Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie set for release in 2011

MUMBAI: The Mirage Group has given the green light for development of a live-action major motion picture focusing on the origins of the iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, targeted for release in 2011.

Announcement of the latest big screen version of the Turtles kick off their 25th anniversary national "Shell-ebration" in New York City with multiple events that include the honor of lighting the Empire State Building in ‘turtle green’ and a unique outdoor presentation of their first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film at the Tribeca Film Festival Drive-In.

Mirage is partnering with producers Scott Mednick and Galen Walker to create this live action film. Peter Laird, Gary Richardson, Frederick Fierst, Eric Crown and Napoleon Smith III will serve as executive producers of the film, which is based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters created by Laird and Kevin Eastman. Mednick and Walker will serve as producers. The project is being funded through Lightbox Productions, LLC.

"It was critical to us to find people who both understood the Turtles franchise and were accomplished film makers who appreciated both the action and humor components of the Turtles’ identity. With Galen and Scott we know we’ve found great talent with those essential attributes," said The Mirage Group CEO Gary Richardson.

"The original dozen comics created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman are some of the best source material one could hope for. We’re excited to bring this story to a whole new generation of moviegoers as well as the legions of fans that have made the Turtles – Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael as well as Splinter, April O’Neil, Casey Jones and, of course, the great villain Shredder – a part of their world for 25 years," said Mednick.

Mednick has begun reaching out to writers and directors and is already in discussion with several high-profile actors interested in portraying Turtles characters they loved as kids.

4Kids Entertainment, which is the licensing agency for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property, will be handling all the movie merchandise licensing.

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