Kevin Eastman Explains ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot Delay

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ninja turtles reboot delay Kevin Eastman Explains Ninja Turtles Reboot Delay

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans emitted cries of “Excellent!” following the initial announcement that Platinum Dunes’ Ninja Turtles reboot (or should it be called Ninja Aliens?) is on hold indefinitely, thanks to Paramount’s concerns over the script. The feeling of victory quickly dissipated, once later reports confirmed the live-action project has simply been pushed back to May 2014.

TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman is collaborating on Ninja Turtles with producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans), as well as writers Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol). Eastman is operating in damage control mode, putting forth an upbeat outlook in the aftermath of Bay’s not-so-successful attempts to assuage fan outrage.

Eastman is writing and drawing a full-length TMNT comic story for the first time, as will be featured in the upcoming “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2012″ this October. He offered CBR an update on the developing Ninja Turtles live-action reboot, while discussing the impending comic publication, saying:

“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.”

Well, that’ll surely quell upset fans, right? Moving on…

teenage mutant ninja turtles reboot jonathan liebesman Kevin Eastman Explains Ninja Turtles Reboot Delay

The production start date for Ninja Turtles had reportedly been delayed by some 10 weeks, resulting in the more drastic release date reshuffling. Initial claims of substantial script rewrites being the cause have been dismissed, with the new explanation being that Paramount wants the budget trimmed to $125 million (it was approaching $150 million). Eastman (sorta) contradicts that idea, saying:

“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.”

Ninja Turtles is shaping up to utilize motion-capture effects to bring the Turtles to life, combining flesh-and-blood humans with CGI reptilian martial artists – in a fashion similar to the mix of actual people and digitally-rendered character in such films as Avatar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. That’s to say: it’s conceivable the project’s effects are more demanding than anticipated (also part of the reason why Avatar 2 isn’t arriving until 2015).

Some readers may recall that Ninja Turtles was originally set to be a Christmas release in 2013, some three months before the delay. When you put the pieces together (and read between the lines), the implication is Paramount has decided to take advantage of the 30th anniversary occasion after pushing back the date, for whatever reason, be it script rewrites, budget changes, effects development, or a combination of the three.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot Michael Bay Platinum Dunes Kevin Eastman Explains Ninja Turtles Reboot Delay

Lastly, Eastman clarified his role in the Ninja Turtles creative process, while also reiterating his promise that the reboot will satisfy the skeptical TMNT fanbase:

“[I'm doing] sketches, drawings and character designs, bouncing stuff around with the writers, talking with the director and the producers — I’m actively involved… [What] 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 f***ing murdered. To be blunt.”

Bear in mind: we still know very little about Ninja Turtles, other than it tweaks the Turtles’ backstory so they’re now extraterrestrials (not to mention, rumors of more familiar sci-fi elements). That means it’s best to wait and learn more about exactly where all this is going – BEFORE writing off the entire endeavor, that is.

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

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Source: Comic Book Resources

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TAGS: teenage mutant ninja turtles

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  1. Eastman is only saying all this because he’s probably a big fat paycheck for being involved with this film. I really hope this turns out good but since Michael Bay is producing and Jonathan Liebesman is directing I’m very worried. I hope this turns out to be more like the current TMNT comic by IDW which Eastman is co-writing and not like the Transformers films.

  2. [Squints eyes in a skeptical manner]
    We’ll see Eastman… we’ll see…

  3. Transformers with turtles. Great, Shia can play Leonardo and scream at everybody.

    • BUMBLEBEE!!!!!!! or in this case RAPHAEL!!!!!!!!

  4. And cue all the Michael Bay haters in 3…2…1

    • Way ahead of you. :D

  5. Michael Bay is directing it, right? Uh yeah, that means there’s no chance of it being any good… or even passable as a Ninja Turtles movie.

    • Michael Bay is producing, Jonathan Liebesman is directing and the writers from MI:GP are writing.

      • “Michael Bay is producing, Jonathan Liebesman is directing and the writers from MI:GP are writing.”

        So we can go from no chance of being good to no chance of being good even if pig fly over frozen hell.

    • So you dont even know who is directing but you are already judging. interesting.

    • AGREED!

  6. “Ninja turtles!!! Turtles in disguise….”

    “Teenage Mutant Transformers…”

    “N.T. (Ninja Turtles) phone home….”

