Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Compared To A Classic Stephen King Story

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is being compared to Stephen King's Stand By Me.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

We know the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are teenagers, but we’ve never really seen them embrace those coming-of-age stories that we associate with teens in films and movies. Apparently, that is going to change in the upcoming animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem film, which is produced and written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Empire interviewed the co-director and co-writer of the film, Jeff Rowe, who made a surprising comparison to a Stephen King classic, saying, “We wanted it to be like Stand By Me and Lady Bird.”

It’s definitely a high bar to try and live up to two of the best coming-of-age films out there, but it seems like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is shooting for the stars. To be fair, Rogen and Goldberg have a pretty good track record with the fantastic coming-of-age comedy Superbad and, more recently, the animated show Invincible. Rowe is no stranger to the genre himself, as he was a writer on the underrated Disney series Gravity Falls and more, recently co-directed and co-wrote the Oscar-nominated The Mitchells vs the Machines.

Not only does Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem have a great team working behind the scenes, but the voice cast is pretty impressive too. For the turtles themselves, up-and-comers Micah Abbey plays Donatello, Shamon Brown Jr plays Michelangelo, Nicolas Cantu plays Leonardo, and Brady Noon plays Raphael. The rest of the cast is rounded out by stars like Rose Byrne, Giancarlo Esposito, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, John Cena, Jackie Chan, Natasia Demetriou, Maya Rudolph, Ice Cube, Ayo Edebiri, Hannibal Burress, and Post Malone.

You have to imagine all of this talent wouldn’t sign on to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem if there wasn’t something good brewing. The unique animation for the film seems to be taking some cues from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Mitchells vs the Machines. If that’s the case, could it be possible that we might be seeing a Ninja Turtles film that is a future Oscar nominee?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

At the very least, it seems like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem will be a marked improvement over the Michael Bay abominations we saw in live-action. Also, while the 90s film certainly had its charms, it’s hard to say that it was necessarily a great movie. If this movie ends up being successful, we could definitely be seeing more Ninja Turtles content in the future.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem won’t be the only fresh material we’ll be getting from the franchise in the near future, as there was also a video game for the turtles recently announced. This will be a decidedly grittier and darker tale than Mutant Mayhem, as it follows one of the turtles seeking revenge as a ronin after his three brothers have been killed. The Last Ronin game will be a single-player action RPG, similar to the acclaimed God of War franchise.

There’s no word on when we can expect to see The Last Ronin game, but it will likely be a while. In the meantime, we don’t have long to wait at all for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. That film will be hitting theaters on August 4.