Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (film series)

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series
2009 Blu-ray box set cover
Directed by Steve Barron (1)
Michael Pressman (2)
Stuart Gillard (3)
Kevin Munroe (TMNT)
Jonathan Liebesman ( 2014)
Produced by Simon Fields (1)
Kim Dawson (1-3)
David Chan (1-3)
Thomas K. Gray (2-TMNT)
Galen Walker (TMNT)
Michael Bay
Bradley Fuller
Andrew Form
Scott Mednick
Galen Walker (TMNT 2014)
Written by Todd W. Langen (1-2)
Bobby Herbeck (1)
Stuart Gillard (3)
Kevin Munroe (TMNT)
Josh Appelbaum
André Nemec (TMNT 2014)
Starring Judith Hoag
Elias Koteas
Paige Turco
Mark Caso
David Fraser
Jim Raposa
Matt Hill (1-3)
Nolan North
James Arnold Taylor
Mikey Kelley
Mitchell Whitfield
Chris Evans
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Mako Iwamatsu
Kevin Smith
Patrick Stewart
Zhang Ziyi (TMNT)
Megan Fox
Pete Ploszek
Noel Fisher
Jeremy Howard
Alan Ritchson
Danny Woodburn
Whoopi Goldberg, William Fichtner
Will Arnett
Abby Elliott
K. Todd Freeman (2014)
Music by John Du Prez (1-3)
Klaus Badelt (TMNT) Brian Tyler (2014)
Cinematography John Fenner (1)
Shelly Johnson (2)
David Gurfinkel (3)
Steve Lumley (TMNT)
Lula Carvalho
Edited by William D. Gordean (1, 3)
Sally Menke (1)
James R. Symons (1, 3)
Steve Mirkovich (2)
John Wright (2)
John Damien Ryan (TMNT)
Distributed by New Line Cinema ( 1990-1992)
Warner Bros. (2007)
Paramount Pictures ( 2014-)
Release date(s) 1990-2007 (original series)
2014 (reboot)
Running time 365 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $93,500.000
Box office $418.505.332

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a film franchise based on the comic book series of the same name by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. The first film in the series, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was released in 1990 at the height of the franchise's popularity and was a commercial success. The success of the film garnered three direct sequels, respectively released in 1991, 1993, and a CGI animated film 2007, billed as TMNT building on the success of the 2003–2009 TV series. The series is due to be rebooted, with a new film slated for release in 2014.

Original trilogy[edit]

The first film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, closely follows the storyline from the Mirage comic books, in addition to some of the more lighthearted elements of the cartoons. The film tells the origin story of Splinter and the Turtles, their initial encounters with April O'Neil (Judith Hoag) and Casey Jones (Elias Koteas), and their first confrontation with The Shredder and his Foot Clan. Another plot point for the film is that The Foot have kidnapped Splinter, and the Turtles must rescue him from the Shredder's grasp. Directed by Steve Barron and released by New Line Cinema, the film showcases the innovative puppetry techniques of Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

The first sequel, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, expands on the Turtles' origin story while claiming the dubious distinction as Vanilla Ice's film debut. The film was dedicated to puppeteer Jim Henson. It also introduced the Turtles' human friend Keno (Ernie Reyes, Jr.) and Shredder's mutant henchmen Tokka and Rahzar.

The third film in the series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, features Elias Koteas reprising his role as Casey Jones. The plot revolves around the "Sacred Sands of Time", a mystical scepter which transports the Turtles back in time to feudal Japan, where they become embroiled in a conflict between a daimyo and a group of rebellious villagers.


Main article: TMNT (film)

The Turtles latest feature film, titled simply TMNT and written and directed by Kevin Munroe, was released March 23, 2007. Unlike the previous films, it used 100% computer-generated imagery, produced by Imagi Animation Studios and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and The Weinstein Company. It was the final Ninja Turtle movie to be distributed by Time Warner due to the franchise being purchased by Viacom.

Chronologically, this movie takes place after the third movie, with the team essentially broken as Leonardo is training in Central America, Donatello and Michelangelo have jobs, and Raphael spends his time as the vigilante crimefighter 'Nightwatcher'. Leonardo returns to the New York City due to the events surroundering a series of monsters being hunted by the mysterious businessman Max Winters, but tensions begin to rise between him and Raphael over the leadership of the team. The Foot Clan also make an appearance, with Karai leading them.


