Love it or hate it, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back thanks to director Jonathan Liebesman and producer Michael Bay. For months fans have pored over concept artwork, a kid’s costume mockup, and toy photos for the faintest sneak peek at what the filmmakers had in store for viewers in the upcoming live-action reboot. Recent TMNT marketing from Toy Fair 2014 offered encouragement that, at the very least, the Turtle designs were better than many expected – but, without seeing the characters in motion, it was still hard to get a firm handle on how the “more realistic” designs would look on screen.
Understandably fans are split on Liebesman’s relaunch of the TMNT live-action franchise, especially after the casting of Megan Fox as April O’Neil and rumors of an alien (not Teenage or Mutant) background for the heroes caused backlash shortly after the project was announced. Still, the teaser trailer is just that, a teaser, and the studio has a long way to go before release – meaning that some major concerns (the quality of the CGI characters, especially) could be cleaned up before the actual launch.
Nevertheless, the teaser did give us some interesting details to chew on – most notably the revelation that Eric Sachs/The Shredder (William Fichtner) was partly responsible (along with April’s father) for the creation of the Turtles. Sachs presents the revelation as though his intentions were noble, though his actual reasoning for creating the Turtles is still a mystery at this point. Maybe they were simply an unintentional byproduct of a super-soldier program or some other experiment?
Either way, the Turtles appear to be a major force in the film – larger in size than select cartoon installments depicted. Some viewers might initially scoff at the unique accessorizing of each mutant hero but it’s actually nice to see the individual Turtle’s personalities explored beyond simple archetypes (the smart one, the brave one, the snarky one, and the comedic one), weapon preferences, as well as colored masks. The original live-action film focused heavily on Raphael but characters like Donatello and Michelangelo were mostly brushed to the side (in terms of actually exploring the characters); hopefully, Liebesman gives each Turtle opportunities to shine – and, while it might be seem goofy to see Donatello running around with a tech-pack on his shell, it’s still exciting to think about what inventions the brainy hero will actually get to use in battle.
Of course, there are plenty of other hints about what we could see in the film hidden in the trailer, not to mention where the reboot series might be headed in future installments, so make sure to watch our video break down of the trailer – and, stay tuned to the site for future details (and trailers).
Do you think our theories are right on target, or are you hoping they’re off the mark? Be sure to share your own insights or theories in the comments.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will open in theaters on August 8th, 2014.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.