Paramount moved back its planned reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise (retitled Ninja Turtles) to Summer 2014, in order to undergo additional development and script rewrites. The official reason given for the delay is budget concerns – which is understandable, in the aftermath of rapidly-rising costs for the studio’s World War Z adaptation and G.I. Joe sequel (due to reshoots, 3D post-conversion, etc.).

However, as any member of the movie blogosphere worth their salt can tell you: producer Michael Bay’s public confirmation that the Turtles are now aliens from another world/dimension – and the massive outcry from fans in response – must have contributed to the project being bumped back (to some degree).

Latino Review’s El Mayimbe reportedly got his hands on a Ninja Turtles script draft penned by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), before the news about release date delays and rewrites broke. Mayimbe is renowned as a credible source of information (see: his multiple Marvel movie scoops), so it’s surprising that his Twitter comments about Ninja Turtles haven’t been picked up by most sites (hat tip to CBM).

Skimming through [the ‘Ninja Turtles’ script], I see KRANG and THE TECHNODROME… I also see BEBOP and ROCKSTEADY and see something called DIMENSION X.

Needless to say: those names definitely mean something to TMNT fans.

Krang, Rocksteady, and Bebop

The Turtles franchise as a whole has been heavier on sci-fi elements in recent years, and Bay’s comments about the alien origin storyline suggested that Ninja Turtles will not buck that trend. Moreover, that line of thought fits with previous rumors that Krang could be the film’s central villain – and explains the presence of both Dimension X (Krang’s home) and his Technodrome subterranean fortress.

Similarly, it stands to reason: in a movie where extraterrestrials can resemble anthropomorphic reptiles, the origin story for Bebop and Rocksteady could easily be tweaked so that the pair are also aliens from another world (traditionally, the duo are street gang thugs, mutated into a human warthog and rhinoceros by the Shredder). It’s also possible the two will simply be monsters created by Krang.

That would also fit with a Ninja Turtles synopsis currently making the rounds (which CBM claims has been confirmed as legit by “a very reliable source”):

After their planet’s destruction, four turtle-like alien warriors and their master come to Earth, where they join forces with reporter April O’Neil to prevent the extradimensional conqueror Krang from enslaving the human race.

Bear in mind: that logline could be the handiwork of someone unaffiliated with the Ninja Turtles project, who has connected the dots between the Krang rumors and Turtles’ re-imagined origin story (translation: take it with a grain of salt).

The divisive issue with Ninja Turtles relates to the decision to take the Turtles “into outer space” (as TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman has put it). Many fans seem to feel it’s an unnecessary change to the series mythos, motivated foremost by a desire to cash in on Hollywood’s extraterrestrial fad. It could conceivably make the characters more palpable to moviegoers beyond the fanbase – or, conversely, fail in that attempt, and thus leave just about everyone unsatisfied.

Ninja Turtles is being actively reshaped, so the final film could take on a different form than that from the earliest stages of development (for better or worse). As always, we’ll keep you updated.

Source: El Mayimbe [via CBM]