A new feature film was to have been released on 25 December 2013 as part of the acquisition of the franchise by Viacom. It was announced on May 27, 2010 that Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes production company had landed the rights to the new film. It is expected that Bay, Bradley Fuller and Andrew Form will serve as executive producers. Ninja Turtles will be a co-production between Paramount and Nickelodeon.[1] However, it will be a reboot film as opposed to another sequel. Reception from fans thus far has been extremely critical, particularly since Michael Bay's statement that the Turtles will be "from an alien race" and Bay's suggestion that critical fans needed to "chill" after negative response. Fan criticism has included comments from Robbie Rist, the voice of Michelangelo from the original movie series, that Bay is "sodomizing" the original movies and causing "the rape of childhood memories."[2] In June 2012, it was reported that Paramount had shut down production on the film and pushed its release date back to 2014.[3] In February 2013, Bay announced via his personal website that he would be bringing actress Megan Fox into his new TMNT family.[4] No further statement from Bay was made regarding who she would be playing in the new film, but various reports have suggested that she will play April O'Neil.[5] The film will also star Alan Ritchson as Raphael, Pete Ploszek as Leonardo, Jeremy Howard as Donatello, and Noel Fisher as Michelangelo.[6][7] In April 2013, Bay retracted his comments that the turtles would be aliens and insisted that they would be mutants.[8] Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shalhoub will be providing the voices of Leonardo and Splinter respectively.[9] It is scheduled to be released on August 8, 2014.[10]

Canceled projects[edit]

Kevin Eastman was working on a fourth Ninja Turtles film between 1995 and 1997 titled TMNT: The Next Mutation. In 2012, Heritage Auctions published concept arts showing a fifth turtle named Kirby, but also featured are Fang, Shredder, Spyder, Nano Spyder, Super Shredder, Casey, Talbot, Lawson, Bugman and "Evil April".[11] Peter Laird showed some concept art of the Turtles and Splinter on his blog.[12][13][14][15][16]

Kevin Munroe has stated that he would like to direct a possible sequel to TMNT, possibly involving the return of the Shredder.[17] In an interview, Peter Laird stated he was interested in the idea of having the next film be a live-action and CGI hybrid film, with the Turtles rendered in CGI and Sarah Michelle Gellar and Chris Evans reprising their TMNT roles in live-action.[18]

In late April 2009, it was announced a new live-action film would be in the works for a 2011 release. Mirage Studios was partnering with producers Scott Mednick and Galen Walker, with Peter Laird, Gary Richardson, Frederick Fierst, Eric Crown would serve as executive producers, and 4Kids Entertainment would handle the film's merchandising.[19] It was stated that the story would be a prequel that would focus on the Turtles origin.[20] In July 2009, an open casting call was made for extras to play as members of the Foot Clan, with Ernie Reyes, Jr. as an acting judge.[21] "Ninja Turtles" co-creator Peter Laird said "there are a lot of positive feelings about a 'Batman Begins'-style 'reboot,'"[22] while producer Galen Walker said the film would be headed in a darker direction.[23] In July, 2009 is was announced that John Fusco would be the films writer.[24] His version was to be inspired by the original dark and gritty black and white comics that Eastman created with Peter Laird, but Paramount wasn't on board.[25] However, in mid October 2009, it was announced that Viacom's subsidiary network Nickelodeon had purchased all of Mirage's rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property for $9.75 million, thus terminating all deals with 4Kids and Time Warner.[26][27][28]

Cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)

  • Italics indicate a transition to a minor role, such as an extended flashback, after the initial appearance.
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film.

Character Film
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Leonardo David Forman (costume only)
Brian Tochi (voice only)
Martin P. Robinson (puppetry only)
Mark Caso (costume only)
Brian Tochi (voice only)
Rob Tygner (puppetry only)
Mark Caso (costume only)
Brian Tochi (voice only)
Jim Martin (puppetry only)
James Arnold Taylor Pete Ploszek (motion capture only)
Johnny Knoxville (voice only)
Michelangelo Michelan Sisti (costume only)
Robbie Rist (voice only)
Mak Wilson (puppetry only)
Michelan Sisti (costume only)
Robbie Rist (voice only)
Rob Tygner (puppetry only)
David Fraser (costume only)
Robbie Rist (voice only)
Gord Robertson (puppetry only)
Mikey Kelley Noel Fisher
Donatello Leif Tilden (costume only)
Corey Feldman (voice only)
David Rudman (puppetry only)
Leif Tilden (costume only)
Adam Carl (voice only)
Rob Mills (puppetry only)
Jim Raposa (costume only)
Corey Feldman (voice only)
Rick Lyon (puppetry only)
Mitchell Whitfield Jeremy Howard
Raphael Josh Pais (costume and voice)
David Greenaway (puppetry only)
Kenn Troum (costume only)
Laurie Faso (voice only)
David Greenaway (puppetry only)
Matt Hill (costume only)
Tim Kelleher (voice only)
Noel MacNeal (puppetry only)
Nolan North Alan Ritchson
Splinter Kevin Clash (voice and puppetry)
Ricky Boyd (puppetry only)
Rob Tygner (puppetry only)
Kevin Clash (voice and puppetry)
Susan Dacre (puppetry only)
Ricky Boyd (puppetry only)
James Murray (voice and puppetry)
Lisa Sturz (puppetry only)
Tim Lawrence (puppetry only)
Mako Danny Woodburn (motion capture only)
Tony Shalhoub (voice only)
April O'Neil Judith Hoag Paige Turco Sarah Michelle Gellar Megan Fox
Casey Jones Elias Koteas   Elias Koteas Chris Evans  
The Shredder James Saito
David McCharen (voice only)
François Chau
Kevin Nash (Super Shredder)
David McCharen (voice only)
   Mentioned William Fichtner
Chief Sterns Raymond Serra
Charles Pennington Jay Patterson
Danny Pennington Michael Turney
Keno   Ernie Reyes, Jr.
Professor Jordan Perry   David Warner
Whit Elias Koteas  
Mitsu Vivian Wu  
Yoshi Travis A. Moon  
Kenshin Henry Hayashi  
Narrator   Laurence Fishburne  
Max Winters   Patrick Stewart  
Tatsu Toshishiro Obata
Michael McConnohie (voice only)
Tokka   Mark Ginther (costume only)
Frank Welker (voice only)
Gord Robertson (puppetry only)
Rahzar   Kurt Bryant (costume only)
Frank Welker (voice only)
Rick Lyon (puppetry only)
Lord Norinaga   Sab Shimono  
Walker   Stuart Wilson  
Niles   John Aylward  
Karai   Zhang Ziyi  
General Aguila   Kevin Michael Richardson  
General Gato   Fred Tatasciore  
Colonel Santino   John DiMaggio  
General Serpiente   Paula Mattioli  
Vernon Fenwick   Will Arnett
Baxter Stockman   K. Todd Freeman


