The upcoming Michael Bay-produced reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has brushed up quite a bit of passionate discussion regarding the finer points of turtle mutation, but the comic book series co-creator Kevin Eastman is put those reservations at bay (pun intended). Though Bay’s comments about the Turtles coming from an alien race in this new iteration got many a Ninja Turtles fans’ undergarments in a twist, director Jonathan Liebesman shot back that whatever changes they were making to the source material were coming from Eastman himself:
“Whatever mythology we’re building on or expanding is coming from that guy, Kevin Eastman’s head, who created the Turtles in the first place. And so everything will tie in with the mythology; fans will be extremely excited with what we’re coming up with.”
Now Eastman himself has spoken a bit about the property, confidently proclaiming that Ninja Turtles is the best adaptation of the comics yet, despite its glaring lack of Vanilla Ice. Hit the jump for more from Eastman.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a big part of my childhood. I grew up in this sweet spot where the cartoon was incredibly popular and we got the first few movies and a slew of video games. I entered into Friday’s panel at Room 6BCF with hesitation. A few animated films that never took off and some jittery cartoon series have since come out and I’ve grown older. I can safely say, though, that while there are some big changes afoot, I think showrunner Ciro Neili knows just what buttons to push to revitalize this franchise. During a lively panel we were shown some brief character intros, Neili’s concept art, clips of test footage, and much more. Jason Biggs (Leonardo), Rob Paulsen (Donatello), Sean Astin (Raphael), Greg Cipes (Michaelangelo), Mae Whitman (April O’Neil), Hoon Lee (Splinter), and Kevin Michael Richardson (Shredder) were all on hand to share their experiences and individual love for the property. Hit the jump for more details.
In the wake of Paramount’s endless push backs and delays regarding its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (now simple called Ninja Turtles), Nickelodeon has quietly developed a new (and improved?) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series set to air this fall.
The first official trailer for the series begins, naturally, at the beginning – four turtles! an accident! a secret! “They were trailed for battle,” the narrator recounts solemnly, “and now, when their city is under siege, the fate of humanity is in their hands” (or feet, perhaps). The original TMNT cartoon was one of my absolutely favorites as a kid, and it seems Nickelodeon may be doing a decent job of resurrecting the franchise for a new generation of fans. To see the trailer, hit the jump.
By now my reaction to a major Paramount film being pushed back to address major issues has become “classic Paramount!” After pushing G.I. Joe: Retaliation back nine months in order to post-convert the film to 3D and revive Channing Tatum and then hiring Damon Lindelof to rewrite the Brad Pitt-fronted zombie pic World War Z ahead of massive reshoots and production problems, Paramount has now delayed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot (retitled Ninja Turtles) in order to address script issues. Originally slated for release in December 2013, the Michael Bay-produced reboot has now been pushed to May 16th, 2014 assuming these issues can be resolved. Hit the jump for more.
Opening tomorrow is director Jonathan Liebesman’s (Battle: Los Angeles) Wrath of the Titans. In the sequel to Clash of the Titans, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is tasked with stopping the titans and saving Zeus (Liam Neeson) from Hades’ stranglehold (Ralph Fiennes). The film also stars Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell and Danny Huston. And for those wondering how the sequel turned out, Wrath of the Titans is what I hoped Clash of the Titans would be. It’s got a solid story, incredible effects, and the 3D is really well done. I’ve seen it twice (including IMAX 3D) and it’s definitely recommended. For more on the film, here’s five clips.
At last week’s press junket in New York City, I got to sit down with Liebesman for an extended interview. During our wide-ranging conversation we talked about how he got involved in Wrath of the Titans, his process for addressing the things that didn’t work in the first film, the visual effects, editing, the monsters, how important was it to be accurate with the mythology while still being able to take dramatic license to make the story work, and more. In addition, Liebesman talked about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (officially titled “Ninja Turtles”), Odysseus, his untitled Julius Caesar movie with producer Basil Iwanyk, the Battle Los Angeles sequel, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
Last week, producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman had to wade through the overblown reaction to making the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the upcoming live-action movie originate from an “alien race” even though that’s where the infamous ooze comes from in the original comics. Then a new spat came about from the rumor that the live-action film would simply be called “Ninja Turtles“. On his official website, Bay has confirmed the new title, and Paramount dropped the “teenage” and the “mutant” for simplicity (read: marketing). He also added that “The characters you all remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers.”
I don’t mind the title change. However, it does seem like they’re moving away from making the characters teenagers. It looks like the Turtles will be adults who “act like teenagers.” You know, like the adults who are losing their shit over a title change. Hit the jump for Bay’s full quote. Ninja Turtles is set to open on December 25, 2013.
Earlier tonight, Adam Chitwood, Dave Trumbore, and I recorded the first episode of Collider’s new podcast, The Collision. In our debut episode, we talked about the controversy over the live-action adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the positive response to the latest Prometheus trailers, and reviewed The Hunger Games. We had a lot of fun talking, and we hope you enjoy listening. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section so we can know how to make the show better.
