The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise has been running since the mid-80s, and most fans know it from the kid-friendly animated series and movies - but in reality, the original Ninja Turtles comic series ws a lot more adult-oriented. TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's original run of the comic at Mirage Studios produced a story that was bloody, violent, and harsh in language - and for some fans, it's still the purest and most beloved form of the story.
While at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Comicbook.com got to sit down with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman to talk about TMNT #100, the 35th anniversary, and of course, the future of the franchise. Given the true roots of the franchise, we had to ask Eastman: could Ninja Turtles actually find a way to add that classic hard-edged version of the characters to the franchise - specifically in the form of a live-action show? Here's what Eastman had to say:
"Its a great question cause it really been so fascinating as we watch so many things on the entertainment side of our industry change so much in particular, you know, and I think of, how I enjoyed Daredevil, the Netflix TV series with Charlie Cox and because Daredevil was a huge influence obviously on the Turtles universe and for me that was my favorite comic growing up. I feel like The Turtles have evolved to this point after 35 years almost, and this sounds weird, but its almost to where they started out where we had the original black and white comic book come out intended for our older audience, and then we developed a cartoon show specifically for a younger audience, and now I feel like we've gone back to that place where we have the original fans that are like 30 years old."
Having an adult-themed Turtles show on a streaming platform like Netflix seems to be more than just an idea for Eastman. It seems like an avenue of the franchise that he's eager to go down. The streaming service is already working on a new TMNT animated movie, but Eastman thinks there's room for something else, as well:
"...I feel like that's the direction I think we can go and there'll be enough of and audience to support both. Because we do see a lot of that fans asking when can we get that edgy, you know, Netflix Daredevilish sort of intensity of the Turtles - at the same time, you can balance that with such a wonderful cartoon series like, Rise of the Turtles, the new series, back to that spot where we're sacred to a much younger audience. So I think that's hopefully in the future I'd love to see that, really."
What do you think: do you want an adult-themed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series or movie? And how would you like to see it done? Let us know in the comments.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles airs on Nickelodeon.