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24 years after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first kicked ass on the big screen, the heroes of the half shell have finally been given a welcome worthy of their pop culture status. Whether it's the nostalgia factor at work once again, a really good case of brand synergy with Nickelodeon Movies at the helm, or just the good old Michael Bay touch, this long dormant franchise is looking to make another run at box office glory. With a sequel already greenlit for 2016, it doesn't look like we'll be seeing the end of the franchise just yet. Of course, anytime you think of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you're really thinking of the co-creation of Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.
Initially created as more of a parody of the comic market's state in 1984, they would turn into a more serious multimedia empire three short years later. The rest, as they say, is history, and pieces of that history were discussed in Kevin Eastman's recent AMA session on Reddit. If you've ever wondered why Michelangelo seems to be the star of the show, or which comic titans the Turtles could face off against (rights permitting), then you're in the right place. So order some Dominos pizza, cue up the ninja rap of your choice, and dig into these four fascinating facts about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
Kevin Eastman Does Play FavoritesAsk any creator to choose a particular work from their complete canon that they value above the rest, and you stand a 50/50 chance that they'll either give you an answer, or they'll say that they don't "play favorites." Kevin Eastman is one of those creators that does play favorites, and he was pretty generous in answering several "favorites" themed questions that were launched in the space of the hour long session. For starters, his favorite side character ("human-wise," in his words) is Casey Jones, who has a rather interesting creation story himself.
Originally the character was intended to be more crazy than Raphael. The story idea was to introduce someone crazier than Raphael to make him calm down a little bit.
To what degree that's worked is something only the fans can truly judge, but Eastman is eager to have his hockey-masked vigilante included in the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel, as well as his two favorite villains: Bebop and Rocksteady. As for his favorite Ninja Turtle of the four, it was a no brainer!
Michelangelo is my favorite turtle. He was the first ever drawn. Even though it's hard to pick, he is my favorite.
Want to learn more about Shredder? Of course you do. Read on!
A Cheese Grater Was The Inspiration For ShredderInspiration can strike in the weirdest of places and come from the most obscure of sources. Song titles, character quirks, even characters themselves can come from the most mundane of tasks. In the case of Kevin Eastman, he and co-creator Peter Laird created and refined the concept of Shredder during more domestic circumstances.
Peter & I were doing dishes one night. I was drying off a metal cheese grater and I turned to Pete and said, "Man, can you image a bad guy with one of these on his arm. He'd shred your arm off. We could call him the Grater." Peter suggested The Shredder. Absurd ideas can come from anywhere when you're dealing with TMNT.
Who would have thought that the Turtles' most fearsome foe would have come not from a nightmare, but from washing dishes? Even weirder is the fact that after that question, another fan got it into their head to ask whether Eastman would rather fight 100 turtle sized Shredders or 1 Shredder sized turtle. With probably the smartest answer to one of the weirdest questions, Kevin Eastman made a very shrewd choices.
I wouldn't want to fight either but if I had to choose - I would go with 1 Shredder sized turtle.
Did Eastman have a cameo in the new film? Read on to find out.
Eastman Loved The New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles MovieComic movies are such a hard racket to get right. If the fans don't eat you alive, the creator will definitely have some choice words about your "artistic interpretation." Going into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it seemed like both would be out in force against a Michael Bay produced version of another 1980's childhood classic. Just as fans surprised box office prognosticators by showing up on opening weekend, Peter Eastman's critique of the film might shock you. His opinion is as follows.
Quite simply, I love it. Worked on various parts of it's development for 4 years. We had the right director for the project and you can clearly see Michael Bay's hand in it. I'm so proud of it and am glad the fans have responded so favorably.
Let it be known that from this day on, "clearly seeing Michael Bay's hand" in a film is no longer an automatic panning. And before anyone criticizes Eastman's tastes, he holds the current Nickelodeon run of cartoons and the original 1990 motion picture in the same esteem. Also, in case you were trying to spot Kevin Eastman in the new film, he's got some bad news for you.
I did have a cameo in the new movie but it was cut at the last minute because I was too good.
He's A Big Marvel FanAn eagle eyed fan noticed that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kind of have a certain degree of radioactive overlap with a certain Marvel superhero who was also popular around the same time: Daredevil. Recalling that the Turtles were supposed to be a commentary on comics running at the time, the fact that Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael would be created by a similar substance to that which blinded Matt Murdoch is not that surprising. It's even less surprising when you take into account that out of all of Marvel's superheroes, Daredevil just happens to be Kevin Eastman's favorite. In fact, when asked what characters or teams he'd want to cross the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, two of his three answers were Marvel madness.
I would say either XMen or The Avengers.
If you thought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was already successful, imagine what a team up with the X-Men or The Avengers would do to the box office. Though seeing as Eastman's final answer was Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth a DC Comics character, it'd be assumed that if anyone were going to make a crossover happen, it'd be the camp that's already got several in the making without filming one scene.
While Kevin Eastman's AMA wasn't terribly chock full of answers, it was a very fan friendly affair as there were quite a lot of questions that received an answer from the man himself. Knowing that Eastman was a fan of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film makes it success a little more palatable. Maybe even the Michael Bay haters will look past that obvious "flaw," and buy a ticket this weekend. If not, there's always the also Eastman-approved 1990 classic to keep the other side entertained. If there were any overall lesson to have been learned from this AMA, it's that Kevin Eastman is as entertaining as he is diplomatic.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is in theaters now.