Director Jonathan Liebesman Talks TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, Deleted Scenes, Fan Criticism and How It Influenced the Film, Megan Fox, and More

by     Posted 131 days ago

Jonathan-Liebesman-Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-interview

Now playing around the world is Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  As most of you know, TMNT made over $65 million dollars in its first weekend at the North America box office, which led to Paramount announcing a sequel for summer 2016.  What started out as a one and done comic book by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman in 1984 shows no signs of slowing down thirty years later.

At the recent Los Angeles press day I landed an extended video interview with Jonathan Liebesman.  During our wide-ranging conversation, we talked about how the story changed along the way, creating the new look of the turtles, deleted scenes, what he learned from his friends and family screenings, working with Megan Fox, filming in NYC, fan criticism and how a lot of it was actually valuable, the specific influence that a fake trailer description had on the film, Easter eggs, if he’d like to do the sequel, the ease of working on the turles in a sequel because of all the research and development that went into the first film, and so much more.  If you’re a fan of TMNT and curious how the film came together, you’ll like what he had to say.  Hit the jump to watch.

Jonathan_Liebesman-TMNT-Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-movieJonathan Liebesman Time Index:

  • :10 – Talks about how he’s been working on the project for so long.
  • :35 – How close is the final product to his initial idea for the film? Says it became funnier and more focused on the turtles over the course of development.
  • 2:09 – Talks about his approach to Shredder. Says if the bad guy is going up against four heroes, he needs to be ruthless.
  • 3:09 – How long was his first cut?
  • 3:47 – Says there are a lot of deleted scenes featuring the human characters.
  • 4:26 – Extended cut vs. deleted scenes. Says he’s not a fan of releasing deleted scenes, but he’s a fan of watching them.
  • 5:37 – April O’Neil as a strong female protagonist and his approach to female characters in action movies. Cites James Cameron and Luc Besson’s female leads as good examples.
  • 6:20 – Talks about working with Megan Fox and putting more of “the real Megan Fox” into the movie.
  • 7:15 – What did he learn from his first friends and family screening? Talks about the difficulty of screening the film without effects.
  • 8:46 – What was the toughest VFX sequence to complete?  Says the comedy and dialogue scenes were much harder to nail than the action scenes.
  • teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-poster-leonardo9:57 – Filming on location in NYC. Talks about set photos and paparazzi, and not wanting people to see the motion-capture suits.
  • 11:47 – The approach to designing the turtles and how much pressure he had from the toy companies. Talks about getting tips from Michael Bay about making sure the turtles are different from each other.
  • 12:45 – Creating the turtles. Says they used Clint Eastwood as the model for Raphael, used Russell Crowe’s eyes and Nelson Mandela’s mouth for Leonardo, Bill Murray for Michelangelo, and Leonardo Nimoy from Star Trek for Donatello.
  • 14:10 – Talks about fan criticism online and how a lot of it was actually valuable.
  • 14:50 – Says in one of the comment sections he read a fake trailer description that talked about introducing the turtles in a specific way that influenced his film.
  • 16:30 – Easter eggs.  Did he plant stuff for sequels?
  • 18:05 – Talks about meeting really passionate TMNT fans at the premiere of Wrath of the Titans, and discusses fandom as a whole.
  • 19:30 – Would he want to come back for a sequel?
  • 20:19 – Says he’s getting ready to go shoot a TV show in New Zealand, the pilot and second episode of Shannara.
  • 21:18 – Talks about being excited to go visit Weta and Lord of the Rings stuff while in New Zealand.
  • 22:18 – Talks about identifying with fans that are passionate about something.
  • 23:07 – How much easier will it be to create the turtles in a potential sequel? Says they spent a year in R&D on the first film just figuring out how to make the turtles.


Please enable Javascript to watch this video

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-final-poster




Like Us


Comments:

FB Comments

  • gar216

    These videos are nice, but I’d prefer a text version too. You can’t always watch a video depending on where you are.

    • whodey17

      yes. yes. yes.

      • gar216

        Haha D-Bry

    • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

      Normally I’d agree, but unless you have really good software that can recognize multiple voices and transcript them, typing out a 20-minute interview is painful.

      • sawyersolo

        god forbid there’s work involved

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        The “work” of the interview, is the interview itself.

      • sawyersolo

        if it is not easily accessed on different platforms, then your work is wasted on those unable to see it

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Video is easily accessible on different platforms.

      • sawyersolo

        ok, dude thanks for the excuses just transcribe the shit next time and don’t be so lazy

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        I didn’t write this article and you’ve given no reason why not transcribing is lazy. You’re bad at logic.

      • sawyersolo

        b/c the writer said it would take too much time to do so

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        That doesn’t equate to lazy, that suggests the reward/profit doesn’t merit the 40-minutes to an hour it takes to transcribe. That’s called efficiency. Try again.

      • gar216

        That 20 minute video could have been cut down to an average size article. Possibly multiple articles.

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Could have been, but part of me wonders if there was less incentive for an interview with a director not many people care about for a movie that’s not particularly adored.

      • gar216

        It may not be adored, but its still pretty hot right now. I imagine a lot of people clicked on that link just to hear why that they hated made its way into the final film. A click is a click whether its positive or negative.

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Right but the question isn’t would they click on one interview, it’s would they have clicked on 5 different interviews to hear snippets about different aspects of a film they don’t like? Probably not, I tuned out after 3 minutes and just scrolled down here. It’s not a particularly fascinating talk.I scroll over these articles all the time unless they’re for a movie I *want* to see. The only intriguing part of the interview is the “how did negative backlash influence its development”.

  • gar216

    These videos are nice, but I’d prefer a text version too. You can’t always watch a video depending on where you are.

  • gar216

    These videos are nice, but I’d prefer a text version too. You can’t always watch a video depending on where you are.

  • appolox

    I don’t care what folks with severe sticks up their ass’s say, I thought this movie was a lot of fun.

  • appolox

    I don’t care what folks with severe sticks up their ass’s say, I thought this movie was a lot of fun.

  • appolox

    I don’t care what folks with severe sticks up their ass’s say, I thought this movie was a lot of fun.

  • Oh no

    He is my type. Now I’m interested in the movie. Why

  • Oh no

    He is my type. Now I’m interested in the movie. Why

  • http://www.newlogicentertainment.com/ New Logic ENT.

    This guys cool!!! He’s a real fan like us. And the movie is pretty awesome! Give it a shot, and fuck the haters, and critics…

  • Joe

    Leonardo Nimoy, eh?

  • http://www.abstractdawn.co.uk/ Nick Gadman

    I’m totally swayed by this interview, I love the Turtles anyway but anything with a Platinum Dunes involvement is an instant turn-off, I don’t like Michael Bay and they make shit remakes…. end of.

    Although his resume isn’t exactly inspiring, Leibsman comes across really well here, and Steve’s enthusiasm for the movie is encouraging but it isn’t released in the UK until Oct 17th, wtf is all that about?

  • Reynard

    Will he release an extended cut though on dvd I’d pay for that

Click Here