So you set out to make a documentary called Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where do you begin? For director Randall Lobb and a small film crew from rural Ontario, it was a phone call to the CEO of Mirage and a five year journey to get from the idea to make a doc about the history of TMNT to releasing it. Now, in time for both the 30th anniversary of the franchise and the recently released film from producer Michael Bay, Lobb and Co.’s five year odyssey through Ninja Turtles lore is ready to be seen. Recently, Nerd Bastards got the chance to talk with Lobb about how they tracked down all the players, how it all came together, and why even people who aren’t Turtle fans will find something to love in the documentary. (more…)
There are some people who are just born haters. No matter what a studio does with a property that these people have a fondness for, there will be plenty of internet bashing and general nastiness towards the reboot for even considering messing with their childhood memories. The problem with this is that, unfortunately, many of the properties that these people complain about are being viewed through a rearview mirror made of hazy rose colored glass and really weren’t that great to begin with. As a filmmaker, balancing between an updated mythos while keeping those haters pleased while appealing to a whole new audience is a very tough act and one that is rarely, if ever, accomplished. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Platinum Dunes flick that hits theaters this Friday, is one of those movies. So, how did the filmmakers attempt to pull off this act? (more…)
Everyone has an opinion about the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reboot being produced by Michael Bay. Love it or dreading it, fans need to vent and that’s one of the things the Internet is good for. TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman has an opinion, and it might be worth our while to listen to what he has to say. (more…)
This is a real blast from the past for most of you out there. What kid in the 90’s didn’t love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? They had outrageous tag lines, rap laden music, and ate a crap load of pizza; everything your parents would shake their head at and wonder what the hell was happening with today’s youth.
Now that you’re all grown up you might appreciate this alternate ending that much more. It’s a nice nod to the origin of the TMNT franchise that all started back in Eastman and Laird’s fantastic comic book. If you’ve never read those, it’s well worth the cost of a trade paperback to pick up the original black and white pages.
Man, this movie doesn’t age well phonetically, I cringed at just about every tag line those turtles threw out there. Imagine the looks you would get today if you tried those lines on your nieces, nephews, or your own children. It would be akin to wearing black socks with sandals when you take them to the beach.
Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments section below.
The two men that created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird appear to be on opposite sides of the Micheal Bay TMNT reboot fence. Laird recently expressed his disappointment in the casting of Megan Fox while Eastman has remained a positive vocal supporter of the project. Eastman recently talked with CBR about the Bay reboot:
One of the things that’s awesome about the relationship I’ve had with Platinum Dunes and Michael Bay and Jonathan Liebesman and some of the producers, Scott Mednick and Galen Walker on the series, is that It’s probably amusing to a lot of people what the press puts out there and what they say people behind the scenes really want to do with the movie, but [Platinum Dunes’] main goal is actually to make the best possible “Turtles” movie with respect to the fans and the core audience as possible. We’ve learned from movies like “The Avengers,” which to me was a superhero movie so good to me personally that I practically wept. It was perfect, you know what I mean? That’s the stuff that I grew up on. Joss Whedon just knocked it out of the park, the whole team did, and that includes choreographing all the interlocking movies. From everything that I’ve seen in the [“TMNT”] script and the development and everything they’ve asked my input on specifically, it’s gonna be an awesome, familiar, solid “Turtles” movie. It’ll have everything that fans are gonna want and then some.
Much like you look at what they’re doing at Nickelodeon with the new animated series, it’s all based solidly on the “Turtles” foundation, but they’ve hit the reset button. They’ve taken it back to the first episode, with the Turtles first time above ground after many years of training with Master Splinter. They’re making a “Turtles” origin that is firmly rooted in “Turtles” history, but a slight tweak here and a slight tweak there. It’s been enjoyable and the IDW series is much the same, in that it’s firmly rooted in “Turtles” history, but multiple “Turtles” universes.
I think Tom put together such a great tapestry. I think you’ll see some of that with the movie. It’ll touch on that same “Turtles” foundation, that same 30 years of “Turtles” history, so you can just pick and choose parts that you like but still keep it firmly rooted in “Turtles” history.
When we did the first movie with [director] Steve Barron back in 1990, it was a perfect hybrid of what Peter and I were doing with the original black and white series and what we were doing in the animated series, like with April being a news reporter. Issue #2 of [1984’s] “Turtles” she was a scientist. Then in the IDW series she was a scientist again. Everything’s there and everything can be traced back to the original group.
I think everybody’s going to be pleased with what the movie’s going to be and I hope we can pull stuff from there in to the “Turtles” universe, although I think in a lot of ways it’s already there in the IDW series.
