Quint interviews the CGI TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES movie director, Kevin Munroe!!!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with my sit down chat with Kevin Munroe, the director of the new CG TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES flick. I chatted with the man at Comic-Con very shortly after he brought down the house with the footage and trailer for his flick (CLICK HERE TO READ THAT REPORT AND SEE THE SWEET-ASS CHARACTER POSTERS!!!). Below he mentions Mako voicing Splinter. Not a week after they announced him at the Con, Mako died. Munroe told me after this that it was a very sad loss, but he wanted Mako's fans as well as the TMNT fans to know that the man did do all his voice work for the film, so he will definitely still be the voice of Splinter next March when we all get to see the flick.
The interview is pretty short and I go a little off-topic with my Ninja Turtles geekiness, being that the Turtles were my childhood obsession, but I think the interview came off pretty well. Hope you guys enjoy!
QUINT: I could go on and on about my childhood love of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. When I was 10 I went to their "Coming Out Of Their Shells Tour."
KEVIN MUNROE: Oh really? (laughs) That's hardcore!
QUINT: Yeah, it was my birthday present, no less.
KEVIN MUNROE: No way! Really? Wow, that's cool!
QUINT: Of course I was into the cartoon and didn't read the comics until I was older. But I really dig what you were showing at your panel. I think you really won the geeks over.
KEVIN MUNROE: It was a little nerve wracking. Going up there people were like, "Are you nervous?" I'm like, "Yes, I'm nervous!" Because up to this point the only thing we've had working for us is that no one's seen anything. Kind of "Well, it could be good, let's just give him a chance." It was also a security blanket for me in some ways. I'm not going to lie, we do read the chat boards and write ups because I love knowing what people are thinking.
Up there we were just... "Here it is!" and that was the one thing that sort of was worrying me... In a way. I just hoped that they're proud of what happened and liked the direction we were going. There was a brief period after that second montage played and there's like 2 seconds of silence and I was like, "Oh God..." and then it just went "Pow!"
QUINT: I posted some New York Trade Show poster images (Click here to see those images!!!)...
KEVIN MUNROE: Oh, yeah-yeah-yeah...
QUINT: Just that little shadowed glimpse of Leonardo and the talkbacks like ignored all the other big name posters and were all, "My God! A NINJA TURTLES movie!"
KEVIN MUNROE: I saw that, too, in the talkbacks! It was so funny! That's the other thing, too, whenever we started doing this. I stumbled upon the comic books. I'm not going to say I was a huge fan at the time and I just happened to find it. I was in Canada at the time, when I was a kid, and I found the books... There's just something about it. I love that mix of action and comedy. My fondest memories are of watching LETHAL WEAPON and DIE HARD with my father and my dad laughing. For some reason... I don't know what it is, maybe I have a father issue, but I love the idea of just being viscerally thrilled with action, but then you get that laugh in. There are so many comic films and genre properties that try to hit that mix and so few of them work, but with the Turtles we for some reason buy it. It's a Turtle, they're Teenagers... I don't know, there's something to that.
So, as we were talking about it and doing the movie I mentioned it to a few people... and as you find it's this deep-seated thing with everybody. "I love the Turtles!" My mother was like, "When you used to go to school, I'd watch the Animated Series." I said, "Mom! I didn't know this about you!"
QUINT: My mom's a bit different. I used to have the Eastman/Laird posters up all over my room and I have distinct memories of my mom saying she couldn't wait for me to outgrow the Ninja Turtles... Actually, the first premiere I ever went to was SECRET OF THE OOZE. I was taking Tai Kwan Do... you wouldn't believe it looking at me now, but I was taking Tae Kwan Do at Ernie Reyes Sr. Tae Kwan Do and his son played the Pizza Boy in the second film... and I think did some of the martial arts work in one of the turtle suits for the first movie... so, we got a grab at tickets.
KEVIN MUNROE: No way!
QUINT: So can we talk about who's returning for the film?
KEVIN MUNROE: We've got all the Turtles coming back. We have Shr... I mean, Splinter coming back. I almost said Shredder, but he's not coming back. We have Splinter who is voiced by Mako, which is really cool. I'm really jazzed about that. He was the first and only choice and the second you hear him speak, he sounds just great. So, he's coming back. We have Karai coming back, although she's never really made an appearance in the movie series, which is cool because we get to introduce her as a new character.
