SNL veteran, Colin Jost, is tapped by Paramount to co-write the next live-action entry into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will finally be making their way back to the big screen after a half-decade hiatus. The Ninja Turtles made their initial debut in 1984 in Peter Laird’s comicbook series of the same name, and have since starred in six total feature films between 1990 and 2016. The franchise has also spawned several animated shows, as well as countless video game and merchandise tie-ins. Suffice to say that Laird’s quartet of reptilian martial artists have proven to be a staple in popular culture.
The last feature-length Ninja Turtles film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, released in 2016 to dismal reviews and poor box office returns. Out of the Shadows was a sequel to Paramount’s 2014 live-action reboot of the franchise, both of which were known for being produced by Transformers director, Michael Bay. Following the film’s underperformance, Paramount shelved the IP so that negative reactions could settle before giving the TMNT films another crack.
Deadline recently revealed that the Ninja Turtles would be coming out of retirement, with a new film set to release co-written by SNL veteran Colin Jost and his brother Casey Jost. Michael Bay is also attached to return as producer. Plot details are still under wraps – as such, it’s unclear whether Jost’s film will be a direct follow-up to Out of the Shadows, or a separate new reboot entirely.
Allegedly, Paramount “still sees the [Ninja Turtles] IP as a high priority” within their limited collection of licensed properties. It’s clearer than ever that Paramount is struggling to compete with studios like Disney and Warner Bros. over their share of the nostalgic childhood franchise pie. Following the poor performance of their recent G.I. Joe spinoff film, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, it seems that the studio is turning toward TMNT as well as their Transformers soft reboot series to stay afloat.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s exciting to hear that more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stories are on the way. Apart from the ongoing comicbook series, there hasn’t been much in the way of new TMNT content in the past year. Although Paramount’s last two stabs at the franchise were met with mixed reception, it’s possible that the studio has learned from its previous mistakes. Their recent success with the Transformers spinoff, Bumblebee, shows that Paramount is capable of responding to criticism and improving on the shortcomings of their previous projects. Hopefully the Jost brothers’ take on the Ninja Turtles will be more in the vein of Bumblebee and less in the vein of Snake Eyes.
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