Kevin Eastman: ‘Ninja Turtles’ is Looking to ‘The Avengers’ For Inspiration

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 18th, 2014 at 9:56 am,

kevin eastman ninja turtles avengers Kevin Eastman: Ninja Turtles is Looking to The Avengers For Inspiration

To say that this year has been rough for the Ninja Turtles reboot (in terms of the general fan outlook) would be a pretty sizable understatement. Producer Michael Bay’s revelation that the Turtles are being retrofitted with a pure extraterrestrial origin set off an avalanche of controversy, which only seemed to gain momentum with every subsequent public statement issued by the Transformers director.

Things quieted down a bit once the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was pushed back from Christmas 2013 to a Summer 2014 release date. However, that period of peace didn’t last, as an old script draft was leaked online – setting fans (not to mention, TMNT co-creator Peter Laird) on the warpath again, inciting Bay to once more fiercely defend the project.

However, Bay hasn’t been alone in his efforts, as TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman (who is serving in a creative consultant capacity) has likewise been attempting to put a positive spin on the situation – be it the changes to the Turtles origins or the substantial release delay, which insiders claimed was due to studio executives being dissatisfied with the script. Eastman continued to assert his commitment to Ninja Turtles recently, telling NBC:

“Three years ago, I started working on the John Fusco version, which was this awesome, awesome, awesome ‘Batman Begins’ kind of take on the first movie. It was really interesting, but it was maybe a little too edgy for what Paramount wanted. It went through a couple of different versions before Michael Bay took it over and brought in Jonathan Liebesman (‘Wrath of the Titans,’ ‘Battle Los Angeles’) to direct.”

Liebesman has indeed proven to be a competent director, when it comes to how he handles gritty blockbusters like Battle Los Angeles or pop cinema like Wrath of the Titans (no more, but no less either). However, Eastman’s overall strategy for hyping Ninja Turtles is less about selling the personnel working behind the scenes, more focused on name-dropping other popular titles. That is, either those which have overcome their B-movie origins or embraced their pulpy origins – which, he says, are very much the role models for Ninja Turtles:

 “Jonathan Liebesman is going to make a great film,” he said. “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 of the Planet of the Apes’] as far as computer-quality style.”

ninja turtles reboot villains Kevin Eastman: Ninja Turtles is Looking to The Avengers For Inspiration

That Eastman would identify Ninja Turtle‘s guiding influences as the exhilarating action sequences of the critically-acclaimed The Raid: Redemption (read our review), envelope-pushing motion-capture effects from Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and The Avengers on general principle – well, it’s exactly what you would expect, coming from someone who’s eager to counter the overwhelming negative press the project has been generating (though, that doesn’t mean there aren’t kernels of truth in these claims, either).

Here’s another statement from Eastman on Ninja Turtles, which aims to further put the backstory alterations and Avengers inspiration into a greater historical context (via Examiner):

“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 TMNT’s 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.”

To be fair, what Eastman’s talking about here is quite reasonable; though, on the other hand, just because comic book properties are always being re-invented, that doesn’t mean every new iteration is created equal. Still, as much as some fans will hate to hear it, the lack of concrete details about Ninja Turtles in its current form means one thing: the jury’s going to be out for a while now, with regard to whether this will be a brilliant rendition of the TMNT franchise (or just a big fat failure).

Ninja Turtles opens in theaters on May 16th, 2014.

Source: NBC, Examiner [via /Film]

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Header Image Artwork via ~iangoudelock@deviatart

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. talk is cheap.

  2. 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.”

    Hmmm, interesting. I’m still giving this a shot. Even though I haven’t seen a single thing on this film, for some reason I remain optimistic about the direction this film is going. But hey who knows, maybe this could be the film that surprises everybody and turns out good. Now that would be amazing. But then yet again, some people are going to trash it no matter what because Bay has his name attached to it.

    • Basically. They’ll lie and say they hated it even if they enjoyed it because of Bay’s name.

    • The cards seem REALLY stacked against it…I mean even if they take ques from all those movies that did those things well there’s still no guarantee that they’ll get it right for themselves…But sure I suppose it really is completely possible that they could pull something staisfying out of their @$$es that we won’t completely hate.

  3. Kevin Eastman is becoming an a**hole! He has faith on two hacks-for-hire to do Ninja Turtles justice, which they won’t!

  4. Enough with The Avengers already, yes it was an epic movie, all the hype built up for years etc, but enough! the movie had it’s glory, not every freaking movie has to be grounded like The Dark Knight Trilogy or crazy like the avengers!!

    bye 😀

    • +1 !!