Then we have The Foot ninja coming back as well... After Shredder has been defeated. That's kind of the core notion... That it's down to the family, post-Shredder. But we're not saying that he's gone forever. We've already started talking about the sequel and stuff... I love... I'm a huge fan of the City At War mini-series, about what happens after the death of Shredder. It's so cool.
QUINT: Will we be seeing more ooze stuff? I saw in the footage that there seemed to be tons of mutations...
KEVIN MUNROE: There's no mutations. That's something Peter (Laird) was really dead-set against, this idea that T.C.R.I. is just like throwing ooze out their back window. It's like "Oh!!!" and then just turn into Super-Shredder... That's the biggest let-down for a villain defeat ever. He gets mad and starts smashing all the posts around him and the whole (pier) collapses on him and you're like, "That's so lame!" As a kid you're just like, "How come the Ninja Turtles didn't kick his ass?"
So, yeah... These are all new creatures and the creatures actually migrate to New York. GHOSTBUSTERS was a huge impact on me when I was little. Again, it's that mix of watching movies with great action and that comedy. Very smart character based comedy. But (in the new Ninja Turtles film) there's a bad guy that is possibly amassing an army of monsters and the Turtles have to go (up against them).
QUINT: So, these creatures aren't mutations?
KEVIN MUNROE: No, they're not mutations. The plot tease would be... everyone wonders where all the of the legendary monsters are and this sort of answers that.
QUINT: Where is the real life Chupacabra?
KEVIN MUNROE: (laughs) Exactly! That's a fun idea, so uh... yeah.
QUINT: The look of the flick is very cool. You said you were going for a different style on the panel and I see what you mean. It's not really Eastman/Laird, but it's also not the cinematic world we know or the cartoon for that matter.
KEVIN MUNROE: It's its own thing. We cherry-picked the best of everything, I think. I don't know if I mentioned, but we actually did our lighting keys for the entire movie... we lit it as a black and white movie before we actually went in and added color. We looked at movies like THE THIRD MAN, one of my favorite movies ever... I had a hundred pictures put up from that movie and we'd hold screenings of THE THIRD MAN... We went to Hong Kong where they're actually doing the lighting, and we sat them down and showed them THE THIRD MAN. There's just something about that, it's one of the best comic-book-lit movies ever. Worst soundtrack ever, but best lit! That was the big idea, going back to that sort of Frank Miller kind of harsh contrast. That was the idea.
There you have it, squirts. If you want another look at the trailer in glorious Quicktime just click right here! This movie look damn cool to me. Hope you enjoyed the interview. Tons more coming!
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Aug. 21, 2006, 4:48 a.m. CST
The cartoon rocked
Aug. 21, 2006, 4:48 a.m. CST
First, and proud of it.
Aug. 21, 2006, 4:50 a.m. CST
Oh yeah, and 300 too. I'm so hard right now it's not even funny, well I am at work!
Aug. 21, 2006, 4:52 a.m. CST
It was a virtual tie for first! :P btw, like I've said before, screw Spidey 3, THIS is the movie I'm waiting on, for '07.
Aug. 21, 2006, 4:55 a.m. CST
Aug. 21, 2006, 4:56 a.m. CST
Would have been if I hadn't spent 8 minutes reading it...
Aug. 21, 2006, 5 a.m. CST
If they can't bring an ounce of that to the action in the film, it will rule.
Aug. 21, 2006, 5:01 a.m. CST
Aug. 21, 2006, 5:39 a.m. CST
I followed the link to the post about the trade show images and, oddly enough, the talkback didn't seem too Ninja Turtle-centric. Yet, Mr. Munroe noticed it. Anyway, I can NOT wait for this movie.
Aug. 21, 2006, 6:02 a.m. CST
...but The Third Man has one of the worst soundtracks ever? Really? Not flaming or anything, but I don't think I have ever heard anyone say this before. Or, as I said, maybe I misread what he said.
