Warner Bros. Pictures will handle domestic distribution of the first all-CGI-animated film in the popular “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise, while The Weinstein Company will take international territories.
Variety says Warners will release Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on March 30, 2007. An overseas release date was not announced.
TWC and Warners jointly acquired worldwide distribution rights last fall from Imagi Services, which obtained the production and distribution rights from the Mirage Group, which in turns owns and manages the popular kids franchise.
Animation veteran Kevin Munroe is directing and writing. He developed the screenplay in consultation with “Turtles” comic book co-creator Peter Laird.
“‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ represents a brand that is widely recognized all around the world, and we think this new CG version will be a huge hit among audiences everywhere,” said TWC co-chair Harvey Weinstein, who made the announcement with Warner Bros. Pictures president of distribution Dan Fellman.
The studio and TWC said the new PG-rated film will be slightly grittier than the three live-action “Turtles” movies released by New Line more than a decade ago. Combined, those three films grossed more than $256 million at the U.S. box office.
Imagi USA president-CEO Thomas K. Gray, who produced two of the earlier “Turtles” films, and Galen Walker are producing. Francis Kao, Laird, Gary Richardson and Frederick Fierst are executive producers.
CGI animation is being created in Imagi’s facility in Hong Kong.