When Nickelodeon picked up the rights to "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" last fall in a $60 million dollar deal, it was clear that the company wanted to make it one of its next franchises. And apparently Paramount — a sister company to Nickelodeon through Viacom — has taken steps to make sure that it happens sooner rather than later.
Deadline is reporting that Paramount has hired screenwriters Art Marcum and Matt Holloway to write the screenplay for the new live-action "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie.
The studio is placing the film on a fast-track development cycle and reportedly wants the first draft by October so that the studio can then look for a director to bring the film out in 2012.
Marcum and Holloway have previously collaborated on "Iron Man," "Punisher: War Zone," the upcoming "Highlander" reboot and the new "Buck Rogers" film.
Back in May, Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes signed on to produce the new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" film, which will be live-action and CGI hybrid. Scott Mednick, Galen Walker, and Marina Norman also remain on board to produce the film with Platinum Dunes' Andrew Form and Brad Fuller.
Screenwriter John Fusco ("Young Guns") was previously attached to the film prior to Marcum and Holloway's recent deal.
Viacom is reportedly eager to make the "Turtles" back into a global brand, with a new animated series also on the way and more video games, toys and other merchandise planned as well.
Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" back in 1984, before it became a pop-culture phenomenon for the first time behind a wildly popular action figure line, two animated series and three live-action films. A CGI animated "Turtles" movie was released in 2007.
What are your thoughts on bringing Marcum and Holloway onto the "Turtles" reboot? Should the project be fast-tracked or should the studio take its time? Who should direct the next "Turtles"? And who would you cast in the movie? Escape from the sewers and let us know what you're thinking in the comment section or on Twitter!