Aug. 21, 2006, 6:03 a.m. CST
they've got the look- but what's needed to turn this into a modern franchise is some really really strong dialogue, and some seriously funny humour-otherwise people won't buy it. Steve Barron'sq first movie looked great, but it took itself far too seriously-consicering the ridiculous characters. This really needs to hit the same beats as shrek to work, but with some enjoyable action sequences. The only thing that concerns me about this movie is the inclusion of other monsters- which, in my eyes, can make the turtles appear less special. They really ought to try and get names for the human characters though. Who knows? this could be a big hit, or it could be nonsense like advent children. At the moment, it all looks relatively promising, and if it hits off, maybe next time we'll get superior cgi. The turtles still look pretty cool though, but the graphics are not on par with dreamworks which is a shame. I was personally hoping the the look of the creatures would be a little closer to the first movie, but in cgi-that I'd love to see.
Aug. 21, 2006, 9:05 a.m. CST
Why can't we have real Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Aug. 21, 2006, 9:08 a.m. CST
tho cool at the time, because they were kind of spongey and clunky too..
Aug. 21, 2006, 9:11 a.m. CST
tmnt soundtrack definitely needs to be all zither covers of annoying 80's pop.
Aug. 21, 2006, 9:12 a.m. CST
TMNT in the muthafuckin' house!
Aug. 21, 2006, 9:17 a.m. CST
And this is a quasi-Singeresque-sequel to the first two movies, yes? That's why the Shredder is 'dead' and it's gonna include new monsters. Also, thank the gods that Mako made it as Splinter. He will be missed.
Aug. 21, 2006, 9:36 a.m. CST
They integrated her into the new series, albeit not very well. Hopefully they capture the comic book version decently.
Aug. 21, 2006, 9:52 a.m. CST
Aug. 21, 2006, 9:57 a.m. CST
You have done well, and the Geek Gods are pleased. Go, now. We must prepare in our bath salts for an evening of jerked beef and Halo Deathmatch.
Aug. 21, 2006, 10:04 a.m. CST
Third Man is a classic in every single way. Go blow yourself, Kevin Munroe. Get in the unemployment line now cuz guess what? This movie's gonna gross less than Snakes on a Plane its opening wknd. Having grown up, most ppl realize what an idiotic idea this concept is (well, i guess u could've assumed the same about Transformers...)
Aug. 21, 2006, 10:55 a.m. CST
come on! in the animated series the turtles always said that april oneil was hot,you know you would pay to see that! lol rofl
Aug. 21, 2006, 11:03 a.m. CST
before the loss of Mako? He didn't record anything right? That sucks. Hope they can find someone as good as he was.
Aug. 21, 2006, 11:05 a.m. CST
Must've missed that in the opening paragraph. So glad to hear he'd already done the voicework. Will be great to hear.
Aug. 21, 2006, 11:19 a.m. CST
that Mako died. I always liked that guy. Especially as Aku from Samurai Jack. "Once ago in a distant land..."
Aug. 21, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST
What the hell's the point?
Aug. 21, 2006, 12:03 p.m. CST
Casey Jones ruled in that movie. He still has one of the greatest entrances in movie history.
Aug. 21, 2006, 12:10 p.m. CST
Quint, have you read it in the last day or so??? Don Murphy has supposedly been in there, as well as several other unidentified people that has worked on the film. Trust me, it's easy to spot them. Not only this, but the script was leaked. You may wanna look into this and update, this thing has already dwarfed the X3 leaked script debacle. Seriously, this is heating up. I'm not a huge Transformers fan, but damn, this is getting quite interesting.
Aug. 21, 2006, 12:12 p.m. CST
Aug. 21, 2006, 12:14 p.m. CST
except i'm not gonna make online death threats because shredder isn't going to be in the movie. i don't know, robots that turned into vehicles always seemed kinda stupid to me, even as a child, yet somehow 5 foot turtles that talked like surfers and practiced martial arts seemed perfectly reasonable.
Aug. 21, 2006, 12:23 p.m. CST
a run of the mill talkbacker. But anyways, theres still plenty of stuff that has went down this weekend to warrant a update. And speaking of updates....WHEN ARE WE GONNA GET TO SEE APRIL??? Darn it.
