Get Ready for Some R-Rated Turtle Power!

Walter Hamada producing the blood-soaked TMNT tale

Get Ready for Some R-Rated Turtle Power!

Is the world ready for a violent entry into this iconic series?

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been a symbol of pop culture for over 30 years. Their awesome ninja skills and campy fascination with pizza have made them a fan favorite in the superhero genre. After the first film's huge success in 1990, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have appeared in six TV shows, six additional films, and over 40 games.

While that is an impressive number of media productions, none of these entries really cover the darker side of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Luckily, Producer Walter Hamada plans to fix that problem with his adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Ronin. This adaptation will cover the events of the beloved IDW comics and plans to bring an amount of violence never seen before in the world of live-action TMNT adaptations.

For those unaware, Walter Hamada is responsible for bringing us nearly every DC adaptation in recent memory, along with horror hits such as The Nun. This ultraviolent film is being penned by Tyler Burton Smith. Smith has brought us such delightfully bloody films as Boy Kills World and the Child’s Play Reboot. On top of that he has also written for games such as Alan Wake II and Sleeping Dogs. I think it's safe to assume that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Ronin is in capable hands.

“Anger Clouds The Mind. Turned Inward, It Is An Unconquerable Enemy.” Splinter

People love gritty reboots of campy superhero tales. Just look at how people reacted to the Dark Knight Trilogy following Tim Burton's classic Batman adaptations. And Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Ronin looks to be as dark and gritty as possible in the TMNT world.

Granted, this approach doesn’t always work out for producers. Gritty reboots of The Mummy and Robin Hood failed to mesmerize audiences who preferred the campy original version of the films. However, if the new films closely follow the graphic novel's plot, they should be in good shape.

The story is set in a dystopian future where Splinter and the TMNT are slowly killed off, one by one, by Splinter's grandson. This enemy utilizes synthetic ninjas to defeat his enemies until only one turtle survives. Badly beaten, the remaining turtle gathers the weapons of his dead brothers and sets off for vengeance.

IDW originally released this dark TMNT tale between 2020 and 2022. Although this was a large risk for the publisher, the darker story became a massive success. According to Circana BookScan, TMNT: The Last Ronin was the highest selling graphic novel of 2023. Attempting to further capitalize on this success, the company released TMNT: The Last Ronin II in 2024 to resounding success.

How closely Tyler Burton Smith and Walter Hamada will follow the source material is anyone's guess. However, it is clear that fans adore this bloodier version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This new adaptation will be the first time the TMNT universe has been adapted for an adult audience. As such, it is the first recent TMNT film to receive an R rating.

The TMNT has been a staple in pop culture for so long that many people forget that the franchise was created as a parody of the over-the-top antics of superhero comics at the time. Specifically, the Marvel comic book hero Daredevil. However, after achieving fame and fortune, the graphic novels fell in line with many of the other comics at the time. It just goes to show that beginnings rarely reflect where we will end up.

Cameron McFarland | Contributing Writer

Covering all things sci-fi, horror, gaming, and tech with an old-school, retro twist. Welcome to Sci-Fi 3D. We were geek…before it was cool!

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