Earlier today, reports rolled in that Paramount had put the planned live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot (titled Ninja Turtles) on “indefinite” hold, citing issues with the script. It’s a pretty easy-to-swallow idea, given the very passionate (overall, very negative) fan response to producer Michael Bay’s revelation earlier this year – namely, his announcement that the project re-imagines the Turtles as pure extraterrestrials.
However, sources close to the production have refuted the claims about Ninja Turtles being temporarily shelved, insisting it has instead been merely delayed from December 2013 to May 2014 release date. Whether or not the rumors of script problems are likewise inaccurate – that’s another matter.
The initial report from THR suggested that Paramount had halted development on Ninja Turtles, and was (in essence) going to temporarily fire the preproduction staff for anywhere from 10 weeks to… well, indefinitely. Such a maneuver would have freed up several noteworthy people, including, Michael Bay, director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans), and executive producer Denis Stewart (Cowboys & Aliens). Thereafter, THR received word about the May date and updated its scoop accordingly.
Coming Soon has lent further credit to that update, reporting that Ninja Turtles is now officially scheduled for May 16th, 2014. For those keeping score at home: that’s the same date Marvel Studios has selected for a not-yet-officially announced film, and just a week before Fox plans to release the sequel to its Planet of the Apes reboot/prequel (titled Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).
It’s fair to say – the majority of Turtles fans would’ve welcomed the news about Ninja Turtles being put out to pasture, especially in the aftermath of Bay’s (failed) attempts to assuage the concerns of the TMNT adoring masses. As far as many are still concerned, the project’s creative team – which includes TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman, along with writing duo Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) – has been committing sacrilege.
As mentioned before, though, the only certainty is that we now have (at least) an extra six months until Ninja Turtles is unleashed on the public. Whether or not the aliens angle is being dropped from the script, in favor of a different approach – or even if that approach is indeed guaranteed to fail (as many will surely continue to insist), is all up for speculation right now. Make of that what you will.
To reiterate: Ninja Turtles is now slated to reach theaters in the U.S. on May 16th, 2014.