Thursday, November 7, 2013

#DeletedScenes - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4

It took about 14 years to finally get a new TMNT movie after Part 3 and that was a CGi animated film, and now another 6 years to get a reboot - but I wouldn't get my hopes up just yet.

Did you know we almost got an actual fourth part back in the 1990s?

Before the release of the 3rd "filler" movie, Eastman & Laird and New Line Cinema had actually started an early production to think about the next film.

The would be-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4. And chances are... it would have been pretty weird.

Titled at some point Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: The Next Mutation or also TMNT 4: The Foot Walks Again, the film would have been about the return of the Shredder, who would have then proceeded to rebuild his Foot empire.

But wait! There's about a thousand gimmicks the story could have revolved around.

Inspired by late 80s/early 90s action films and scifi thrillers, the movie would have been centered around mutation and evolution. Like a weird mix between Johnny Mnemonic or the live action Super Mario Bros film.

Horde of mutants and cyber/techno punk aesthetics would have been a big thing in this post-Nintendo/Sega era.

Several plots were explored, and since the movie was never made, no concrete storyline was established. But what we know of the film is that:
- New York City would never be the same (hence the next mutation)
- Shredder would amp up his army to level up his troops to challenge the Turtles, by having several cyborgs/mutants/creatures/enhanced soldiers
- the Ooze would be left loose
- some of the original character would end up as a "super mutant", such as "Raptor Raph"
- A 5th male Turtle would have joined the dudes, referred as Kirby in most pre-production material, in tribute to Jack Kirby who both creators where most fond of

Kevin Eastman did several concept arts for the film between 1995 to 1997. And as you can see, he was in his full Heavy Metal glory at the time. Like he did on the first two films, Eastman returned for this part 4 as the lead creature designer.

Here's several designs he did for Super Shredder, Kasey (Casey?), Evil April and more! As you will see, those could just have been concepts for the comics, he didn't bother trying to adapt much for the live action format.

(Click for the full views)

As once can guess... This whole project required way too much budget, which they didn't want to spend on the film despite the success of the brand as you might have noticed in TMNT3.

It's fun to notice that several ideas would find their way to the Next Mutation TV Series. It did indeed work as a sequel to the movies anyhow. The 5th Turtle (Venus!), the long awaited return of Shredder (which was hinted but never happened), etc., even the title of Saban's show itself!

My guess are, at the end of the day, we didn't miss much.

What we actually got was one awful third movie that killed the franchise, a forgettable live action show and much later a generic done-by-numbers CGi sequel. No grand epic scifi finale.

MY GOD! Let me forget them! Burn it! BURN IT!

Like I said, this all just sounded pretty weird. Probably why it never got made in the first place.

Now it's hard to guess if that was a good thing or not.

Will the modern reboot be any good is another guess. (probably not...)

But in the end, what we are left is... a pretty strange bit of TMNT4 trivia, a movie that never got made!

Sources: Courtesy from Peter Laird's blog.

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