Aug. 21, 2006, 12:30 p.m. CST
City at War would be a great to see on the big screen. The Ninja Turtles vs The Shredder Elite, Shredder's personally trained soldiers. How bad ass would that be
Aug. 21, 2006, 12:56 p.m. CST
with a reimagined origin for Splinter, where he was mutated years before the turtles, and was raised/trained by Hamato Yoshi. Splinter becomes sort of a vigilante. Shredder eventually shows up and kills Yoshi, and in his dying words, he reveals to Splinter that he saved the cannister and the remaining ooze. Splinter finds a hideout in the sewers and struggles if he wants to live his life alone, or bring other "freaks" into the world. He comes upon the turtles one day, and decides on option b. Of course no one would want to see a movie about a giant rat. Also, I wouldn't mind a comic "What If?" flick, where the turtles are middleaged and live above Casey's sports equipment store. (Who is now married and has children with April) Splinter has been dead for years, Raph is now a drunk, Mike's a overweight videogame playin' chronic masturbater, Don's a over the phone computer tech (Who is asked on numerous occasions to speak in a Indian accent to "sound like he knows what he's talking about"), and Leonardo, believe it or not, is a priest. It would have a bit of a RESCUE ME vibe about it. Of course, that one would never be made as well. But then again, that could easily be done as a lowbudget short.
Aug. 21, 2006, 1:11 p.m. CST
he showed. Everything was very bright... too bright. What was cool about the movies, especially the first one, was the gritty feel to it. It felt real, like they really were in a fucked up New York. And I don't see why we need any other monsters than Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady. I want this movie to be good, Munroe seems like he has good intentions, but alas, I doubt it.
Aug. 21, 2006, 2:10 p.m. CST
Shermdawg: "Raph is now a drunk"...have u ever read the comics? He's been drinking since the beginning...since they were teenagers....Raph's an alcaholic period! *lol* <p> As for all you complaining about no Shredder...Uh...Shredder was never a main villian to begin with...he was killed off in the 1st issue (by Donatello!)...then cloned...and the clone was killed (by Leonardo slicing off it's head)...Unlike most superheroes...the TMNT don't have a rogue's gallery because they've killed off all their enemies.. :P...the one villian they faught the most is Savante Romero... :P Now what WOULD be cool is if the movies had an appearance by the Justice Force! The Justice Force is the Mirage universe's version of the Justice League of sorts...the TMNT are members.
Aug. 21, 2006, 2:27 p.m. CST
Well nothing too crazy, but I want entertaining fight scenes on that level, car chases Turtle van with machine gun, whatever!
Aug. 21, 2006, 2:43 p.m. CST
I think he may show up as a surprise, as people working on the video game have let it slip he's the final boss. It could just as easily be a game-only thing, but I've got my fingers crossed.
Aug. 21, 2006, 2:53 p.m. CST
Ernie Jr. was Donatello's stunt double in the first TMNT film. I think I heard something about the pizza delivery man in the first film also being Michaelangelo's stunt double also.
he was the Mihelangelo suit actor.
Aug. 21, 2006, 5:29 p.m. CST
Of 2007 are 300,TMNT and Spidey 3.I guarantee all 3 rock in there own badness.
Aug. 21, 2006, 5:50 p.m. CST
you better throw them ugly bitches in that movie. I used to kick their asses back to whence they came in the arcade game. always had a spot of trouble with Baxter Stockman tho.
Aug. 21, 2006, 6:28 p.m. CST
Seriously, you interview Kevin Monroe and not ask him who's replacing the recently deceased Mako? Riiiight. Why the hell wasn't this posted a month ago? What kind of shoddy reporting is going on here? Come on, how about you give us some real news.
Aug. 21, 2006, 6:46 p.m. CST
I know he's not deeply involved in its production, but is he offering any input at all? I've heard that him and Laird are on good terms. It's a pity that Eastman blew so much money on HEAVY METAL magazine and FAKK2. Didn't he even build an animation facility in Taiwan?
Aug. 21, 2006, 6:48 p.m. CST
With respect to the characters and story which also respects the histroy which fans have known for 20 years. This movie is gonna kick..... literally.
Aug. 21, 2006, 7:11 p.m. CST
by Barry Egan
Just an exhibition.
