Dave Green, director, Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, screenwriters, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller, producers, and Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek, and Jeremy Howard, stars of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Paramount Pictures releases Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows nationwide on June 3rd, 2016.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Dave, what do you think is so appealing about the Turtles to all age groups?
Dave Green: I think when you’re growing up and you’re either six years old or nine years old, or if you’re a parent who’s maybe around my age, in their 30’s or so, I think it’s easy to connect to those characters because everyone at one point or another has been a teenager or has been close to being a teenager. Those characters are just very easy to connect with, and they have teenager logic. They’re not always sharp. They’re not always logical, they improvise, they are a family, and they are brothers. These guys were amazing at bringing that to life.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Andrew, when did you come to the realization that the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will have a sequel?
Andrew Form: [During] opening weekend of the first one is when Paramount made the announcement that they wanted the sequel, and we were all together on Friday night. They were watching the grosses come in, and Rob Moore, who runs the studio, kinda looked at everybody and said, “I think we’re gonna make another one of these.” Three years in development on the first movie, and hanging with these turtles who, you know, there’s nothing better. So, we felt so fortunate, and then we reached right out to these two guys who really helped us on the first movie and wrote, and said, “I think we get to do this again!” And, here we are talking about Out of the Shadows. It’s pretty amazing.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Andre and Josh, out of all of the characters in the Ninja Turtles universal, which one(s) were you most excited to bring to the big screen?
Josh Appelbaum: You know, I was a huge Casey Jones fan as a kid, and so to be able to, as soon as these guys were like, “Yup, we’re doing Casey in this one.” I was like, so fired up.
Andre Nemec: Same. To be honest though, the Bebop and Rocksteady thing was very exciting, because to be able to dip into the humor and really capture those guys, I think it really also helps tonally with the movie a lot.
NYC MOVIE GURU: For the actors who played the Turtles, what were you most excited to bringing to your roles in the second film??
Pete Ploszek: I think with Leo what was really fun to explore was seeing where his breaking point is. Leo’s always been the leader, the do-gooder, the one who’s by the book. I think because of that he's a bit of an almost silent sufferer where he won’t show weakness. He won’t show emotion like these other guys can. But everyone sort of has a breaking point, and it was sort of exploring what does it take to push Leo to that edge where he’s gonna speak his mind, and he’s gonna tell these guys how he feels? And, yeah, that balancing act was fun to come up against.
Jeremy Howard: I think these guys, as they grow older, especially in this film, you see it’s that the individuality really starts to come out. And as the team, it’s a question of can we keep this team together, these guys together with all the unique traits that they have, and work as a team? And, I think that’s the challenge that your character has, kind of deciding what can I do to bring these guys together to kind of save the planet? And, I’m so tired right now I forgot what was happening.
Noel Fisher: I think for this movie in particular, I was really excited because the turtles have a really specific arch that you get to see, and it explores that family dynamic that makes the turtles kind of that timeless. You know what I mean? That’s why everyone likes the turtles. And for Mikey specifically, I really liked the idea that he’s sort of the youngest out of everyone. He’s very much the youngest feeling. And so the idea that he might get to be accepted in the rest of society, and not have to necessarily be a turtle anymore is like a really strong pull for him. So I think that was, that was what I really wanted to kind of see what that was like, get back in that teenage, I wanna be like everybody else kind of mode.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Brad and Andre, how did you decide how much to telegraph and how much homage to include without making the film too cutesy?
Brad Fuller: Well, do you think we accomplished that? I’m curious. Because you don’t know until the movie’s done really. The four of us, you know, sitting here, we are all real fans, you know, and we wanted, if we were gonna see a Turtles movie, we put the things in that we thought we would wanna see there that we’re recognizing, that the audience knows these things, and we know these things, and that’s kind of the relationship between the filmmakers and the audience. I think that out of the three of us, I would probably always go more and they would pull me back, but that’s why we’re a great team I guess.
AN: I think part of the fun is for the fans. You get to see a couple of little Easter eggs dropped here and there. For the general audience that is just coming to the turtles, they become the Easter eggs for those guys. So, like the license plate for example, a new audience member isn’t really gonna pick up on what that is. But now it becomes something for them to recognize as we move forward.