Paramount just hired a writer to reboot its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. Cowabunga?
The Turtles are coming back to the big screen. Just not these turtles. Photo: Paramount
The Hollywood Reporter broke (and we have confirmed) the news that writer Andrew Dodge, who previously wrote the Jason Bateman movie Bad Words, has been hired to work on a script. The Platinum Dunes team (Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller) that produced the two most recent films is returning - but, after the critical drubbing of the past two films, the new head of Paramount Jim Gianopulos is hoping to "refocus [the company's] franchises". The report also says insiders hope "to bring a patina of quality as they relaunch the franchise", which would be nice.
The most recent reboot, released in 2014, was a massive hit, making almost $US500 million ($677 million) globally. Its 2016 sequel, while improving on the first film's quality, grossed barely half that, with $US245 million ($333 million). The feeling was that fans love the franchise but a back to the drawing board approach was the way to go.
The fact that this is a reboot and not a sequel raises a bunch of questions, however. Will we see yet another origin story? How radically will someone update the design of the turtles? Will performance capture be used again? And what, if anything, can a writer do to make the Turtles different, but better? We don't know the answers to any of these questions yet, but we'll keep an eye on this project as it makes its way through development.