Quint interviews the CGI TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES movie director, Kevin Munroe!!!
Published at: Aug. 21, 2006, 4:38 a.m. CST by staff
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: 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!