Over the years, Seth Rogen’s made a name for himself in adapting (and sometimes providing his acting talents to) lesser known comics or properties like Invincible and The Boys. You’d think by this point, and with those he’d have jumped ship to something bigger—namely Marvel or DC, similar to what indie directors have done in the past. But it sounds like Rogen’s fine where he is, and doesn’t plan on changing that up anytime soon.
Talking to Polygon about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, the outlet asked Rogen what was stopping him from handling a Marvel or DC project, and he was candid in admitting to being afraid of that kind of commitment. Specifically, a fear of “The Process” that Marvel uses for all its movies and shows which he admitted to not having any inside knowledge of. He noted that it seems to be working out “very well” for the studio, but wondered if that process is one he and frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg would “ultimately get really frustrated with.”
“Evan and I have a pretty specific way we work; [we’ve] been writers for 20 years at this point. […] What’s nice about Mutant Mayhem is that we’re the producers of this. So we dictated the system, and we dictated the process in a lot of ways.” Calling himself and Goldberg “control freaks,” he acknowledged that this is what he enjoys about setting up The Boys and Invincible for Prime Video: “We’re creating the infrastructure and process for them, not plugging into someone else’s infrastructure and process.”
Rogen further told Polygon that his selection of what to adapt mirrors how he’d use to go into comic shops as a kid and figure out what to buy. “There are a lot of comic books I love and things I love, but I’m like, ‘What would I add?’” he said. (Akira, apparently, is not something he thinks he could add to.) What drew him and Goldberg to Mutant Mayhem was the “unexplored facet” of seeing the Ninja Turtles as teens first rather than turtles who happen to be teenaged. “As people who have written a lot of teenage films and have been cinematically linked to that genre a lot over the years…A lot of it is just thinking, ‘Could we bring this to life well and do it in a way that, as fans of it, we wouldn’t be annoyed with ourselves if we were watching it from the outside?’”
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem hits theaters on August 2. From our review and that of other outlets, it sounds like Rogen, Goldberg, and director Jeff Rowe brought the Turtles to life quite well—and Paramount thinks the same, since a sequel and TV show have already been greenlit.
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