'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin' comic book cover.

The Next ‘Ninja Turtles’ Movie Is Taking a Dark Turn Right From the Comics

Your favorite turtles are back, albeit with a gory twist. As per THR, Paramount Pictures has announced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin, an R-rated live-action film looking to build on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhems success.

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Tyler Burton Smith (Child’s Play, Boy Kills World) is penning the script, while Walter Hamada is attached to produce via his production company, 18hz. Hamada is known for heading the horror division at Warner Bros., and 18hz is solely dedicated to the horror genre. Hamada now leads the horror efforts at Paramount Pictures. A timeline for this film has not been indicated as of yet, but even an aggressive estimate would mean the movie is not releasing before late 2025 or early 2026.

The cast for the film has not been confirmed yet, either. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin will be based on the 2020–22 graphic novel series written by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz, based on a story by original creators Eastman and Peter Laird. It is set in a dystopian future, where Turtle nemesis Shredder’s grandson Oroko Hiroto rules New York with an iron fist. There’s only one turtle remaining from the TMNT clan, after Hiroto wipes them out, and his attempts to exact revenge on Shredder’s grandson by wielding all of four signature Turtle weapons form the crux of the plot.

Paramount’s confidence in the franchise stems from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem’s box-office numbers, as the movie was able to collect $180.5 million worldwide and $118.6 million in the U.S. and Canada. Made on a budget of $70 million, the film was declared a modest hit. Still, it’s fair to say that the studio is taking a chance considering the source material is being adapted for an adult audience, a far cry from what Mutant Mayhem was all about. It’s important to note that the graphic novel series was a big hit, ranking second on Circana Bookscan’s list of best-selling graphic novels in 2023.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin joins the trend of dark remakes of children’s classics, with Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit being the other notable examples.

(featured image: IDW Publishing)


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