In the thirty years since the first live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, there has not been a follow-up that captured the audience's imagination in the same way as the first. Like Superman: The Movie, the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from director Steve Barron is considered a watershed moment. In the days before fully-realized CG characters was a realistic possibility, Jim Henson and his Creature Shop helped bring Raphael, Leonardo, Michaelangelo, and Donatello to life onscreen in a way that thrilled kids and surprised everybody by looking...well, pretty good. Years later, producer Kim Dawson and writer Bobby Herbeck say they would love to bring back the old-school Turtles as much as anybody else.
In fact, according to Herbeck, those are conversations he has had with Barron, Brian Henson (who has run the Creature Shop since his father passed away in 1990), and whoever will listen. It came up when we asked whether one of those Halloween or Bill & Ted-style "20 years later" sequels would have any appeal for them.
"Yes. The answer is yes," Herbeck said emphatically before we could even finish the question. "We're trying to make that happen. We want to do a reboot. We got our fans come to us on Instagram, they're, 'Why don't you guys do a reboot of the first movie?' We'd love to do it."
He said that one of the big appeals of potentially trying to return to this look, and this continuity, for the Turtles is imagining what Jim Henson's Creature Shop could do with the Turtles thirty years on, and using the kind of mind-blowing technology that makes a show like Earth to Ned possible.
"The truth is, this property, it's established now after 30 years as a part of our modern pop culture, it's not going away," Dawson added. "It's only going to continue to grow. I do wish that we could go back. I mean, we've talked to Steve Barron about this, and Brian Henson, and if there were an opportunity, if one of the studios saw fit, I think we could go back and reboot it like it was....Imagine if Brian Henson had access to the technology he does today to make these costumes and all that. I think it would be amazing. A reboot like that I think would really get people's juices flowing."
This Thursday through Saturday (November 6-8), Fathom Events and Warner Bros. are bringing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back to select theaters. You can get more details on the event at the Fathom Events website.