Has Eastman drunk the Micheal Bay Kool-Aid? Does he know things we don’t, perhaps his press comment have merit, or perhaps he’s just trying to make the most out of a bad situation and protect his intellectual property as much as he can while still making a buck.
I’m really interested to see what the first clips or trailer looks like. I imagine it might not actually suck hairy balls which could spark another Internet flame war between TMNT fans and Micheal Bay haters. Both fan and anti-fan bases are pretty large and vocal.
Which side of the fence are you one? I personally don’t hold much hope for the project because Bay can’t seem to grasp the connection between bringing fans into the mix while opening the franchise to the mainstream movie going audience.
My biggest problem with Bay isn’t all the explosions or the sub-par actors and actresses usually cast in his movies, it’s the horrible writing and toilet humor. I’m dreading seeing some Turtle testicle jokes repeatedly through the movie. I’m willing to bet hard money on each turtle banging some crook in the balls and shouting some horrific joke. Bay can’t just make the joke once, it has to be peppered throughout the entire movie, repeatedly smacking you in the face with it at every turn.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that Megan Fox would have a role in the Micheal Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. While nothing has been officially announced, word around the virtual water cooler says she’ll be playing intrepid reporter and turtle lover April O’Neil — there’s only so many prominent female roles in the TMNT universe, so you can understand the assumption. This speculation, of course, has sent the internet into a feeding frenzy. Such a disturbance in the force, this has caused. Comments, threads, street graphite, mass table flippings… all inciting great vengeance and furious anger against the movie cancer that is Micheal Bay. It’s truly maddening.
The conscious decision (assumingly) to cast Fox as Ms. O’Neil has even offended TMNT creator and reboot supporter Kevin Eastman.
Up until now, Eastman had given his stamp of approval and assured fans that things where going in the right direction. This development, however, made him lose his shit. Laird offered his thoughts in the comments section of his blog.
My only exposure to Megan Fox as an actress is through her role in two “Transformers” movies and the wretched (but happily forgettable) “Jennifer’s Body”. It may not be fair to judge her range of acting skills just from those three movies, but I think it is safe to say that there are probably hundreds of better choices for the role of April O’Neil. Of course, her name has promotional value, and maybe that’s what they want. Who knows? I can’t get myself too worked up about it.
Alright, so he didn’t exactly get overly emotional. Regardless, this is yet another pox on the production. You’d figure there be enough specious hate from fans for creatives to listen to reason and end this hideous charade.
Filming starts in less than a month. Given the passion of TMNT fans, I’m fairly certain someone is gonna kamikaze themselves in hopes of derailing the shoot.
Pending fan riot, Ninja Turtles will open June 6 2014
Did you know there was supposed to be a 5th Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? Well, technically, there already was one. There was the female turtle Venus de Milo from the short lived TMNT live-action series, but most turtle fans don’t recognize her as canon, so she doesn’t count. In regards to the movies, however, there was a a 5th turtle that never saw the light of day.
His name was Kirby. Named, not after after a artist of the Renaissance, but of comic book fame. He was conceptualized by Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman in the mid 1990s for a proposed fourth live-action Turtles movie. We know this because Eastman has put 25 of his original concept art drawings from the pitch up for auction.
The auction shows off images of the “fifth turtle” Kirby, as well as Fang, Shredder, Spyder, Nano Spyder, Super Shredder, Kasey (Casey), Talbot, Lawson, Bugman, and Evil April.
The fourth film was planned as being less kid-friendly; more akin to the first one. Here’s an excerpt from the auction:
The fourth live-action TMNT film was pitched and originally scripted as a grittier, less kid-friendly adventure, and to that end Kevin Eastman designed a more brutish, hardcore fifth Turtle, named for the legendary King of Comics (Jack Kirby).” – Heritage Auctions
Except for evil April (more like April O’Nipples) , thank god almighty in heaven this didn’t happen. Looks like something Micheal Bay and FOX studios would have considered.
Many fans are upset with the fact that Michael Bay is putting his grubby little no-talent hands on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, not to mention that the titular turtles been altered in ways that make them no longer teenage and no longer mutants. But while most of us, including co-creator Peter Laird, may be tearing our eyes out, the other creator, Kevin Eastman, is busy talking the movie up.
In order to hopefully sway fans to actually buy tickets to this potential nightmare, Eastman is name-dropping left and right, comparing what he has seen of the film so far to other big movies, including The Avengers.
In an interview with NBC, he had this to say:
Jonathan Liebesman is going to make a great film. From what I’ve seen of the script, it’s fantastic. Michael Bay has made some great and intense movies. We’re talking about being inspired by movies like ‘The Avengers’ for scope and roots origin and ‘The Raid: Redemption’ for fight scenes and ‘Rise for the Apes’ as far as computer-quality style.