    Thank you…you’ve been a great audience…

    • LOL

  7. I have that cgi movie they released. I think Patrick Stewart and Sarah Michelle Gellar are in it. I dunno. It sits on my shelf. It was alright, not another origin, nothing offensively divergent from what’s been done; just another Turtles story. At worst, I’ll be as indifferent about this one. At best, it’ll be just as great as Eastman says! But it’s too late to get anyone to believe that until it’s released.
    This whole affair has been interesting if for no other reason than because we’ve seen hardcore TMNT fans emerge out of nowhere to complain about the zany mishandling of its marketing. We haven’t seen as many apologists as Prometheus and TDKR got telling us nerds to stop picking everything apart. I guess TMNT is still truly in the geek domain. Of course, there are people who act annoyed with Bay-bashers, but given how much reason he’s shown us to want him awat from the Turtles, I half-suspect those posters are all Michael Bay.

  8. I can think of many better producers for this like JJ Abrams or Simon Pegg. Even Zack Snyder would be more faithful than Michael Bay.

    • @Chris Etrata

      I agree with your sentiment, but am a bit puzzled by your Zack Snyder comment. Isn’t the alleged issue with Snyder that he is TOO reverent to the source material? I think a more apt comparison would be even Matthew Vaughn or David Lynch would be more faithful than Michael F*ing Bay.

      • Like I said, I can think of many producers including the two I mentioned but not limited. As for Zack Snyder, he’s not the best but even him would be at least more faithful than the Bay dropping.

      • Have you seen Watchmen? It’s nothing like the comic.
        l mean l liked the movie but saying Zack stays too close to the source material is like saying Bay’s explosions are too grounded and realistic

        • @Chris

          Um…. have YOU seen Watchmen. It is almost a shot for shot remake of the comic. The only real major changes were SPOILERS
          The cuts of the squid monster (although personally, I thought using Dr. Manhattan’s own power to cause the detonations made more sense logically and thematically), cutting out the scenes with both Nite Owls, and the cutting of almost all of the pre-finale antarctic scenes (i.e. Bubastis). Then, in the DVD, they even interspliced the Voyage of the Dawn treader.

          Snyder had Manhattan naked (and experiencing non-linear memories), the Vietnam flashback, the flashbacks to the Minute Men, the sexscene on Nite Owl’s jet and virtually everything else from the comic. Same with 300.

          You can attack a lot of things on Snyder – but being unfaithful to the source material is ludacris at best.

          • Zack Snyder is faiftful to the source material. I saw Watchman, only some of the ending was changed and even then it still had the same effect on the countries as in the novel. From what you complained about Bay, you would rather see a shot to shot remake than a film butchered and dumbed down to Bay standards.

            • @ Chris Etrata

              First, sorry, I meant the last comment to be @ John, not at you. I’m not saying Snyder is any great shakes (I personally enjoy most of his films like Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead, 300, etc.), but I definitely understand his shortcomings as a director. I don’t think that a person has to adhere to the source material (and certainly not as closely as Snyder does). I love originality – with Edgar Wright’s amazing and imaginitive Scott Pilgrim being one of my favorite films. But yes, I would rather see a shot for shot remake than a movie that has pure contempt for its audience. I will watch Van Sant’s TERRIBLE redo of Psycho any day over any of Bay’s wretched Transformers films.

              • I know that it was meant for John. I would enjoy Edgar White’s take on this film certainly but if it had to come to it, I would prefer Zack Snyder over Michael Bay for the producer role. Snyder’s shot for shot remake would at least satisfy fans because the comics contain stuff that is edited down on the tv shows. Of course I would prefer Edgar White but like I said, EVEN Snyder would know how a TMNT adaptation would work.

                I actually do enjoy the Transformers films as guilty pleasures but of course they are highly flawed creatively.

    • JJ? f*** no!
      l wanna at least be able to see what’s going on

      • Why do you hate JJ Abrams so much?

  9. Looking forward to this unlike others

  10. When Michale bay directs it often turns into another guilty pleasure movie.
    When Michale Bay produce… run.

  11. He says the producer told him the new script is as good as the first script, but wasn’t the studio unhappy with the first script? Yeah, the story was bad and they didn’t have the money to cover it with good CGI, so they are pulling back and trying to salvage the project.

  12. Some men just want to watch the world burn…. with over-the-top explosions, Shia Lebeouf’ s screams and non-stop potty jokes.

    • @ Ignur Rant That’s one thing I really hated about the TF films. Potty jokes. Not Transformers to me. And Shia really can’t act. IMO

  13. if its getting dubbed an anniversary movie it better be loyal to the source material. no aliens.

    • @COREY_1993
      I agree. But the ooze that made them is supposed to be of alien origin anyway. But yes reference all the different versions of TMNT through the years. And I would love if they got the original voice cast, too.