  5. Isnt the concept hes talking about already done in a video game? Not to mention it was called Battle Toads!

    • I remember that game, freakin’ awesome. There’s a movie I wouldn’t mind seeing.

  6. Jonathan Liebesman as director? The Avenger’s used as inspiration for scope? The original script version was too edgy?

    This film has fail all over it.

    • Ha, I know what you mean.

      I walked out of Battle: Los Angeles not only disappointed but wondering if it was just a 2 hour long ad for the US military and I actually fell asleep during Wrath Of The Titans.

    • Why do they need “envelope-pushing motion-capture effects” if Jonathan Liebesman is the director. Won’t the shaky camera hide shoddy CGI?

  7. So it seems like we’ll be getting fight scenes similar to Dredd and The Raid then, with action in confined spaces and trying to get creative so they can show off what the turtles can do.

    I don’t mind that at all, they were both great movies. Hell, I’d say Dredd was my fave comic book movie of 2012 so far.

    Thing is, we’re still way off production so who knows if anything will change between now and then.

  8. “Rise for the Apes”? Never heard of that movie 😛

    • Ha, well, I can fairly say that one wasn’t my slip-up (for once). 😉

      I’ve amended that quote a bit, all the same.

  9. Here’s another correction for you :)

    “be it the chances to the Turtles origins ”

    I think you meant “changes”

    • Ha, indeed. Thanks for catching that.

      It’s been fixed.


    • OK

    • Yes, the ooze came from space, but the turtles are going to BE aliens in this version. The Ninja Turtles are regular turtles that were affected by alien ooze. Doesn’t make THEM aliens anymore than being splashed with acid from China makes me Chinese. I would be an American splashed with Chinese acid and they are turtles mutated by alien ooze.

    • what do you mean “you people?”

      • I small a Seinfeld joke.

        • smell**

      • What do YOU mean ” you people”!!!

  11. Soooo, they threw away a better script because it was too edgy when the TMNT started out edgy, Michael Bay got ahold of it, changed their origin in a disrespectful way, one of the drafts (the one that leaked) was horrible and now the TMNT creator who used to date a Playboy bunny is defending it by pointing out that each version was different when they were ALWAYS mutants!!! There is the rundown.

    • What does who he dated have anything to do with this?

  12. Can’t wait to see the turtle designs :)

  13. I’m actually looking forward to this movie, i loved the Ninja Turtles when i was a kid and even though i wasn’t all for the change of making them Aliens based on what people involved are saying its sounds like it’s going to be great.

  14. I think its just dumb to change the orgin. Comic may have changed or reinvented the turtles but never changed the orgin of them. The ooze and being pet turtles that is how I will always remember them, and if they wanna change that then I guess that is one less ticket they will sell, cause I will not go to something like that……you can make a great tmnt movie without changing the story of them

    • Yes they just HAD to go back and change (or “reinvent”) their origins. Because the ooze mutating four turtles into humanoid turtles was just soooo much more believable back then than it is now…

  15. The avengers had the same A.D.H.D style as the transformers movies except it did not have a none stupid plot and treated each character with the most amount of respect as they could… Do you see where I am going with this?

    • It did not have a stupid plot*

    • Debatable!



  17. They bring up the argument that The Avengers kept the core concept of the characters and core of the fan base, but what they fail to notice is that the Avenger’s roaster of heroes are similar to that to their comic book counterparts, with slight variation of course like Tony Stark being kidnapped by Afghanistan Terrorists instead of Vietnam, Hulk’s back story is similar to that of the 70s TV Series, but what there doing with TMNT is that their trying to catch the same success they had with Transformers, they don’t really care if the back story is similar, all they want is this $ and that’s what’s going to happen. All TMNT Stories always have the turtles becoming who they are by the Mutagen, and replacing that with a new origin that makes them Aliens is like try to say Hulk alien. There’s no complexity to it, taking the Mutagen takes out the wonder of what the turtles quest is, discovering how and why they turned out like this. Making them aliens just raises questions like i’m pretty sure there not going to answer until a little of $$$ have them make another, The reason why the Avengers worked so well is that there Characters change through out the film they improved them from there previous films to these much more complex characters, I mean, Tony Stark proves he’ll risk his life to save the human race, Bruce Banner admitting he try’d committing suicide because he doesn’t want to hurt anymore people with Hulk, Thor shows that he can be peaceful, and Captain America proves that he can move on, even though all his friends and Family members are dead and is isolated in a time period he doesn’t understand. He’ll still fight to save the people who are still alive no matter what. These character grow up. Unlike in Transformers where they never grow up. and that’s my 2 cents on the TMNT stuff.