Aug. 21, 2006, 7:25 p.m. CST
This is gonna rock! With Laird maintaining an iron grip on the making of this film, we'll finally see the Turtles the way they SHOULD have been all this time. My first exposure to them was through the comic books, via a ninja-obsessed babysitter. lol (The guy owned a full-on ninja outfit, katana, nunchaku, sais, bo staff, magazines and books on ninjutsu, crystals and had a spirit guide... he was the real deal. lol) They were also the first organic forms I got good at drawing (before them, I was only drawing Transformers, X-Wings & TIE Fighters. heh) As such, I've always been more a fan of the comic books than the cartoons or movies. It's about time an honest, made-for-adults version of them hit the screen. I'm very glad to hear that this won't be all about mutations. And I like that Shredder won't be in this. We all already know his story. He's just a drop of water in the ocean of the Turtles' adventures. The CGI in the preview looks phenomenal. The texture of their skin looks simultaneously rough and somewhat slimey, like a turtle's. (Anybody know what breed of turtle they were before they mutated? heh) I never much liked the live action Turtles movies. They basically looked like green Barneys to me. Too foamy-looking and aimed at 5-year-olds. I was kinda let down when I saw it on the big screen, but it's still kind of a cult classic typa film in my mind... like Masters of the Universe.
Aug. 21, 2006, 7:47 p.m. CST
wasn't john woo attached to this project a while back? what happened?
Aug. 21, 2006, 7:49 p.m. CST
fun ride. A well-made film for what it was and the Turtle's costumes are great. This sounds like it will be less cheezy, but hopefully not take itself TOO seriously. Love the designs of the guys. Love, love, love them!
Aug. 21, 2006, 8:03 p.m. CST
by Bouncy X
if you read the interview he clearly says mako recorded all his dialogue before he died
Aug. 21, 2006, 9:41 p.m. CST
...and are hardcore vegetarians who do not use their weapons in battle. This is prolly true going off of the current trend of reinterpreting old 80's franchises into shitty new ones.
Aug. 21, 2006, 10:34 p.m. CST
Girl you know it's true.
Aug. 21, 2006, 10:35 p.m. CST
Girl you know it's true.
Aug. 21, 2006, 11:43 p.m. CST
a Scientolgist. I looked him up on Wikipedia after catching SURF NINJAS a few weeks ago. What a waste of talent...
Aug. 22, 2006, 9:58 a.m. CST
a trilogy box set with heaps of extras and interviews would be cool...hope the success of this leads to that....
Aug. 22, 2006, 10:44 a.m. CST
I must have missed that. Quint can get rather wordy some times when he's setting up his story so my eyes probably glassed over causing to miss key details and skip ahead to the interview. Both times I looked this over. Afterall, who cares what any of the staff here have to say. I just wanted to read what Monroe had to say, and not about Quint in his little ninja outfit. Thanks for pointing that out.
Aug. 22, 2006, 11:50 a.m. CST
Leonardo's reaction in the trailer was pretty broad.. as is the character poster for Michelangelo.. little too much for my tastes. But aside from that it looks pretty spiffy. Just hope it has some proper ass kicking in it like in the original Eastman and Laird books, and not this pussy-assed cartoon fighting.
Aug. 22, 2006, 4:56 p.m. CST
That was the thing I hated the most about the 1990 movie. It
Aug. 22, 2006, 4:57 p.m. CST
...Laird maintains his control over this film, and doesn't give in to studio pressure to make this a kid-friendly flick (no swordplay or blood -- instead they throw trashcan lids at their enemies)... this will be freakin' AMAZING. If not, well... it'll just be okay... like the cartoons and the live action films from years ago. (I never even bothered with the sequels.)
Aug. 22, 2006, 9:26 p.m. CST
Now that's a good trilogy of films to base a movie idea around!
Aug. 22, 2006, 11:12 p.m. CST
When they go back in time you think, yeah, they're gonna fight in Feudal Japan, maybe see some beheadings and shit. However, when that Asian bitch with the bow and arrow never shot anyone and Lao Che played the renegade samurai leader, who got hit with a big bell, the movie just went to hell. The first movie had people getting sliced, Shredder beat the fuck out of Splinter when he was chained up, the foot really beat the fuck out of Raphael, and the turtles got their asses handed to them by Shredder who wasn't afraid to use his thorny arms and shit.
Aug. 23, 2006, 12:25 a.m. CST
The conflict between Raph and Leo was already there in the books. Leonardo was the "by the books" guy. He was trained to be the leader, and couldn't understand why Raphael wouldn't play by the rules. Raphael was the closest thing to a loner they had in the group, and a hot-head at that. The whole meeting with Casey Jones after a fight with Leo in the movie was actually one of the most "spot-on" parts from the comic to the movie.
Aug. 23, 2006, 12:27 a.m. CST
..is probably further proof that I need to spend more time with my wife....
Aug. 25, 2006, 5:34 a.m. CST
Those dudes rock!
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