Box office[edit]

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Reference
United States Foreign Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles March 30, 1990 $135,265,915 $66,700,000 $201,965,915 #234 #387 $13,500,000 [29]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze March 12, 1991 $78,656,813 $78,656,813 #605 $25,000,000 [30]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III March 19, 1993 $42,273,609 $42,273,619 #1,312 $21,000,000 [31]
TMNT March 23, 2007 $54,149,098 $41,459,878 $95,608,976 #998 $34,000,000 [32]
Total $310,345,435 $108,159,878(E) $418,505,313 $93,500,000
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.
  • (E) indicates total based on available numbers.


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  2. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Fans in Uproar". 
  3. ^ Masters, Kim. "Paramount Shuts Down 'Ninja Turtles' Reboot; Release Date Pushed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  4. ^ http://michaelbay.com/2013/02/21/tmnt-we-are-bringing-megan-fox-back-into-the-family/
  5. ^ Rome, Emily (2013-02-21). "Casting Net: Megan Fox reunites with Michael Bay; Plus Adam Sandler and James Marsden". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  6. ^ ‘Hunger Games 2′s Alan Ritchson To Play Raphael In ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’
  7. ^ Deadline Lifts The Shell Off The Ninja Turtles
  8. ^ Eisenberg, Eric (2013-04-29). "Michael Bay Insists His Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Come From The Ooze". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  9. ^ "Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub Lend Voices To ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’". Deadline. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
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  11. ^ Concept Art From TMNT Defunct Live-Action Film Reveals Kirby The Fifth Turtle & So Much More
  12. ^ Blast from the Past #36 repost: Donatello's new costume
  13. ^ Blast from the Past #37 repost: Leonardo's new costume
  14. ^ Blast from the Past #38 repost: Splinter's new look
  15. ^ Blast from the Past #39 repost: Michelangelo's new costume
  16. ^ Blast from the Past #40 repost: Raphael's new look
  17. ^ Billington, Alex (March 4, 2007). "TMNT Sequel Planned, Could We See Shredder?". FirstShowing. Retrieved March 11, 2007. 
  18. ^ Benjamin Ong Pang Kean (June 10, 2008). "TMNT Celebrates 25 Years, III - Peter Laird". Newsarama. 
  19. ^ ComingSoon (April 23, 2009). "New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Coming!". ComingSoon. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
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  21. ^ ComingSoon (July 14, 2009). "Martial Arts Experts Casting Call for Live-Action TMNT Movie". ComingSoon. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  22. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Co-Creator Of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Reveals More Details About New Film". Splashpage.mtv.com. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  23. ^ "Producers Promise a Dark Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie". FirstShowing.net. 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  24. ^ Graser, Marc (2009-07-20). "'Ninja Turtles' relaunch gets writer - Entertainment News, Film News, Media". Variety. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
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  26. ^ Laird, Peter (October 21, 2009). "Musings about the sale". Palblog. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  27. ^ PRNewswire (October 21, 2009). "The Mirage Group Sells Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(TM) to Nickelodeon". Reuters. Retrieved November 4, 2009. 
  28. ^ Finke, Nikki (October 21, 2009). "Nickelodeon To Revive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles For TV/Film After Acquiring Global Rights For $60M". Deadline. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  30. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (1991)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  31. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  32. ^ "TMNT (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved 2009-11-04.