The 1990 ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Writer Wants to Reboot the Franchise

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is returning to theatres to celebrate its 30th anniversary this month. However, while nostalgia for the 1990 cult classic is in the air, the creators are also focused on the franchise’s future.

In a recent interview with, Bobby Herbeck, one of the writers of the bodacious first film, revealed that he’s interested in returning to the universe. Herweck was asked about creating another direct sequel, but he has another idea in mind.

“Yes. The answer is yes,” Herbeck answered. “We’re trying to make that happen. We want to do a reboot. We got our fans come to us on Instagram, they’re, ‘Why don’t you guys do a reboot of the first movie?’ We’d love to do it.”

The reboot might not be an exciting notion for some fans. The Turtles already received two Michael Bay-produced reboots after all, neither of which captured the imagination quite the same as the original film. They’re good movies in their own right, for what it’s worth.

However, Herbeck believes that they can reboot the series while retaining the same aesthetic as the film that started it all. This would involve a return to practical FX, albeit with a modern sheen.

“The truth is, this property, it’s established now after 30 years as a part of our modern pop culture, it’s not going away,” Herbeck continued. “It’s only going to continue to grow. I do wish that we could go back. I mean, we’ve talked to Steve Barron about this, and Brian Henson, and if there were an opportunity, if one of the studios saw fit, I think we could go back and reboot it like it was….Imagine if Brian Henson had access to the technology he does today to make these costumes and all that. I think it would be amazing. A reboot like that I think would really get people’s juices flowing.”

The only downside is that the reboot seems unlikely. There’s currently one in the works courtesy of the same studio that produced the last two live-action films. As documented by Syfy, Platinum Dunes — the company that produced the last reimagining — is returning to the drawing board and starting over. No writers or directors have been confirmed yet, though, so perhaps the studio will enlist the OGs for the crime-fighting reptilians’ next big-screen outing?

That would be a wise idea. Not only did the original creators take a chance on an independent comic property and help turn it into a prosperous IP across various mediums, but their ideas could stand out in the current superhero movie climate.

Most modern crusader films use CGI for their non-human characters. A live-action Turtles reboot that embraces the franchise’s animatronic roots would be a refreshing change of pace. This choice would certainly please the fans, but it could also serve as a perfect antithesis to modern superhero trends. That’s what a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie should be.

The Turtles have never been the most serious superheroes out there. They were originally conceived as a joke that poked fun at other crusader comics at the time. From each character being named after a Renaissance artist to their mythology riffing on Daredevil’s lore, they’ve always been outcasts worth shell-ebrating.

A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot that features practical FX and retains the lighthearted anarchistic spirit of the franchise’s roots would swell. Of course, that’s probably wishful thinking so I’m not getting my hopes up.

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