The Weinstein Company (formerly
basically Miramax before their falling out with Disney) and Warner Bros.
Pictures announced they will join forces to distribute the first
all-CGI-animated movie in the long and phenomenally successful history of
the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" franchise, the fourth in the series. The
announcement was made by Jeff Robinov, President of Production, Warner
Bros. Pictures, and Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company. The film will
be released early in 2007.
The movie will be directed by
from his own screenplay, developed in consultation with Turtles co-creator
Peter Laird. The film will be produced by Thomas K. Gray and Galen Walker.
The executive producers are Francis Kao, Peter Laird, Gary Richardson and
Frederick U. Fierst. Worldwide merchandising rights for the movie will be
exclusively represented by 4Kids Entertainment, Inc.
The two studios acquired the worldwide movie distribution rights from Imagi
Animation Studios, who had obtained the production and distribution rights
from the Mirage Group, which owns, nurtures and manages the "Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles" property. The new CG-animated, PG-rated movie will derive its
tone from the original comic-book series and will be slightly grittier than
the previous live-action pictures. The animation will be created in Imagi's
state-of-the art facility in Hong Kong.
The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" motion picture history began in the early
1990s, with three live-action films that grossed a cumulative total of more
than $256 million domestically, adding to the entertainment phenomenon that
spawned games, toys, costumes and a virtual Turtles industry. In 2003 the
Turtles returned to television after a five-year hiatus, now appearing on
Cartoon Network and 4Kids TV on Fox in the United States and on major TV
channels around the world. Additionally, the entertainment re-launch of the
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" has generated hundreds of millions of dollars
of worldwide retail sales of new licensed products, including an entirely
new range of toys from longtime licensee Playmates Toys.
"We are very happy to have obtained the rights to this new 'Ninja Turtles'
movie," said Robinov. "We think that a new generation of kids will love
discovering the Turtles, especially supported by the enthusiasm of fans of
the original movies, comic books and TV shows."
"Reintroducing the 'Ninja Turtles' in an animated movie will enable the
filmmakers to fully realize the adventure and humor of the property," said
Weinstein. "We believe that there is a global audience for the Turtles and
we're thrilled to be bringing them to their fans, old and new."
Imagi USA's President and CEO, Tom Gray, said, "The Weinstein Company and
Warner Bros. Pictures are ideal partners in this venture, and I am extremely
pleased to be working with them. Their marketing and distribution expertise
will bring the Turtles to a whole new generation of fans."
has been quoted as saying he will regard the earlier three movies as a kind
of vague history, much in the way the forthcoming Superman Returns (Superman
5) will regard the first two installments of that series as a loose history.
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