After everyone started buzzing about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie trailer, it occurred to me people think they know TMNT, but what do they really know? Here's the long and weird history of one of our generation's most popular franchises.

1. The first TMNT comic book was published in 1984 as a satire on the four most popular comics of the early 1980s: Daredevil, New Mutants, Cerebus and Ronin.

2. The TV show was created in 1986 to promote figurines created by Playmates Toys Inc. (this is where the phrases "Heroes in a Half Shell" and "Turtle Power" came from). It aired on CBS starting in 1987 and lasted until 1996.

4. A live action TV series, "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation" was started in 1997 by Saban Entertainment. It lasted only one season, but is still played in rerun.

6. A computer-animated film was created in 2007 and is generally considered the 4th sequel to the original 1990 film with Jim Henson's creatures.

8. Nickelodeon bought the rights and created its own computer-animated cartoon starting in 2012.

9. When Nickelodeon purchased the rights to the franchise and altered the plans for the new movie set in motion back in 2009, director Michael Bay said he'd like to make the turtles aliens from another planet. This idea was apparently dropped.

Getty Images, left Kevin Winter right James McCarthy
Getty Images, left Kevin Winter right James McCarthy

10. Megan Fox will play April O'Neil. You may remember that Fox was fired by Michael Bay from the Transformers series. It is rumored she was required to apologize to get the role. Jessica Biel may also have been in the running.


In case you're worried about the new film, check out Michael Bay's resume of remakes:


I Am Number Four

A Nightmare of Elm Street

Friday the 13th

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Amityville Horror



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