that there were no plans for a movie adaptation of The Last Ronin despite its popularity, that has now changed.

'TMNT: The Last Ronin' cover art
Credit: IDW Publishing

TMNT: The Last Ronin Movie Reboot

Yesterday (April 11), per The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures confirmed that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin will get the silver screen treatment after all. But the good news doesn’t end there, because the upcoming movie will also answer the prayers of diehard fans who’ve been calling out for an R-rated project for decades.

While there’s no word on a director, the script will be penned by Tyler Burton Smith, whose credits include Child’s Play (2019) and the upcoming actioner Boy Kills World (2024), both of which are R-rated films. Previously, many fans called for Christopher Nolan to direct a film adaptation should it arise, while The Brothers Sun (2024) director Kevin Tanchareon has shown an interest in helming a movie adaptation of the popular comic book. Kevin Eastman has already revealed that his preference would be director Zack Snyder.

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

Former head of DC Films, Walter Hamada, is producing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin (TBA) through his 18hz production company.

The Last Ronin movie will be the ninth theatrical movie in the TMNT franchise, 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), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, and the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem 2, which was recently given an October 9, 2026 release date.

Related: ‘TMNT: The Last Ronin’ Trailer Breakdown

What’s TMNT: The Last Ronin Movie About?

The Last Ronin movie will be based on the first comic book of the same name, which follows lone Ninja Turtle Michelangelo as he sets out to avenge the deaths of his brothers, Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello, and his father, Splinter, in a dystopian, futuristic New York City.

Per IDW Publishing, here’s the official synopsis:

Who is the Last Ronin? In a future, battle-ravaged New York City, a lone surviving Turtle embarks on a seemingly hopeless mission seeking justice for the family he lost.

The Last Ronin comic books are written by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz, and are based on an older story by Eastman and TMNT co-creator Peter Laird. Artists include Esau and Isaac Escorza, Ben Bishop, and Eastman.

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

Who’s In It?

No casting has been confirmed, and it’s unknown whether the film will use CG-animated motion capture for the Ninja Turtles like in the 2014 Michael Bay-produced reboot and its sequel, or practical suits similar to those used in the original three films.

However, based on the comics, we know that the film will feature several iconic TMNT characters, including Michelangelo, Baxter Stockman, April O’Neil and her daughter Casey Marie, and Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Splinter, and Casey Jones in flashbacks.

The movie will likely also feature the four brand-new Ninja Turtles, two of whom are female.

Is There a Trailer?

As the project has only just been announced, there’s no trailer. There is, however, a trailer for The Last Ronin video game, courtesy of PlayStation YouTube:

Related: ‘Mutant Mayhem’ Actor Open to Returning in ‘The Last Ronin’ Movie

When’s TMNT: The Last Ronin Out in Theaters?

There’s currently no release date.

Other TMNT Media

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

Mutant Mayhem is now available to watch at home. Its sequel, Mutant Mayhem 2, will be released in theaters on October 26, 2026. The Last Ronin, its follow-up Lost Years and Lost Day, and the first issue of Re-Evolution, are on sale now.

The TMNT franchise continues to expand beyond Mutant Mayhem and The Last Ronin. IDW Publishing has renewed its deal with Paramount to continue releasing comic books. New stories include Nightwatcher, Mutant Nation, Alpha, and Black, White, and Green.

On the video game side of things, expect Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants Unleashed (2024), which is based on Mutant Mayhem, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants (2024), a reboot of the 2017 arcade-style game of the same name.

The Last Ronin video game is also in development, however, there’s no release date.

Mutant Mayhem will also be followed by a 2D animated series titled Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which streams on April 26 on Paramount+. Check out the teaser below, per Nicktoons YouTube:

Related: 5 Reasons ‘Mutant Mayhem’ Is Overrated

Are you excited about the TMNT: The Last Ronin movie? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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