Uncovering the Lost Hallmark Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Special
In 2001, Steve Barron, the director of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature film, was attached to helm a two-part, four-hour miniseries for the Hallmark Channel that would blend CGI turtles with live actors. The project was set to launch after the animated series, and if successful, a feature film would follow. The miniseries was to be a darker, more streetwise take on the characters, inspired by the original comics.
Brendan McCarthy, who worked as a storyboard artist for the 1990 film, was also rumored to be involved in the project. On his website, images of the turtles were displayed, including some designs from a later reboot that never got off the ground.
One potential storyline for the miniseries involved the return of the Foot and the Shredder, with the turtles discovering that the Shredder was actually their long-lost brother. The miniseries was also said to incorporate a lot of wild action on the astral plane, a mystic realm.
The designs of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were revealed through maquettes that were recently sold at auction. These maquettes were small, scale models of the turtles that were used by the original creators to refine the look and feel of the characters While the project never came to fruition, fans of the Ninja Turtles can still catch glimpses of what might have been through archived images and blog posts from the creators involved.