  14. I saw absolutely nothing to assuage my fears then and that opinion hasn’t changed.

    If they are still planning on doing AMAR (Alien Martial Arts Reptiles) then forget it.

    I also don’t see how four anthropomorphized reptiles can possibly carry a movie. Maybe one but to have ALL the leads be silly turtles? Ludicrous.

    • Ludicrouser things have been tried, my friend. Far, FAR ludicrouserer.

  15. Screw this. Michael Bay is the worst thing going in film (it would be Uwe Boll, except nobody watches his movies). Bay has only directed two films that could be classified as “good” – The Rock and Bad Boys. His track record as producer is even worse, with complete PG-13 butcherings of Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw, and especially Nightmare on Elm Street (not that Zombie’s Halloween remakes for the Weinsteins were great, but at least they TRIED to be imaginitive). His involvement ruins this movie, and Liebesman has proven to be possibly the most boring big-budget director out there.

    Eastman has also lost it. Not his fault, lots of people lose their spark as they grow older (see, for example, Frank Miller, Steven Spielberg, The Rolling Stones new music). He says “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.” If the LAST VERSION WAS SO GOOD, WHY BOTHER REWRITING IT. The answer is the last version clearly sucked. Bay and co. were able to skirt the awful script of the Transformers films because of ridiculous special effects, but TMNT doesn’t allow for the same mind numbing effects (no giant robots here, although if they are aliens I guess its in the ballpark).

    Screw this whole project (and Im not even really a TMNT fan).

    • You rewrite a good script to accommodate budget cuts

  16. SO are they still aliens or we gona have to until the trailer

  17. this movie will be junk. Why no part 5? 4 was awesome if a lil light. Why can’t they create a new story for the original guys…I’m flat out done with origin tales…that have been rebooted. What’s the point of rebooting something from the 80′s for today’s generation – making it sub par so this generation ultimately forgets about it when they get older. Acknowledge history man. Why are we so quick to do away with everything pre 9/11.

  18. It would be cool to see the turtles go back to their ultra violent ways

    • @Yeti,

      While it could be cool to see the Turtles as their original ultra-violent ways, there is no way on earth Bay or the studio will allow this to be an R rated film.

  19. Box it up with a note open in 2024 for the 40TH anniversary. Perhaps then they’ll be missed enough and tech will be cheap enough and the “remake well” will be dry…

  20. Nothing says ninja like explosions…

  21. They aren’t aliens. As little faith in Michael Bay as I have, it’s getting old watching media repeat the same factually incorrect information. The turtles are from earth, the ooze that mutates them originates with the aliens in question. The aliens are from Dimension X.

    • That’s not what I’ve been reading. The “reptiles” will be extra terrestrial in origin.

    • Michael Bay said that they will be CHANGING their origin (the origin you mentioned) by making them from outer space.
      His words: “These turtles [in the reboot] are from an alien race, and they’re going to be tough, edgy, funny, and completely lovable.”
      http://screenrant.com/michael-bay-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-origin-sandy-159820/

      More than anything I wish they would use the origin that you talked about (the PROPER origin where the turtles are mutated from a TCRI canister), but in classic Bay-fashion, him and his team seem to be screwing over another fan-favorite franchise.

      • @ The Avenger Which do you think will suck more? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 or “Ninja Turtles” INO (In Name Only)?

      • Thanks for providing that Avenger, I was too lazy to go find a link ;)

  22. IF YOU DO YOUR RESEARCH YOU’LL FIND THEY WERE NEVER MEANT TO BE ALIENS IN THE MOVIE. THE UTROMS (KRANG) HELPED TO DEVELOP THE SUPER SOLDIER OOZE THAT CREATES THE TURTLES. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO CHILL OUT. IT’S GOING TO BE GREAT.

    • You sound a lot like Michael Bay… ;)

  23. Seriously the writer from Wrath of the Titans? Were 4th graders everywhere too busy?

    • Whoops, meant director.

  24. Stop Judging you guys…

    • Why are we not allowed to judge? The guy is changing these beloved characters we all know to the point where even their acronym, TMNT, makes absolutely NO sense.

      Seems to me we have every right to be a bit judgmental.

  25. When they said the teenage mutant ninja turtles were now aliens, I stopped listening to all the Bay and Eastman cries of how great it will be…

  26. ok dont tweak the backstory ……………..u fools………. leave it how it is ……they made some realy good classic movies back then and didnt even have all them effects and stuff …….so why try to mess it all up ……………if u gonna make a 4th one … u should watch the first 3 and then make it up from there and keep it like they keep it back then with jim hensen …..yall could keep it like that and still make it better ……the movie should have the same looks and feels as the previous 3 ………..so please dont mess it up ………..

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