‘Ninja Turtles’ and ‘Hercules’ Change Release Dates; ‘Annie’ Arrives Christmas 2014

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teenage mutant ninja turtles reboot delayed Ninja Turtles and Hercules Change Release Dates; Annie Arrives Christmas 2014

Currently, producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) are rebooting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie franchise with Ninja Turtles. Meanwhile, Rush Hour trilogy director Brett Ratner is tackling ancient world mythology with a Hercules comic book adaptation starring Dwayne Johnson, and Sony is teaming with producers Will Smith and Jay-Z to remake the Annie stage musical.

Ninja Turtles has been embroiled in controversy eve since Bay dropped the bomb that the Turtles are now aliens, leading TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman (who’s consulting on the reboot) to spend much of last year defending the new approach by naming recent films ranging from the cult hit The Raid: Redemption to Marvel’s game-changer The Avengers as inspiration. Unfortunately, the recent casting of Megan Fox as April O’Neil has fans raging again (and not without good reason).

Paramount previously delayed Ninja Turtles from a Christmas Day 2013 launch to May 2014, but its latest date shift isn’t so drastic. The movie’s been pushed back three weeks to June 6th of next year, where it currently has no direct competition (though, Jurassic Park IV opens a week later). The Turtles were going to face off against Legendary’s Godzilla reboot on its previous May 16th date, so this sounds like a smart move by studio executives.

dwayne johnson hercules Ninja Turtles and Hercules Change Release Dates; Annie Arrives Christmas 2014

Hercules is based on the acclaimed “Hercules: The Thracian Wars” comic book, which was adapted for the big screen by Ryan Condal (a co-writer on Alex Proyas’ currently-abandoned Paradise Lost movie). The combination of Johnson as the title character and Ratner calling the shots has prompted mixed feelings about the whole thing, but the elements are in place for Hercules to perform well at the box office in the busy Summer 2014 movie season.

Similar to Ninja Turtles, Paramount has moved Hercules up by just two weeks, so it now releases on July 25th, 2014, rather than August 8th. It’s now slated to face the second weekends at the box office for Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (one of those two may be changing dates before then). Marvel is releasing Guardians of the Galaxy one week after Hercules, so there’s going to be some intense competition at the box office during those weeks.

quvenzhane wallis annie remake Ninja Turtles and Hercules Change Release Dates; Annie Arrives Christmas 2014

Last, but not least, Sony is unveiling Annie starring Oscar-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) 5-6 months after the above-mentioned films, on Christmas Day 2014. There weren’t any significant updates to report about the remake for nearly two years, until this past January. At that point, Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends with Benefits) came aboard as director and Willow Smith was announced to be no longer playing the title role.

Annie is opening directly against Night at the Museum 3, with Disney’s Brad Bird project Tomorrowland and the Despicable Me spinoff arriving a week earlier. Family-friendly entertainment tends to thrive during the Winter Holiday season, so that extra demand should help each of these films to reach a sizable audience.


Ninja Turtles flies into theaters on June 6th, 2014.

Hercules arrives two months later on July 25th, 2014.

Annie hits the scene on December 25th, 2014.

Source: Paramount Pictures, Sony

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  1. Expectations were already low for this and if they are moving the date again, even if it is 3 weeks, they don’t have much faith in it either to compete with the May movies next year. It’s almost like they are expecting this to bomb also just like everyone else is. Not good!

    • Even if a movie isn’t going to bomb, studios like to release them when there isn’t much competition to boost ticket sales. That’s one reason we’re not getting so many horror movies released around late October any more because they know that everyone and their mother will be doing the same thing and lessen the impact of a great movie if it opens alongside crap like Paranormal Activity etc.

      I still don’t have much faith in Ninja Turtles but then again, I don’t have much faith in the Robocop reboot and I know I’ll be going to see that regardless in case it turns out pretty good.

      • I had forgotten all about Robocop. I’m with you on that. As far as Ninja Turtles I know they pushed it back to avoid the other major movies in May next year but to push it back twice in under a year is not a good sign of having faith that it will do well. Then again what do I know. I’m just wondering if in a few months we’ll be reading about it being pushed back again?

        • Lets put it this way.

          Grand Theft Auto 5 was meant to be out in October 2012. It got pushed back to Spring 2013 then last month, it was delayed again until September 17th 2013.

          Delays could mean either:

          * avoid competition
          * last minute tweaking
          * bad movie

          Take your pick although if they thought it was a bad movie (and they won’t because they’re the ones making it), it would’ve been buried in a week with several huge releases.

  2. I am loathing Ninja Turtles, I hope that the whole project just sort of falls apart & vanishes.

    And I don’t know about Dwayne Johnson playing Hercules, sounds a bit like John Wayne playing Genghis Kahn or Jason Momoa playing Conan.

    • Or like Bruce Willis as the new John Matrix (which actually happened when his name was changed from Matrix to McClane)?

      Rock is a good choice in my view, I just hope it isn’t the same kind of dialog he had in The Scorpion King because he’s one of the most charismatic men in showbusiness and hearing him pulling out Sean Bean style lines and delivery just feels weird.

      It’d be kinda like Ryan Reynolds not playing a motormouth smartass type or Vin Diesel playing something other than a monotonous, brooding badass.

      • I just always picture Hercules as well, Greek, not Samoan, the same thing bothered me about Jason Momoa as Conan, I always pictured Conan as being Scandinavian, not Hawaiian.

        I can’t imagine him bringing much else to the role except the same stuff we saw in The Scorpion King, that and big muscles.