Click here to listen or download our first episode. Click here to add The Collision to your RSS feed. An iTunes link will be available soon.
by Jason Barr Posted: March 24th, 2012 at 11:14 am
In this week’s opening paragraph I want to use a few lines to encourage reader feedback. The “Top 5″ weekly feature has been up and running since May of 2011 and has undergone very few presentation and/or aesthetic changes along the way. Because I’m thrilled when you, the reader, chooses to spend a few weekend minutes with me, I want to make sure that I’m consistently delivering something you look forward to checking out. That said, I invite any and all “Top 5″ feedback be e-mailed to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t worry, constructive criticism isn’t required. We could all use a good “you suck because you suck” sentiment to keep us honest every now and then.
Awaiting you in this week’s “Top 5″ is a slew of interviews for The Hunger Games, a recap of Michael Bay‘s campaign to turn Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into aliens so as to make them more believable (yes, you read that right), a NSFW international teaser trailer for David Cronenberg‘s Cosmopolis, a sparkling new Prometheus trailer, and all of our WonderCon 2012 coverage. In case you don’t know the drill, I’ll remind you that a brief recap and link to each follows after the jump.
Michael Bay caused quite the hubbub the other day with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans. He’s producing a new iteration of the lovable characters in the form of a live-action reboot directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans). Said hubbub was caused when Bay commented that the turtles in the reboot would be “from an alien race.” Fans were perplexed given that the word “mutant” is right in the title of the series, and “alien race” would imply that these new martial arts-inclined turtles weren’t mutated, but are actually extra terrestrial beings.
Steve got the chance to speak with Liebesman at the press junket for Wrath of the Titans earlier today and the director took the time to clear the air about his version of TMNT. He addressed the “alien race” comments, talked about his approach to the characters, revealed whether they’re thinking CGI or practical effects to bring the turtles to life, and said when he thinks they’ll start filming and where. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Yesterday, some people found a new reason to dislike Michael Bay when he revealed that the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be “from an alien race.” Even though I liked TMNT as a kid, I wasn’t outraged as much as I was confused. If they’re aliens, then where does the “mutant” part come in? (Matt Patches pointed out on Twitter that aliens could have been the ones to do the mutating as opposed to the ooze from the TV series and 90s movies) I was also confused by Bay’s comment that because of the change from mutants to aliens, “kids are going to believe, one day, that these turtles actually do exist when we are done with this movie.” I didn’t see the value in making kids believe the turtles are non-fictional characters.
But other fans were greatly upset over the change, and to those fans, Bay has a message: “Chill.” Hit the jump for more. The live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie will be directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles) and written by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol). The movie is slated to open on December 25, 2013.
My beloved franchise when I was a kid was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was a little too late for Thundercats and too early for Power Rangers, and for this I am grateful. In retrospect, TMNT is just as goofy, but the turtles still have a place in my heart. Keeping this in mind, I’m trying not to get too upset over producer Michael Bay‘s recent revelation that the turtles in the upcoming live-action movie will be aliens, not mutants. Hit the jump for what Bay had to say about the change along with my thoughts about it.
[Note that this project is separate from the new animated TV series that's airing on Nickelodeon in the fall. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is due out on December 25, 2013.]
Some big movies with some big stars have had their release dates shuffled around. Here they are at a glance:
Hit the jump for more on each of these movies.
Paramount is in development on a live-action reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It has been a rough transition so far from comic to feature, but the studio is taking the project in an unexpected direction. Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes—the production company behind horror remakes such A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th—are shepherding the reboot. The studio assigned the script to Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, the writers who most recently penned the whip-smart Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Now Variety reports Jonathan Liebesman is in negotiations to direct. Liebesman directed Battle: Los Angeles, and his next project is Wrath of the Titans. He’s the up-and-comer you call when you want a big action film. Tone will always be tricky when your main characters are anthropomorphic turtles who know martial arts. But if they can reinvent TMNT on the level of, say, Bay’s Transformers… well, that sounds like a blast.
Continuing on with our PSA Sunday series, we’ve got a nice little anti-drug ad from the coolest turtles on the planet. We’re lead to believe that the heroes in a half-shell obsessed with pizza are big anti-pot advocates in this early 90s PSA. Besides the fact that this PSA proposes that pot is a huge problem in elementary schools (either that or these middle/high schoolers are just really tiny), we get a munchies-infused interjection from Michaelangelo just as the other TNMT’s are trying to deter kids from toking up.
Hit the jump to find out how to stand up to drug bullies from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Back in March we got our first look at Nickelodeon’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series by way of a cool teaser trailer and some stylish character posters. But now we finally have word on who will be voicing our heroes in a half-shell. EW reports Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings) will voice the rough-around-the-edges Raphael, Jason Biggs (American Pie) will voice the leader Leonardo, Greg Cipes (Teen Titans) will voice party boy Michelangelo and TMNT series veteran Rob Paulsen will voice the intelligent Donatello (he actually voiced Raphael in the original animated series). The series is currently set to air sometime in the fall of 2012, but you can expect an exclusive first look to be debuted at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego. Hopefully we’ll have someone there to catch that debut, so stay tuned.