Jonathan Liebesman in talks to direct Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film

Battle Los Angeles director likely to helm new live-action TMNT movie

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could be heading back to the big screen under the direction of Jonathan Liebesman.

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According to the Hollywood Reporter, Liebesman, whose previous credits include Battle Los Angeles and Wrath of the Titans, is in final negotiations with Paramount Pictures about helming what will be the fifth Ninja Turtles film.

The new outing will jettison the CGI look of 2007’s TMNT and return to the live-action style of the first three Turtles movies from the early 1990s, which were adapted from the enormously popular Saturday-morning cartoon series.

Transformers director Michael Bay and his business partners, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller, are slated to produce the film, which will be scripted by Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’s Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec.

The Turtles, who are named after Renaissance painters Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo, were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in 1984 for a black-and-white comic book. However, owing to the enormously successful films and TV series that the comic spawned, the characters have remained popular with children for decades and earned millions of dollars from merchandising.

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Paramount’s parent company, Viacom, bought the rights to the TMNT franchise for $60m in 2009.