The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been an almost constant presence in our lives for the past thirty five years. In that time, there have been six live action films, four animated series, two animated films and one live action television series. Add to that a host of action figures series and more collectibles than you can shake a can of mutagen at and you have a series that has stood the test of time and appealed to generations both young and (not very) old. But it could be argued that there has been something missing since the earliest days of the original comic book from co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.
Every time a new series, comic book or action figure is released to the masses, there is always that one guy that is beating the drum for the grim, gritty and dark origins of the ’84 Turtles comic book. Now whether these fans bought every issue of the 80’s comic as they came out, or they just read a few Wikipedia articles, you can’t deny that there is a definite desire to see a more serious tone applied to the Turtles, a tone we arguably haven’t seen since the 1990 live action film.
Series co-creator Kevin Eastman spoke with comicbook.com during this past weekends San Diego Comic Con and dropped a bit of a bomb for fans. When asked if the Turtles will ever go back to their grim beginnings, the writer and artist had this 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.”
He followed that up with…
“…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 Daredevil-ish 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.”
Now, obviously, this is confirmation of nothing as a live action TMNT Netflix series would be a huge gamble for the streaming service, one that would probably demand a huge chunk of change. Considering the streaming platform is shying away from big budgeted features, this may not be in the cards for Netflix, at least for right now.
But something could be being worked on behind the scenes that we just don’t know about yet. Shows like these, with properties this huge, take time to develop. But this isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumblings of a 90’s inspired Netflix show featuring the TMNT. Bobby Herbeck, writer of the original 1990 film, was recently a guest on the Giz Fiz podcast (really, that’s the name you went with?)where he mention that he was trying to get a live action show made with. Whatever happens now is nothing but rumor, speculation and probably a bit of guesswork, but if a live action TMNT series or film is coming our way, you can be sure to hear it here “first”.