Paramount and Nickelodeon have Turtle Power. In a big $60 million dollar acquisition deal — as reported today by Variety — Viacom has acquired the rights to one of the most successful television/film/toy/comic franchises of all-time, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Their plans for the franchise are simple. Nickelodeon will produce a new CG-animated television series, which is slated to premiere in 2012. Also dropping in 2012 is a new film, which will be under the Paramount banner. From what we can tell, it is going to be the same project that ‘Turtles’ creator Peter Laird and producer Scott Mednick were working on at the Mirage Group, a story we reported on back in April.
The film is said to be a live-action, CG-animated hybrid that will be a Batman Begins style reboot, in which the origins of the Turtles are rebooted with a new tone. As our friends at /Film point out, there was a casting call earlier this year for martial artists to play members of the Foot Clan. And while this seems premature now, it may give an insight into the kind of turtles story they will be telling. As in, it is likely that it will involve the Shredder / April O’Neil / Foot Clan story seen in the original 1990 live-action movie.
Beyond that, we have very little details. Earlier this year, scribe John Fusco was working on a script for the new film, and with Mednick carrying over as producer, it is likely that he’s still on the project. There is no indication that the vision for the film has been changed. Which I believe to be good — the original ideas (including the comments made at this year’s Comic-Con about a darker Turtles movie) sounded just fine to me.