Nickelodeon has bought the global rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from The Mirage Group and 4Kids Entertainment for a price of about $60 million.
Nick immediately announced plans to develop a CG-animated TV series and a new feature film, in partnership with Paramount, starring the superhero icons, both to debut as soon as 2012.
Merchandising rights were included in the deal, and Nick announced it plans to continue to work with longtime Turtles partner, Playmates Toys.
‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shares a comedic sensibility with the Nickelodeon DNA, with added layers of action and fantasy that have kept this property an evergreen favorite with multiple generations of audiences,’ said Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. ‘We are extremely happy to have the opportunity to be able to focus on this property and creatively re-introduce it to a new generation of kids.’
‘Mirage has been the proud keeper of the Turtles’ brand since 1984, and in 2009 we celebrated their 25th anniversary with our legions of fans,’ said Gary Richardson, CEO of Mirage Studios. ‘Nickelodeon is a powerhouse global brand, and we are confident that the company will be a wonderful steward for Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and all the other TMNT characters and take them in all kinds of exciting and new creative directions.’
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began life as a comic book self-published in 1984 by creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Originally a spoof of both Frank Miller and X-Men comics, the series became an unlikely hit with fans and spawned a hit animated series. Tons of toys and a quartet of feature films followed, with the franchise as a whole earning billions of dollars at retail.