        • Conan is in no way sopposed to be scandinavian looking. Conan has tan skin, dark eyes and black hair…But not Samoan, although Jason Momoa comes closer to Conan then Arnold.

  3. i keep thinking the new “Annie” movie is going to look like the new “Great Gatsby” movie

    • Well, Jay-Z’s working on the music for both (he’s scoring Gatsby and re-styling the Annie songs), so that’s definitely one area where those two are going to be alike.

  4. Smart move to change dates to the Ninja Turtles, With Micheal Bay, Megan Fox as April, an all this Alien Crap.. it’s gonna suck

    Godzilla would have crushed it opening weekend.

  5. leave annie alone first it was karate kid now this. starting to drastically lose respect for will smith. annie is a orphan white girl. its how it suppose to be never change it but will money grubbin smith got to revamp that too.

  6. I have not seen one positive comment regarding the new turtles film on any site. Even if it is good (which I doubt), it is going to bomb harder than Hiroshima.

  7. They should delay the date of Ninja Turtles till I can direct and produce the movie lol 😀
    I’d make a fantastic TMNT movie, if I do say so myself.

    • +1. Anyone that is a true Ninja Turtles fan would get it right. Bay is just out to destroy anything cool 80’s just because it makes him big money.

        • Nope. I downloaded it.

  8. IMO, i think Ninja Turtles will be one of the worst movies of the year. I can almost guarentee it will earn itself a spot in more than one category in the Razzies *sighs loudly and searches my desk looking fory revolver*

    • Yeah, like Jonathan Liebesman for finally Worst Director. 😀

  9. @The Avenger I doubt it.

    • Based on what?

  10. Damn, I want another film to crush it so bad.
    A Marvel film please move to june.

  11. @The Avenger No offence, but a lot of filmmakers in your country are turning soft now. Movies arent groundbreaking anymore, there are no “Oh Sh*t” moments anymore. American filmmakers need to bring back that edge that they once had and as for you making a fantastic TMNT movie, don’t base it off of the cartoon, base it off the comic books.

    • That’s because studios see something that does well, ask for more movies like it and when audiences flock to those movies and shun things that are slightly different, that just gives the studios more reason to continue to play it safe.

      Dredd’s failure at the US box office might ensure the sequels it deserves don’t happen because US moviegoers (possibly) thought “well, it isn’t a character I’ve ever heard of and it isn’t a gross out comedy so I won’t bother going to see it”.

      Likewise, Cloud Atlas failed because it was different and ambitious and US audiences don’t like movies that don’t include either huge explosions or jokes about bodily functions.

      On the other end of the spectrum, Paranormal Activity was a surprise hit because it was different and now it and the genre it belongs in has been stomped into the ground due to the influx of copycats because found footage horror has become a safe bet in Hollywood and a lot of ideas that are different aren’t being greenlit.

      • I think cloud atlas failed cause it was 3 hours long and sub par just my opinion

        • Which again proves my point.

          A 3 hour movie is ambitious in today’s society where people are bored after 90 minutes (myself included, I tried to watch Spartacus late last year for the first time and honestly, with commercials, the movie lasted for 5 hours. I couldn’t even get through an hour of it but back then, epics were just that, epic movies that lasted for hours and still made huuge money).

          I can’t speak for Cloud Atlas personally because it’s not out in the UK yet and it doesn’t look very appealing anyway but the point still stands, it’s ambitious and therefore failed because US audiences preferred to see something much less thought provoking and shorter than Cloud Atlas.

          Similar to Red Cliff actually.

          I saw the 90 minute US version and liked it but the fact they had to cut a 2 picture movie that lasted 4 hours in total and water it down for America was disheartening because the only copies of it at its original length are in Chinese and I don’t speak it.

          • For the most part, I agree with you, but I don’t think that’s always the case: Inception proved that a movie can be long, ambitious, thought-provoking and still make bank and the box office, and now more and more movies are adopting that high-risk, “go big or go home” attitude with blockbuster movies.
            Key word: “more” – still not enough sadly, but it’s a start…

    • Filmmakers in my country? I don’t really know what a person’s nationality has to do with creativity or movie-making ability, but just for clarity’s sake, I’m from South Africa (the same country Neil Blomkamp is from).

      Secondly, if I were to make a TMNT movie, it would be based off the comic books – the dark, gritty comics that started it all. I wouldn’t be based on cartoons or outdated movies. Granted, I would take inspiration from the 2003 animated series, but only because that series was the most comic-book accurate version of the TMNT… imo.

      No offense to you, but don’t make baseless comments dude… it’s unbecoming.

      • Reading my comment back, it sounds a little aggressive. Sorry about that.

        The thing is, I’ve loved the TMNT for as long as I can remember. I grew up reading the comics and watching it on tv. I collected all the TMNT action figures I could get my hands on, much to the dismay of my piggy bank. To me, the TMNT was what Spider-Man or Superman was to most other kids.

        So it’s safe to say I’m pretty passionate when it comes to the TMNT lol.

    • Haha i was just about to comment saying uhh i dont think he is from america

  12. @The Avenger Well I assumed you were from America, i made a mistake but i won’t apologize.

    @Trey I love America b/c the women are easy & the food is greasy, i live in America. But I’m from Ireland.

  13. I am Michael Bay, and that you should all buy your tickets to my movies, then I will have more money to blow things up.

    Thank you.

  14. I.. I peed again.. I peed

  15. If it looks promising, I’ll go see it. If it looks remotely like what he did to transformers, I’ll boycott it. None of the news put out there makes it sound worth while, but we could be wrong. Megan Fox was a terrible move.

  16. I think I will be underwhelmed by all of them.