Ubisoft gets turtle power

French publisher lands rights to make games based on upcoming CG Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been a Konami gaming property dating back to the original cartoon's breakthrough success in the late '80s. But after Konami's lengthy monopoly on the license, another publisher is getting a chance to show what it can do with the characters. Ubisoft has picked up the rights to make games based on the Turtles' next cinematic outing.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be entirely computer-generated by Hong Kong-based Imagi Animation Studios (Zentrix, the upcoming Highlander anime). Once finished, the movie will be distributed by Warner Bros. in the US and internationally by The Weinstein Company (started by former Miramax founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein). The film will be directed by Kevin Munroe, whose previous directorial work includes a short film for ABC Family Channel and Midway's Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube racing game Freaky Flyers.

While the movie will carry the same PG rating as its predecessors, the filmmakers are aiming to take a "grittier" tone more true to the comic book source material than previous Ninja Turtles movies. This might seem to preclude the return of one-time heartthrob and original The Surreal Life star Corey Feldman to the role of Donatello. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is due for a theatrical release in the spring of 2007.

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