Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesIt seems that turtle power will never die.

Twenty-five years after they first emerged from city sewers in the pages of their own comic book, the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' -- those subterranean, shelled superheroes Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello,and Raphael -- have left their home at Mirage Group (who owned and expanded the brand into toys, animated series and hit live action movies) and 4Kids Entertainment. They will now reside at Viacom, which paid $60 million for the global rights to the property, which has been a steady moneymaker during its quarter century run.

According to Variety, a new movie for 2012 is in the works at Paramount, to be produced by Scott Mednick ('Where the Wild Things Are') and Galen Walker (who produced the computer-animated installment 'TMNT' two years ago). Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesIt seems that turtle power will never die.

Twenty-five years after they first emerged from city sewers in the pages of their own comic book, the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' -- those subterranean, shelled superheroes Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello,and Raphael -- have left their home at Mirage Group (who owned and expanded the brand into toys, animated series and hit live action movies) and 4Kids Entertainment. They will now reside at Viacom, which paid $60 million for the global rights to the property, which has been a steady moneymaker during its quarter century run.

According to Variety, a new movie for 2012 is in the works at Paramount, to be produced by Scott Mednick ('Where the Wild Things Are') and Galen Walker (who produced the computer-animated installment 'TMNT' two years ago). Further, Nickelodeon will develop a CG-animated TV series that is also scheduled to arrive in 2012. Having acquired all merchandising rights to the Ninja Turtles, Nick will continue its toy partnership with Playmates Toys. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated TV series -- co-produced by 4Kids and Mirage Studios -- will keep airing on 'TheCW4Kids' Saturday morning programming block through Aug. 31, 2010.

Hopefully Paramount can breathe some new life into the Turtles on the big screen. The original trilogy (1990-93) fared well but suffered from the law of diminishing returns, and the animated 'TMNT' in 2007 was not exactly a massive success. Then again, '90s nostalgia is just around the corner.

As far as television, the move to Viacom and Nickelodeon makes sense. 'TMNT' have been a hot kids property that revives itself every few years for a new audience, and it will add another strong property to Nick that will help match it against Cartoon Network's varied and often more adult-oriented programming. (Although an Adult Swim variation on the Ninja Turtles, originally created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, would be fun to see.)

"'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' shares a comedic sensibility with the Nickelodeon DNA, with added layers of action and fantasy that have kept this property an evergreen favorite with multiple generations of audiences," Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, told Variety. "We are extremely happy to have the opportunity to be able to focus on this property and creatively re-introduce it to a new generation of kids." Let's not forget pizza lovers, too.
CATEGORIES Movies