He also made an attempt to defend the production against the onslaught of hatred that it has generated. In another interview, this time with The Examiner, he bestowed this wisdom upon us:
I like to answer this by basically telling the fans first and foremost not to worry, this will be a great TMNT film. Much like many thirty year old concepts, the TMNTs have been re-invented a number of times, some were stronger than others, but if you look at what Viacom/Nickelodeon has done/allowed to happen with the new TMNT animated TV series, and the new IDW comic series, each has a slightly new and refreshed take on the “core concept,” the new film with be the same, a film “well placed” in the TMNT lore the fans will enjoy. If we learned nothing else from one of my favorite comic book based films, The Avengers, that there’s a lot to be said about never forgetting that core concept and core fan-base.
Sounds like the typical marketing crap that accompanies every film, though with a definite emphasis on trying to get people not to hate it before it’s even out. But whatever…
Personally, until I see something on film that makes me believe otherwise, I will continue to ride the Bay Hate-Train. What are the NerdReaders’ predictions?? Is the new TMNT going to be worth the money for a ticket?
Thanks to /film for the heads-up on this one.
A lot of digital ink’s been spent on our site and others talking about the many horrid possibilities of Michael Bay‘s proposed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Well a Ninja Turtles fan site managed to get its hands on the script, which has since been put in turnaround by Paramount studios, and has submitted a, shall we say, negative review of it. And yes. it’s much worse than you think.
Here’s a list the atrocities the site cited in the script:
- The Ninja Turtles as aliens? Yup, that’s true.
- Worst still, the script pulls a Crystal Skull by making them inter-dimensional beings and not even real aliens.
- Worse than that, they’re from Dimension X (better known as the home of Krang the Brain from….) And they’re the “chosen ones” of their alien turtle race.
- Casey Jones is “an 18 year old security guard for a furniture factory and amateur hockey player.”
- Teen security guard Jones is the one that gives the Turtles their individualized color bandanas so that he can tell them apart – Because all turtles look alike you see. So now Casey Jones is racist.
- Finally, the Shredder has been recast as Colonel Schrader. Association with the Foot Clan was not revealed.
So is the script legit? Well, Paramount has already hit the site with a cease and desist order, but that’s hardly conclusive. What is interesting is that TMNT co-creator Peter Laird has broke his silence saying that the draft of the film he read is as bad as we think:
“Someone else alerted me to the existence of this script, and I just a few minutes ago finished reading it. If it is, in fact, the actual draft that was rejected and caused the production of the next TMNT movie to be pushed back to 2014 because the script was unsatisfactory, then I think all true TMNT fans should be grateful to the new “powers that be” that they did not allow this wretched thing to go any further. It could definitely be taken as a good sign if that is the case. It reminds me of one of the reasons I am glad to not own the property anymore… because I don’t have to tear what little hair I have left out while trying to fix junk like this.”
Interestingly, Laird’s Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman has been very enthusiastic about the project. To me it has all the makings of Superman: Flyby, the J.J. Abrams script where Krypton survived, was undergoing a civil war, and Lex Luthor is an alien bounty hunter. Hopefully, this Ninja Turtles script will find its way to the same bottomless desk drawer that Superman: Flyby sits in.
Few movies have generated more nerd water cooler talk than the Michael Bay-produced reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but one of its few supporters has been TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman. Eastman’s been Bay’s primary source of spin through all the drama over the film’s development and it seems he’s at it again by saying that the film was delayed not because of script problems, but because they want to give the franchise a big present on its 30th birthday in 2014.
In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Eastman talked more about the timing of the eventual film, and why that extra time will allow director Jonathan Liebesman time to create the necessary effects:
I talked to [producer] Scott Mednick yesterday, and he’s seen the most recent 50 [script] pages and said it’s as good as the last version–they’ve really knocked it out of the park. I’ve seen a chunk of it, and it’s going to be a great movie, despite what everybody thinks. Essentially they pushed it back for two reasons: One is the director, Jonathan Liebesman, wanted to make sure he could do the effects to the level he wants them at, and the fight scenes to the way they should be. Also, their release date is almost exactly on the 30th [TMNT] anniversary. May 5, 1984 is when the first Turtles comic came out. May 16, 2014, is almost exactly 30 years after. So basically it’s an anniversary movie now.”
Of course, Eastman also took the opportunity to once again defend Bay’s idea to tweaking the origin of the Turtles to make them alien adults rather than mutant teenagers:
“[W]hat they’re doing with the movie is creating its own story, but it has to be true to the source material or we’ll get @#$!-ng murdered. To be blunt.”
I don’t know what those things have to do with each other, but I guess Eastman should know better than we do. Then again, George Lucas himself thinks that The Empire Strikes Back is the worst of the Star Wars films, so you know…