Jonathan Liebsman, hot off the upcoming Wrath of the Titans and last year’s Battle Los Angeles, has already lined up his next project. According to Variety, he’ll be bringing back the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the big screen, from a script by Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol‘s Andre Memec and Josh Applebaum.  The project was set up by Michael Bay‘s company Platinum Dunes, so it’s hard not to speculate the reboot will be done in the style of The Dark Knight (aka gritty and hard edged).

Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stared as a comic book, then became a animated kids show in 1987, and in 1990 became a highly successful live action movie, which spawned two theatrical sequels.  The animated show ran until 1996, spawning a short-lived spinoff the next year, only to return to television in 2003 for another animated show that ran seven years.  And then in 2007 there was a CG animated movie.  In that sense the characters haven’t left us.

The silliness of the premise was always one of its great charms, so it will be interesting to see where they take it.  Liebsman has yet to reveal much of a personality on screen, though he’s obviously ascended to the B-list, which as a working director isn’t a bad place to be. People still have an obvious affection for the characters, but it seems hard to make this into something that isn’t kid-friendly.  We shall see.

Would you be down for an R-rated TMNT movie?