5 TMNT Characters I Want to See on Film
So it looks as though we have a new TMNT movie on the horizon.
I love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise… however that love did NOT extend to the Michael Bay produced film. I thought it was awful, unfunny, unfocused and worst of all… boring. Which I don’t know how you do that when your supposed main characters are mutant turtles in their adolescence who practice ninjutsu, but they found a way. Some may think maybe I’ve outgrown the franchise and just can’t get into it, but I do watch the current Nick show made for kids and I find it to be more adult than the current film series. It’s no “Batman: The Animated Series” but it does take its younger audience fairly seriously. However this new Michael Bay produced film series did well at the box office and the sequel has many of the same fans who were right along with me in saying how the last film sucked the big one, excited for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.” I know exactly why, we’re finally getting cinematic portrayals of Baxter Stockman, Krang, and Bebop and Rocksteady along with vehicles like the Technodrome. While that does intrigue me a bit I’m still not sold. However, it did get me thinking what other characters would I like to see on film? Because TMNT honestly has one of the best rogue’s gallery of any comic book.
We all like evil versions of our heroes and Slash is one of the most popular examples. Throughout the years they’ve portrayed this guy as anything from a misunderstood anti-hero, to a savage monster, to a goof ball. It’s funny how most fan’s picture of this turtle is the savage monster yet his appearance on the classic cartoon, which is the most well-known part of the franchise, was made into a ridiculously goofy character. A lot of fans hate that, but I have to admit the episode cracks me up. Despite that there is one thing all of these totally different versions keep…his love for his “Binky” aka the little plastic palm tree that was in his bowl when he was a little turtle. I’d love it in the movie if they made him a mindless beast, but still his only weakness was this cute little toy. It would be an interesting juxtaposition.
The interesting thing about this guy is that they can go both ways with this character. In the original comics he was an ally, in the classic cartoon he was a villain, in most versions since they try to make him someone who has trouble controlling himself. He’ll be fine one minute then something will trigger his animal side and he’ll start trying to kill anything near him. So if you want to use him as muscle for a villain, he has a great intimidating look. Or you could make him tragic and have the Turtles try to save him because they know he is not truly evil in his heart. I feel like there isn’t anything left to say.
3.) Cudley the Cowlick
This is the oddest character I could have picked, but I stand by it. Thus far this character has only appeared in the Archie Comics series and then was added into the original Mirage Comics. However, as far as cartoons or movies… nothing. I can see why; it’s a giant floating space cow head. That’s going to be strange for any audience member, but here’s the thing…TMNT IS strange! Again, it’s about mutated turtles in their adolescence who practice ninjutsu. Your story is already going to be weird so embrace it! Not only that, but now that they’re introducing Krang and Dimension X, it seems like as good of a time as any. His power is that he transports the turtles across different dimensions. Also, his presence allows for even more, stranger characters. Sign me up.
2.) The Rat King
This is for all that critics like to complain that these films don’t have enough of a human element other than Shredder, and let’s be honest Shredder does not need to become a Magneto and be the major villain in every entry. So in one of these films why not mix it up a bit and have someone who won’t need CGI and depending on what design they use, no super heavy make-up. The Rat King is a homeless person who lives in the sewers and somehow has the ability to control all rodents. The exact manner he does this changes from version to version so the filmmakers could have a lot fun with this. He is often portrayed as very smart and cunning as well as very creepy a lot of the time. Of course the major threat he poses is that he can mentally control Master Splinter. The films often have a problem of figuring out what to do with him (and I include the original trilogy with that) and normally he’s captured or gravely injured or sometimes they don’t even bother to come up with a reason for his non-involvement. This would provide an easy answer and lead to some real growth and development for the turtles having to out-think/fight their teacher/father figure.
1.) Tiger Claw
Out of all the new characters created by the Nick series this one felt the most like a character that could have come from an earlier iteration. Extremely well acted by Eric Bauza and a striking visual design. He was introduced as a bounty hunter hired by the Shredder in season 2 with Splinter being the only one originally who could match him in a fight. His origin is that he’s a mutated tiger (or human mutated into a tiger man, it’s vague) who was a circus performer in his youth. Some time before the series he lost his tail in a duel and has always wanted it back. In his first couple of appearances they seemed to indicate that he was an honorable villain as he was visibly shocked when Shredder wanted to use Karai (his adopted daughter) as bait. However, they either abandoned this idea or his failures at defeating the turtles has soured him on honor. Still he’s a character I’d love to see become a major part of the overall franchise. One humorous thing to note since he’s the Shredder’s right hand man, he gets sent on a lot of adventures and since he’s on the villain’s team, he gets defeated by the turtles. He’s also in charge of savagely beating Rocksteady and Bebop as punishment when they fail. But funny enough they actually have a better track record of fulfilling or stealing whatever the Shredder wants. Yet, they’re still treated pretty similarly to their classic cartoon versions where they really did fail all the time.