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Eastman on NINJA TURTLE Future

The creator of the turtles looks foward to the new movie

By Rob M. Worley     May 20, 2009
Source: Mania


Mania Exclusive Interview: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
© Mania

Yesterday we presented part one of Mania.com's interview with Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'. After reflecting back on the history of the Turtles and the classic cartoon which made them famous (and saw a new season released on DVD last week), Eastman now looks forward to the new movie, and drops names like Zack Snyder and Sam Rockwell.

Picking up where we left off, where Eastman had just commented on the bangup job done by director Kevin Munroe on the 2007 CGI feature 'TMNT'...

 

Mania: ...And now they're coming back again in a new live-action movie.

Eastman: Yeah. That looks cool.

I went to the Tribeca film festival to be with Steve Barron [director of the first movie] and they showed on the big screen the original 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' movie to kick off the 25th anniversary. There was 3000 fans there and Steve and I and a couple other key players did introductions.

Then [producer] Scott Mednick announced they were beginning production on a new live-action. It's just too cool for school.

 

A scene from TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES season 7

Mania: Can you tell us anything about that movie?

Eastman: I know they've talked about a number of different approaches but my guess is they'll try a reinvention of some kind. You look at movies like 'Iron Man' and 'Dark Knight', and what Chris Nolan has done – at least that would be my suggestions is to go back to square one and do a complete rebuild from the ground up, the original origin story, and roll it out that way.

Whatever they end up doing is up to them.

 

Mania: Do you know anything about director or writer attachments?

Eastman: I don't. I know that every time I've talked to [producer Galen Walker], there's part of him that wants to go back and talk to amazing guys like Steve Barron, to wanting to find completely new blood that might have been in grade school or high school when the first films came out.

Imagine Zack Snyder doing it. Not that he would or anything, but I think he's such a wonderful visionary. I think there's so many talented people out there I think they'll really have a plethora of people to choose from.

 

Mania: The cartoons are very family friendly and the comics are a little more edgy. Do you think the movie will maintain some of that edginess?

Eastman: I hope so. I really do. When I look back at the original comic series, it was really written edgy because Pete and I wrote and drew the kind of comic we liked to read. At the time we were mid-20s, so it was a lot edgier. I think in issue #2 we had the Turtles drinking beer.

A scene from TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES season 7

When we worked on the animated series, it was the first time we really said, "We're now taking this idea and writing it down to a much more specific audience." We had full approval over everything that was done with the turtles at that time. So any changes that were made, whether it was softening up the origin story or changing the different color bandannas and that kind of stuff, either Peter and I came up with the idea or agreed to it.

When the first live-action movie came along what was cool is that we had the spectrum of the black-and-white edgy comics and the kids' animated series. Steve Barron said "Let's split it right up the middle and do one of those old Bugs Bunny cartoons," where it would have the sophistication and the parody and the inside jokes for the older audiences – "What Opera, Doc?" That kind of thing – but still had all the antics and stuff for kids. So we got something in there for both. If a parent has to sit through it two times with their kids at least it's not putting them to sleep.

 

Mania: For casting on the new movie, do you think Sam Rockwell will return?

Eastman: Dude, you know, he's one of my favorite actors. I had actually forgotten that he had one or two lines in the original movie. And somebody reminded me that Skeet Ulrich had a very small part in the original Turtle movie.

 

Mania: Did he really?

Eastman: Yeah. Actually, I think I was reading an article when Skeet made it big with the first 'Scream' movie, he mentioned that one of his first parts was a background character or a really minor role in the first one.

But Sam Rockwell I think is talented on a bazillion different levels. One of my favorites, you think from 'The Green Mile' to 'Galaxy Quest'. He's awesome. He really is.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES season 7 comes as 4 separate DVDs that combine to form one set.

And Elias Koteas. He was just one of those guys who has been in so many movies like 'Benjamin Button', but he's just done really bizarre, always cool, almost "Johnny Depp" in his selection of style characters he wants to play. But he was Casey Jones in the first and third Turtle movies. When I moved to L.A. 15 years or so ago, I remember joining this gym and seeing him jogging on the treadmill and it was like, "Oh my God! Casey!"

