Former 'Ninja Turtle' Star to Produce Youth-Oriented Martial Arts Films
Former Ninja Turtle star Ernie Reyes is jumping again after sealing a deal with Art Birzneck of Birch Tree Entertainment to team up to produce a slate of youth-oriented martial arts films targeted at the teen and twentysomething audience.
Reyes' production banner Smasher Entertainment will partner on the plan with the $5 million-budgeted Karate Cops, set to be the first into production. Casting and a director are being firmed up right now, Birzneck told THR.
Scheduled to begin shooting April 2011 in San Francisco, Karate Cops is created by Ernie Reyes Jr. and written by Cody Yarbrough and Reyes Jr. It centers on a pair of high-flying detectives in a battle against a super-villain on a quest to take over a mystical martial arts kingdom in Chinatown.
Karate Cops will be followed by Cheer Ninjas and Teen Samurai, the new production partners said.
"With our extensive connections and combined experience in the production and distribution of martial arts films, Birch Tree and Smasher are uniquely positioned to fill a void in what we believe is an under-serviced youth action film market," Birzneck said. "It also doesn't hurt that we are both black belts."
Buyers beware of the chop.