First question: Did Michael Bay just neglect to make a Shredder pun while addressing his 'Ninja Turtles' fiasco? It would have been soooooo easy.
Second question: Does Michael Bay think February was a "long time ago?" The script that was illegally leaked online and widely reviewed had a 1/30/12 date, which would seem like almost 2 years after Bay and Platinum Dunes were attached to the project in LATE MAY 2010.
And who better to help lay the blame on Bay than Peter Laird, one of the Turtle's creators:
I think the script that I read is so fundamentally flawed, and — more to the point — so NOT a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, that trying to make piecemeal changes to it in an effort to make it into something halfway decent is probably a fool’s errand.
In my opinion, the thing should just be tossed out, deliberately forgotten, and the process of generating a new script really a new outline, then treatment, then script — should be started again. I have no insider knowledge of what’s going on with the movie, but from the bits and pieces that have slipped out, it seems like that may be exactly what is happening.
While we’re on the subject of this script… I have to say that while reading it, and especially reading the last twenty pages or so, I couldn’t help but think of the brouhaha which erupted a few months back when Michael Bay was heard to say that in the upcoming movie, the Turtles would be revealed to be “from an alien race”, and following that, all the mental gymnastics indulged in by people who wanted to parse his words and make it seem like “No, he didn’t REALLY say they were going to be ALIENS!”… and then this script makes it way out onto the Internet, and if it is legitimate, it’s painfully clear that YES, the Turtles WERE, in fact, going to be ALIENS.
Don't let Bay off the hook, guys. Even if this wasn't the script he was executing, he's still asking you to trust him when it's fairly obvious we can't.
While we're on the positivity of the fandom side, I got a really nice e-mail forwarded on to me yesterday:
Hey man, I just thought I'd throw a little positivity on the TMNT out there.
We're just going into post-production on the definitive history of the TMNT and it's looking awesome.
Check out a teaser and some behind the scenes stuff at www.turtledoc.com and enjoy a happy Turtle story in all the gloom.
I watched all the videos. Can't wait to check that out, especially the voice actors and the revelation that Michael Ian Black might have spent the most time in a Turtle costume of all actors to ever portray them. Neat!
UPDATE #1: I know the script was out there before it got cease-and-desisted, so this is now being used as a rally point for the stupidity of the movie. As such, I thought I'd stop by and add some TMNT bonus materials as this conversation continues.
Commenter MIXTER posted a link to a Leo sculpt he did inspired by the new movie (before he heard it was this bad, I'm guessing):
'The Blue Door' seemed like it was dependent on a new Turtles design that made their entire body shapes different. Raph has linebacker shoulders and Leo is smaller and leaner.
Jorge Luis Castilla Jr points out that there's a Boycott Michael Bay's Ninja Turtles Facebook page.
Commenter BuckD4wg says: "You know what, I actually thought it sounded half decent. Sure, the inter dimensional side might be a tough pill for many to swallow, but anyone familiar with turtle lore knows how far-fetched some of the previous story lines have been."
And here's the thing - I totally get it. I'm not a huge fan of the non-canonical Volume 3 comics run (Cyborg Donatello, etc), but I know that the Turtles can be stupid. They were kind of made that way. Laird and Eastman created them to be a spoof of a few 80s comics that were popular at the time, so they were gritty like Frank Miller's 'Ronin' and the name Splinter came from Daredevil's master Stick (a literal chip off the ol' block). Turtles have always been a little stupid, but they've had a certain degree of logic to that stupidity.
One of my favorite Turtle projects in existence is 2009's 'Turtles Forever' direct-to-TV movie where the 2003 animated Turtles cross over with the 1988 animated Turtles and eventually they all meet the "prime" Mirage Comics Turtles. It deals with three different iterations of these characters interacting with each other in fun ways and it's the second most enjoyable Turtles movie (the first movie will always be the purest translation from comics to film, we'll never get closer).
Earlier this year, Michael Bay made quite the ruckus when he let spill that his Platinum Dunes live-action Ninja Turtles movie might have something to do with making the Turtles “alien.” Fanboys freaked out, everyone mocked Bay to the point that he had to half-walk-back his comments on his personal message board, telling people to chill. The people didn’t chill and someone higher than Bay got spooked, putting the project on hold until they could work out script issues (and delaying the release of the movie to TMNT’s 30th Anniversary).
I’m here to report on a project that was called 'The Blue Door' written by Andre Nemec & Josh Applebaum, based on a script that's not in my possession. It’s half-good and half absolutely horrible, with the first act-and-a-half delivering what Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans want: awesome Turtle action and wisecracks. What comes after, well, it's Midichlorian-level nonsense.
At the expense of the canonical characters, Casey Jones and April have been made and 18-year-old ex-couple. They display very few of the character traits we’d associate with April or Casey, so I’ve subbed in Justin Beiber and Kate Upton in the below plot outline. There isn’t really a villain with tons of dialogue, instead we get Colonel Schrader, who I’ve cast as Robert Patrick, even if he’s a bit old these days.
I’ve decided to layout the plot of the film, beat-by-beat, in video format. Share this video. Tell your friends. I got a peek at the project and these plot points are 100% True --> someone thought this would be a good idea.
[Please note - all images culled from a Google Image Search, and many of them are fan designs and riffs. I encourage you to look these up on your own, there are people doing GREAT things with the Turtles. All other errors in quick-and-crappy-Photoshop are my own.]
Ninja Turtles fans know their property - we know it’s pretty stupid sometimes. I’m one of those people who thinks 'TMNT' was a pretty good movie - there were the Turtles acting like we wanted them too, we got the Raph-is-superhero story line that worked well. Sure, there were some wierd monsters, but Patrick Stewart was the villain, so - come on! If nothing, the Turtles need to be fun, and when ‘The Blue Door’ is fun, it works. It’s when it decides to take the majority of the end of it’s 2nd act in flashback that negates everything that came before it...that’s the crappy part.
What can we do? Spread the word. Tell your friends: Michael Bay almost made a crappy Turtles movie and we managed to stop him by being pissy. Yeah, that might not be exactly what happened, but I do know that the new script is being worked on now and the best way to keep a inter-dimensional/alien plot out of the new movie is to be VERY. VOCAL. About how much this sucks.
It sucks. The second half of it sucks enough to ruin the first half. Heck, it feels like the second half is from a different movie entirely.
I’m so glad this isn’t the Turtle movie we’re getting.
TURTLE WARRIOR? F-CK. YOU.