 


 

Season 7 of the classic 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' cartoon is out on DVD now. Look for the heroes on the half-shell to return to the big screen in an all-new, live-action movie in 2011.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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1 
raspedoits 5/20/2009 5:03:56 AM

Im curious.  how are the turtles gonna be?  I hope they get muscular actors, paint them green, put a shell on them & cgi their heads.  Thats how it should be.  what do u guys think?

madmanic999 5/20/2009 5:13:40 AM

Gotta admit, I loved every turtle movie (actually kinda bummed that they aren't making a CGI sequel, I really enjoyed it and my kids loved it), hell I even love the cartoons...

If they do a reboot, being a little edgy wont hurt, but they need to gear it toward the kiddies while still pleasing the old fans who are all grown up now.  Let's face it, as cool as it may be, 4 dark turtles (all in the same color mask and for some reason, constantly bleading from one body part or another) stacking dead foot ninjas like piles of wood might work for some of us, but probably won't appeal to a larger audience.

If they bring out a new movie with the right amount of humor, action, and a really cool story, I'll be there opening night with my boys.

xenomorph 5/20/2009 5:46:23 AM

Maybe the turtles could be done with a combination of make-up fx and cgi, like in Benjamin Button.

Whiskeymovie 5/20/2009 6:41:50 AM

I really loved the first and the third,,,the second was a little cheesy......go ninja, go ninja, go.....I know they did it because parents complained about the violence in the first one, that's why they like never use their weapons in the 2nd movie,,,,,the third I think was my favorite....Turtles in time,,,,,awesome,,,it had great action and it was really funny...plus, they brought casey back in two forms....and how cool would be be to have Zack Snyder to a turltes film,,,,,actually, I would love to see a director like Len Wiseman or Louis Lettier do this....and I knew Sam Rockwell was in the original, he played the punk at the end that told the cops where to look,,,,but, I don't remember Skeet....Skeet. Skeet, Skeet......well, I say "It looked kinda like a large turtle in a trench coat,,,,you're going to Laguardia, right?"

DarthDuck 5/20/2009 7:08:15 AM

I know the director they have signed just finish 'Where the Wild Things Are', which was a CGI/live action blend.  So maybe it will have aspects of both.  Whatever they do I look forward to seeing it.

redhairs99 5/20/2009 7:43:05 AM

They hired Spike Jonez?  When did this happen?

violator14 5/20/2009 9:15:05 AM

Ya first one was definitely classic, cool, edgy, and funny for the kids. That's exactly how they should make the new one. I thought the costumes in part 1 were WWAAAYYYYY better than any of the sequels. I wouldnt mind if they used those type of costumes again.

But im pretty sure they're gonna use CGI Turtles in live action, via Spider-man, Hulk, Iron-Man, Transfomers, which im sure will look pretty amazing if they do it right. And with today's action choreographers, it's gonna be CRAZINESS!!!!

And ANY movie Zack Snyder does will look amazing..... Zacky are u reading this?? think about it bro.....pls.

Predator29_home 5/20/2009 12:18:55 PM

Just give me KRANG  DAMNIT.  I'll go and see the movie just for that i was so disappointed when i was little that Krang and Bee-Bop and Rocksteady weren't in the movie then we get Tokka and Razar...  WHO?

i don't care who is in it as long as its not the guys from High School Musical.

Cacaoatl 5/20/2009 8:43:08 PM

Corey Feldman should do a cameo. And Kevin Eastman's ex-wife Julie Strain should be April O'Neil. Ken Watanabe should be Splinter and Shin Koyamada should be Shredder.  Elias Koteas should reprise his role as Casey Jones. The screenplay should follow the original origin from the Mirage Studio comics where the Turtles are created in the same accident that blinds Matt Murdock.

gambit84 6/12/2009 11:50:56 AM

im a huge fan of the movies and the cartoon was bad ass i had everything from the ground up with toys and ect if they go and do a reboot let not start with the old bad guys from the first one start with like the rat king or something.

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