Over the last 30 years, there’s been five live-action and one animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, and for a lot of people, the high point is still the very first installment. Steve Barron’s 1990 cult favorite capitalized on the heroes in a half shell being at the height of their popularity and made over $200 million at the box office on a budget of just $13.5 million.
It might not have received widespread critical acclaim, but a Rotten Tomatoes score of 40% is still more than good enough to make it the highest-rated Turtles pic ever, as well as the most profitable. To celebrate the 30th anniversary, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is heading back into select theaters this weekend, and the team behind the project have been offering up some new details on their experience.
A lot of fans felt that Michael Bay’s rebooted series forgot everything that made the franchise so popular in the first place and reinvented the property as a standard superhero origin story, and that’s without even mentioning the unsettling design of the title characters. There’s already another new version in the works with Seth Rogen set to produce, but original writer Bobby Herbeck has admitted that he’s still holding out hope for a sequel to the original live-action trilogy, and cited David Gordon Green’s Halloween as an unlikely source of inspiration.
“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 truth is, this property, it’s established now after 30 years as a part of our modern pop culture, it’s not going away. 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.”
Naming Halloween as an influence doesn’t mean that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are going to be appearing in an R-rated slasher movie, but Gordon Green brought the long-dormant series roaring back to life in spectacular fashion, and fans would definitely be on board with the idea of getting a few dudes into rubber suits to bring the gang back to the big screen in a much more practical way.