Leaked ‘Ninja Turtles’ Script Is ‘TMNT’ Meets ‘Transformers’ – But Is It Legit?

Published 3 years ago by

ninja turtles script Leaked Ninja Turtles Script Is TMNT Meets Transformers   But Is It Legit?

Paramount slowed development on Ninja Turtles a couple months ago, with initial Hollywood trade reports pointing to studio heads’ disapproval of the script, and the proposed budget ($125 million and growing). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman thereafter announced the delay was really meant to allow proper time for motion-capture effects work on the film, as well as to take advantage of the TMNT franchise’s 30th anniversary in 2014.

A Turtles fansite claims to have gotten their hands on Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec’s (rumored) offending script draft for Ninja Turtles. If this screenplay is indeed legit – and that’s a BIG if, for the time being – then it seems TMNT fans’ worst fears have been confirmed.

Here are some of the more egregious details revealed therein:

  • The script includes a character named Colonel Schrader, the head of a secret military operation run by an army nicknamed “The Foot” (get it?).
  • Casey Jones and April O’Neil are now dating and in high-school. The two have reached a crossroads, as Casey is an unambitious slacker, while April is becoming an intern for CBS. Casey is also described as being the protagonist of the film – not the turtles.
  • The Turtles crack a variety of “updated” pop-culture jokes, making references to Kermit the Frog, cellphones, and the Kung Fu Panda movies (among other things).
  • Casey and the Turtles eventually travel to Dimension X, where the four reptilian warriors discover they are members of a Turtle-like extraterrestrial race (and not mutants, as they previously believed).

Essentially, the gist of the review is that the Ninja Turtles script commits virtually all the same missteps as producer Michael Bay’s Transformers movies – such as, featuring loads of inane juvenile humor, reducing the female lead to nagging eye candy, making the title characters secondary players behind an uninteresting human protagonist, and creating a half-baked new franchise mythology.

For the full breakdown, head over to TMNT, NOT TANT.

teenage mutant ninja turtles reboot jonathan liebesman Leaked Ninja Turtles Script Is TMNT Meets Transformers   But Is It Legit?

Now, with that said: the similarities between Ninja Turtles and Bay’s Transformers are so overt as to prompt skepticism about the script’s authenticity. Moreover, the screenplay excerpts read more like what an angry fan imagines a script for one of Bay’s movies is like – as opposed to a draft penned by Appelbaum and Nemec, whose writing credits include the well-respected Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, as well as multiple episodes on shows like Alias and Life on Mars.

So why report this at all? Well, the author of the Ninja Turtles script review claims they took the whole version down after receiving a Cease and Desist order from a legal firm that represents Paramount (check out the letter here). Such an order would indeed suggest the draft was legitimate – but, of course, that’s assuming it wasn’t fabricated by some outside party. Hence, it’s best to not assume anything is a given until more official details have been released.

On the other hand – if the Ninja Turtles trailer suggests this film is Transformers all over again (in the worse sense possible), well… we were warned.

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


Source: TMNT, NOT TANT [via The Playlist]

“TMNT” Header Artwork by nebezial on deviantART

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  1. maybe he just wants to direct a G.I. Joe movie?

  2. Exploding pepperoni pizza. That is all.

  3. Duuuuuuhhh!!! At bell curve.its from the80s so therefore it is most def for us!!!i was born in 1980 and had every single toy and loved the cartoon so you darn right im complainin about this foolishness.

  4. All the facepalm.

  5. The Ninja Turtles reboot doesn’t have to smell like week-old pizza. If they would leave April and Casey out of the picture. They are older, they’ve moved on. Then, they could let the Turtles help out some new people. The turtles shouldn’t be bit players in their own film, (Transformers 2 and 3) The human characters should! I still love the old films of the Turtles, especially the first. They were goofy and quirky and… fun. In fact, it seems that Michael Bay needs to remember the value of nostalgia in all of this. To me, what worked the best in Transformers 1 was the idea of a boy and his first car and how cool it would be to have it transform and talk. The Ninja Turtles are simply meant to be Tutles doing martial arts and it speaks for itself. Don’t muck up the foundation, Mikey!

  6. OMG… I love the first Transformer, because it manages to feature a nice transition from cartoon to live action… but then the sequel came, and I still love it, but then Michael Bay started messing with the characters (killing Arcee), that it made me lost respect for the 3rd (though I still watched it, thinking it was the LAST) and have no intention to watch the 4th. Please, don’t do the same thing to TMNT, just stick to the original story…

    • #SoHappy
      Yes I’m so excited well how can’t I and me and my friend are going to the first showing.

      • are you for realz?

  7. I thought this Ninja Turtles movie was cancelled.

    • TMNT FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!

  8. “inane juvenile humor”? WTF?

    It’s TMMT, that’s what made it good.

    What are you expecting? Taxi Driver?

    • I know (and expect) a TMNT movie to have juvenile humor. I just want it to be more clever juvenile humor than what’s featured in, say, the Transformers series.

  9. This all sounds completely bogus to me
    It might have been the case if Bay was writing but this is after all not a michael bay movie. He’s just producing, probably nothing short of just a name to promote the movie

    • You’d hope. But as you can see, Michael Bay’s prints are all over this.

    • fingers crossed for this one.

  10. In case it wasn’t known by now. Michael Bay has always had “leaked” scripts that have always turned out to be phony. Search for the 3 Transformers scripts,you’ll find the fake ones first.

  11. I hope these are all rumors. I haven’t read a single comment that likes where this is going.

  12. NOOOOOOOOO im going to f****** kill bay.Someone give me a gun.

  13. wow so much hatrid for Michael Bay. Are you people telling me u didnt enjoy the 1st trans4mers, Armagoden,The rock, or Bad Boys 1 and 2

    • I would support him in his original work, like Bad Boys. I won’t support his adaptations.

  14. oh,it’s too cool.I like it~~

  15. @The Avengers

    You sound…a lot like me. I’m sixteen and I grew up with the 2003 Turtles series. I truly love that show. The first comic book I ever bought was Mirage Turtles Ultimate Collection Volume 1.

  16. THIS is the script they should film. A TMNT fan fiction that is respectful to the original subject matter and WAY better than the leaked script! http://www.mediafire.com/view/?2gqroctwd9xhcyw

  17. C’Mon, Casey Jones is a vigilante and a supporting character, not the main protagonist and an unambitious slacker. Plus, he never dated April O’Neil in High School and they’re both in their early 30s. Also, April was Baxter Stockman’s lab assistant and was never an intern for CBS and a new reporter. There is no army known as The Foot, The Foot is a name of a ninja clan which is lead by The Shredder. and to top it off, The Turtles are not from an extra-terrestrial race from Dimension X, they were originally small pet turtles and got slimed by a radioactive ooze and mutate them into anthropomorphic martial-artists known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

  18. Any new updates?

    • This could present a serious problem.

  19. Any new updates? Bay better bring krane

  20. like the movie ideas, I would completely destroy the idea of them being aliens, not a good idea at all.

  21. The original storyline should be kept intact. If Bay or anyone else didn’t want to keep the old content they shouldn’t have tried to reboot a franchise. They could’ve made up their own jackass characters from a different planet to fight an evil army. By using the TMNT likeness they’re asking a whole lot of old (and new) fans to come out and see a movie that may have little to do with what we all became fans of in the first place lmao. Though I question the legitimacy of this new storyline it wouldn’t surprise me at all, unfortunately. I have to see this movie even if everyone tells me it’s ass. Bay is banking on that. Only time will tell.

  22. I think all they’re missing is the pizza’s being shot out of the top of the turtle van…..other than that….they’re good.