A few weeks ago, Paramount announced that Seth Rogen’s new animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film would be released earlier than expected on August 7th, 2023. Today, Paramount announced that this film will serve as the starting point for a new series of TMNT-themed villain films that will be available exclusively on Paramount Plus. The new revelation was made as part of Paramount’s Investors Day presentation, which included numerous planned projects as the corporation sought to ensure its place among the streaming heavyweights, as well as the publication of some concept art for the new film.
The heroes in a half-shell were last seen on the big screen in Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows in 2016, and while the live-action sequel brought all the exhilarating, logic-defying excitement of Saturday morning cartoons to life, critics were quick to reject it. A number of new Ninja Turtle-centered films have been rumoured in recent years, and it appears that, in addition to another live-action reboot, Paramount and Nickelodeon Animation Studios are ready to bring a whole new animation universe to life beginning in 2023.
When the new project was revealed in 2020, ViacomCBS’s Brian Robbins heralded the beginning of a new era for Nickelodeon Animation Studios, which will produce the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ first theatrically released CG animated feature film. Robbins stated at the time, “Adding Seth, Evan, and James’ talent to the humour and action that has always been a part of TMNT will result in a next-level reinvention of the property. I’m anxious to see what they come up with, and I know Ramsey Naito and her crew are excited to take the Nick Animation Studio in a new path with their first-ever CG-animated film.”
The Shredder has always been the centre of attention in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films, but that appears to be changing.
Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello have faced up against their arch–nemesis, The Shredder, on several occasions since their first big-screen appearance almost 40 years ago. While this has given fans of the franchise something to look forward to, it appears that Paramount’s new announcement of a series of “villain movies” in the works hints that some new opponents may be on the way.
Other villains that have met paths with the pizza-loving foursome include the alien Krang, who was finally introduced to the big screen in the 2016 film, the Rat King, scientist Baxter Stockman and his mutated Baxter Fly form, as well as numerous other mutants such as the Leatherhead and Slash. What form these films will take and how they will differ from the traditional hero-driven fare will be revealed in due course.
Regardless of how Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles performs in theatres when it opens in August 2023, it appears that Paramount is moving forward with additional entries in the franchise as they expand the Paramount+ streaming platform in the same way that Disney+ and HBO Max have done with their biggest IPs. That can only be a good thing for Turtles lovers.