Kevin Eastman Reveals Details on the New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles | IGN Fan Fest 2024
7 mins read

Kevin Eastman Reveals Details on the New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles | IGN Fan Fest 2024

It turns out the title of the dark and mature Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book The Last Ronin was a bit of a misdirect. Though that story told the bloody tale of the original TMNT squad as the last surviving turtle finally took down the Foot Clan, a new group of four Ninja Turtles is rising up to take their place in the sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin II Re-Evolution. We spoke with the co-creator of Ninja Turtles and the co-writer of The Last Ronin II, Kevin Eastman, about how he’s raising a new generation of turtles.

Here are the new turtles in action. Their names are Yi, Odyn, Moja, and Uno, and are led by Casie Marie Jones. Check out this action-packed double-page spread from inside The Last Ronin II by artist Ben Bishop.


“[The Last Ronin II] was something that we really questioned and really hadn’t planned when we started doing Last Ronin, so we found a place that we wanted to stay and tell stories for as long as we could. What you’re seeing here specifically takes place 16 years after Last Ronin I ended,” Eastman said. “Casey Marie Jones is the woman in the purple you see there with the half of a Casey mask on, and she’s trained to become the sensei and general parent of the new turtles. They’re going out on one of their first missions.”

While the original four turtle designs all fit into the same mold, Eastman and co-writer Tom Waltz wanted to make the four new turtles more distinct.

“One of the things that we did want to do was really update the characters. There’s two male, two female turtle characters, and me and Tom trying to write what teenagers might think and say and do,” Eastman explained. “There’s a nice cross section of different personalities, much like the original turtles. You want to have them always love their family, but not always like them. And so they might argue. They might spat. They might have disagreements, but when they need to work together as a team, it’s the heart and soul of the family that always keeps them together. And that’s always going to be the foundation of anything we do with turtles.”

Making the new turtles different from the originals extends from their personalities down to their physical appearance.

“It was one of those things that when you’re following in the footsteps of something that works so well on so many levels. But was one of those things also, when you look back at the original creation of the shows, they all had a very similar look, a very similar style. It really wasn’t until, say, some of the early episodes of the cartoons where we’d even did things like changing the color of the bandanas and things like that.

“But with this, Tom and I had a very specific idea, where we wanted them to be different species of turtles. So they would have different physical attributes, and that would translate into their height and weight and even personality. And so I gave some sketches, a whole lot of reference to the amazing Ben Bishop and said, ‘Give me some of your first thoughts.’ And so Ben really crafted some beautiful silhouettes and some unique designs, and it was going through the process of seeing all these ‘naked’ turtles and then wanting to put outfits on them and then play dress up and making them work logically and sensibly of what they might be. But it was fun. We were very pleased. It was a lot of good work getting to something that I felt worked as a unique look for them,” Eastman said.

The Last Ronin was a big hit, as evidenced by its regular appearances on bestsellers lists since it came out, so it should be no surprise that a video game adaptation is already in the works, said to have God of War-esque gameplay. The teaser trailer was released in August 2023 from developer THQ.

“It seemed the natural that Last Ronin would evolve as a video game. It seemed like we could hit all of the attitudes and the action and the intensity of the series in a video game format. And we’ve seen a lot of development on it, and I could not be more excited in that,” Eastman said. “When you look at it in the comic book, you see flat surface, a level of plane, a building. You see this part of it. The video game, suddenly, we can go around the corner, and we can see all the rest of it. And the designers and the artisans that are bringing the video Game to life are fans as well. And it feels like some of the stuff’s been ripped right out of the pages of the comic book. They’re going all the way in and then some. So it’s looking really excited. I’m excited for fans to see more of what they’re doing in the video game.”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, director Zack Snyder expressed his love for TMNT and showed off his original TMNT Mirage comics collection. Would Eastman be interested in Snyder adapting The Last Ronin into a movie?

“Oh, most definitely. Absolutely,” Eastman gushed. “I’ve been certainly a fan of Zach Snyder. We’ve gotten to be friends over the years. We’ve met on a couple of different projects that never got off the ground, but I feel like the best part of it became that we got to be friends. He’s a fan, a very solid fan of this genre, whether it be movies or comics. He’s a very serious, heavy metal comic fan. He’d be an amazing director. And I thought it was a treat that he pulled out some of his original comics for an interview he did recently.

“It was interesting when we looked at the opportunities to continue telling stories in the Ronin verse, a movie was definitely a natural, something we thought would be wonderful to pursue. Paramount made their decision to do an amazing movie with Seth Rogan with the Mutant Mayhem Project, which I thought was absolutely, laugh out loud, hilariously funny, beautifully done. And there’s going to be more than that universe.”

The first issue of The Last Ronin 2 releases on March 6, 2024. Get more details on Issue #1 in our full preview.

Source link