Now that 'Pokemon' and 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' are in decline, I suppose the Turtles have a chance of making a comeback.
Here's hoping the animators treat them right.
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Woo, Digital, Mirage on 'Turtles' pic
Estimated prod'n cost to fall between $40 mil-$60 mil
By TIM SWANSON
HOLLYWOOD -- Director John Woo and producer Terence Chang's Digital Rim Entertainment have inked a deal with Mirage Studios to develop and produce a CGI-animated feature film based on the $4 billion "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" franchise.
Pic's estimated production cost will fall between $40 million and $60 million and will return the shell-backed heroes "to their darker, edgier comic book roots," according to "Turtles" co-creator Peter Laird, owner of Mirage Licensing, which reps Mirage Studios.
Digital Rim has already produced a new animated "Turtles" TV pilot, which inspired the company to pursue the film rights. The pilot is currently being shopped at the networks.
"John and I look forward to working with Peter to incorporate these original extreme martial arts characters into a terrific first CGI film for Digital Rim, fusing traditional Hollywood creative know-how and highly advanced computer technology," Chang said.
"I've always loved the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,' " Woo added. "It's one of the greatest action-adventure properties ever."
Honolulu-based Digital Rim was formed last October when Woo and Chang linked up with vidgame and TV production company Rainbow Studios and South Korea-based J.G. Lee's Digital Dream Studio (DDS) to produce digital and CGI-animated pics and vidgames.
Rainbow Studios and DDS will handle the animation duties on the still untitled "Turtles" film. Woo and Chang's Lion Rock Prods. will collaborate on the development and production. No Hollywood studio is attached to co-finance or distribute the pic.
"Were not looking for financing or distribution right now," Digital Rim prexy Earl Jarred told Daily Variety. "We are looking to develop a script and see what happens with the TV series."
Although already working on "Ark," another CGI film, "Turtles" will most likely be Digital Rim's feature film debut. Pic is tentatively skedded to hit theaters in Christmas 2002.
William Morris Agency repped both Digital Rim and Mirage on this project.
While this is really cool news, I'm not really that excited about it. For one, the Ninja Turtles had their 15 minutes. I liked the first movie, but they went downhill quickly with the sequels (I only watched the last one because David Warner was in it).
If they do stay true to the COMIC Turtles, it might be cool. However, in light of the anti-violence issues in Hollywood these days, I'm skeptical that they'll be able to pull it off. Granted, the Turtle fans are older now and they could make this movie with a PG-13 rating for older audiences, but then you know the toy companies and studio execs aren't gonna go for that.
What I gotta wonder is why there can't be at least 1 filmmaker who was a diehard Transformers fan in the 80s with some connections in Hollywood.
Transformers is SCREAMING for a CG/live-action movie to be made - the original movie was by far ahead of its time - it was considerably violent and had death and destruction on a galaxy-wide scale. It also had "adult language" - the S-word, the D-word and the H-word are all in the film.
Transformers fans make up one of the web's largest online communities for any animated series (or live-action series for that matter). And Hasbro has been sitting on the license, doing mostly *squat* with it.
There was actually preliminary animation done and a script completed last year for a feature-length TF movie (based on the original animated series) by a producer of animation for music videos (the company that produced the CG animation for the Backstreet Boys "rock your body" video, FYI).
Hasbro turned it down because "it wasn't connected to the TF series currently airing on TV, nor to a toyline they were currently producing". Nevermind that original TF toys fetch hundreds of dollars on ebay, even for LOOSE (out of package) items and that TFs are the #1 requested series for CN to pick up. (I actually got a reply from CN once where the guy laughed at my suggestion that they try to pick up "Transformers: The Movie" to air on Cartoon Network Theatre.)
The fans are numerous, and they want this movie to happen. With the huge popularity of anime and CG, movie audiences are primed (no pun intended) and ready for this kind of film.
And Hasbro couldn't care less.
They're sitting on a golden egg and they don't even realize it. What a waste.
Too bad there's no TF fan in the right position to buddy-up with the likes of a John Woo, Steven Speilberg, Barry Sonnenfeld, Jerry Bruckheimer or the Wachowski brothers. Any one of those guys could make a kick-***** TFs feature film.
Dang, I hate those danged turtles.
Last edited by Craig Crumpton; 06-29-2001 at 12:30 AM.
I think Gookie's onto something... I know a lot of people who would wait in line for a Transformers movie. Heck, I sure would. Not to mention that a live-action CGI combo could have really broad mainstream appeal as well. Not sure why Hasbro's being so anal about including current toys into the flick... all they have to do is let the movie designers create the Transformers, then create toys based on them. They'd sell like crazy!
Though as burnt out I got on the Turtles, a Turtles flick based on the original comic would be nice. That series had just the right amount of grit to it, and wasn't cheesy or "kid-friendly" in any way. Then again, parents are going to have a complete cow when this comes out... "why did that turtle draw blood? Funny animals are just for kids!" Yeesh...
You read it... you can't un-read it!
That Hasbro-Transformers story reminds me a lot of the way Parmount treated Star Trek for years after the original TV series ended. It took the success of Star Wars to make them finally perceive the obvious.
Last edited by Sharklady; 07-01-2001 at 10:07 PM.
Yeah, I suppose he could, being King of the World and all...
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