April 23, 2009

Live-action ‘Turtles’ flick in the works

The Mirage Group says it has given the green light for development of a U.S. live-action movie about the origins of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The new film is targeted for release in 2011, the company said Thursday.

Announcement of the fifth big-screen version of the crime-fighting heroes in a half-shell comes on the day the Turtles kick off their 25th anniversary national Shell-ebration in New York with events that include lighting the Empire State Building in turtle green and an outdoor screening of their first film at the Tribeca Film Festival Drive-In, Mirage said.

It was critical to us to find people who both understood the Turtles franchise and were accomplished filmmakers who appreciated both the action and humor components of the Turtles' identity, Gary Richardson, chief executive officer of The Mirage Group, said in a statement about the upcoming movie. With (producers Scott Mednick and Galen Walker) we know we've found great talent with those essential attributes.

The original dozen comics created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman are some of the best source material one could hope for, Mednick said. We're excited to bring this story to a whole new generation of moviegoers as well as the legions of fans that have made the Turtles -- Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael, as well as Splinter, April O'Neil, Casey Jones and, of course, the great villain Shredder -- a part of their world for 25 years.