‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Teaser Trailer: Are Heroes Created?

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 3rd, 2014 at 4:26 pm,

Easily one of the most contentious film productions of the past year, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot has faced a steady stream of fan outrage – ever since it was first announced that divisive filmmaker Michael Bay would produce the project. Starting with the casting of Megan Fox as April O’Neil to reports that the titular heroes would simply be Ninja Turtles of extraterrestrial origin (not Mutant Teenagers), passionate fans of the original Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird comic series – as well as the subsequent animated shows – have been extremely outspoken about the modern remake’s repeated attempts to defile the beloved brand.

Throughout, Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) have reassured passionate Ninja Turtles lovers that the film will honor the source material, while also providing a new bar for TMNT live-action adventure. To their credit, after a laughable Halloween costume reveal once again sent fans into a fury, leaked images of the actual Turtle designs appeared online – to mostly positive response from casual moviegoers and die-hard Shell Heads alike.

Still, anyone on DeviantArt can update the look of the Turtles, and without seeing the characters in motion, the designs only go so far in providing an idea of what to expect from the feature film. Now, with only five months before the film’s release, we’re finally getting a look at Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the form of an official teaser trailer.

In addition, we now have an official synopsis for the TMNT reboot:

The city needs heroes. Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April and her wise-cracking cameraman Vern Fenwick to save the city and unravel Shredder’s diabolical plan.

teenage mutant ninja turtles trailer Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teaser Trailer: Are Heroes Created?

Unsurprisingly, the footage is short on overt shots of the TMNT heroes – which will no doubt be featured more extensively in the first full trailer for the film. We get a few good looks at the more “realistic” Turtle designs, along with brief glimpses of the shadowy do-gooders in action, but the teaser spends the majority of its time setting up a new version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backstory and world.

Interestingly, the footage is narrated by Eric Sachs/The Shredder (William Fichtner) who, based on his voiceover, indicates that he, along with April O’Neil’s father, created the Turtles (with Ooze) for the purpose of curbing unchecked criminals in New York City. Why a criminal mastermind like Shredder would want to fight crime is, of course, unclear at this point. It’s certainly likely that Shredder’s narration is unreliable and that he actually created the Turtles as weapons to gain an upper hand against competing crime organizations – until the heroes turned on their creator. Another possible explanation could see Shredder setting out with the intention of enforcing justice, only to become corrupted and power-hungry in the process.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 Leonardo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teaser Trailer: Are Heroes Created?

Some fans will, without question, balk at the reveal that April’s father was also involved in creating the Turtles but, in terms of delivering the best movie possible, the choice helps provide a more meaningful reason for the reporter to become so obsessed with this particular story (and its heroes). A valiant investigator, willing to put her life in danger for “the truth,” works at surface level but connecting April’s father to Shredder and the Turtles provides a lot more room for human drama to go along with all the Ninja fighting. Plus, mysterious scientific experiments should also open-up the film’s core storyline – so that the filmmakers can explore plenty of fan-favorite characters and ideas in subsequent installments (see: The Amazing Spider-Man movie universe).

Despite all of the cartoonish elements, the trailer’s tone is actually pretty serious – and reaffirms Hollywood’s ongoing effort in providing every superhero franchise a “dark” and “gritty” reboot. That said, don’t expect Platinum Dunes and Nickelodeon Movies to pass up the opportunity to appeal to a whole new generation of Turtle fans – with characters like Michelangelo (not to mention Will Arnett’s Vernon Fenwick) running around, there’s sure to be plenty of humor (and Cowabunga) to go along with the shadowy Ninja action.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 Michelangelo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teaser Trailer: Are Heroes Created?


MORE: TMNT Production Images Reveal Turtles & Shredder


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.

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  1. C’mon why do they look like burn victims…

    • They don’t.

      • They do.

        • They don’t.

          • They do.

            • They don’t.

              • no they don’t. this looks great

              • They do.

                • they don’t

                  • They do.

                    • They don’t.

                    • They do.

    • Burn victims arent turtles. Geez.

    • That’s offensive to burn victims.

  2. It looks okay but doesn’t really feel okay.
    Very lackluster trailer, but from what little we can see from it I suppose it will please the target audience.

  3. Are we sure this isn’t a Transformers trailer??

    • Yes. If you didn’t see it, the words “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” are in the trailer.

      • Clearly sarcasm is lost on you.

  4. Sorry the minute I saw Megan Fox, It immediately killed it for me. I don’t want to see this movie. Period.

    • Yes you will.

      I love seeing comments like these and it isn’t just for this movie. So many movies come out and haters claim, “baaaahhhh, I won’t see that” and then the following day, they’re in the theatre watching it. Michael Bay will get your money one way or the other.

      • Actually no I wont. I’m one of those people who but their money where their moth is. I have never seen any Megan Fox movie since Transformers 1.

        • So you put your money on your front porch light?

          • HA HA!!! Good one!

      • I hate seeing comments from fanboys who don’t think that anyone could possibly have a different opinion than the one they hold. The turtles were conceived as a joke. The comics are OK, the movies and cartoon are shoddy and best forgotten. Michael Bay won’t get a penny from me. He is relying on suckers like you to hand the $$$’s over. You are moaning that people shouldn’t judge on a 1.20 minute trailer, but you already seem to think this movie is gonna be great? Sorta hypocritical.

        • gonna have to disagree with you about the cartoon cause the cartoon was the s***!

        • And I’ll disagree about the comics. The original comics were dark, scary, dangerous and had a great fantastical feel to them.

          • Indeed. The original comic book (graphic novels) were awesome.

          • I re-bought the original graphic novel again after owning it years ago and it is nowhere near as dark, scary or as dangerous as I remember. I thought it was the S*** at the time though.

        • A joke? Not exactly. They were a parody of Frank Miller’s Ronin. When the original editor of Ronin told Laird “great parody but it will never work beyond that one story” they took it upon themselves to show they could make it work as a serious subject. Issue #2 introduced April O’Neal, and the Mousers. From there they followed the origin of the Turtles and looking into TCRI. TCRI was in fact run by Aliens, so the Turtles were created with Alien made ooze.

          The comics were better than OK up to about the 5th book. At that point and time they stopped having a direction to go and that editor from RONIN was right. Yet, the popularity of the Turtles was huge and lead to the toy sale/TV show. The rest is history. The Turtles were forever toned down, and I expect they’ll remain that way in this movie.

          After all the movie has April O’Neal who wasn’t involved in the Shredder storyline originally.

      • lOL Aaron. You don’t sound like a butthurt fanboy or anything. You obviously didn’t grow up with the Turtles, else you’d realize what utter heresy this garbage is. Seriously, it looks like a steaming pile of doo doo and you know it does. Quit trying to convince yourself that Bay hasn’t destroyed another pop culture icon.

        • I’d thank you kindly not to make generic statements and presume that you speak for every single person who grew up with the characters, because I’m a die-hard TMNT fan who thinks the new movie looks awesome. The designs for the Turtles and Shredder look really good, and the tone reminds me of the original movies (which were actually quite dark in spite of their copious amounts of humor).

          • I’d thank you kindly to read up on what an opinion/free speech is. I can make absolutely whatever statements I like, regardless of their sweeping generalization or of your perceived accuracy of them. I also think if you were to poll them, the majority of “die-hard TMNT fans”, would tell you this is crap. The design for the turtles is horrendous. I will give it to you that Shredder looks cool, though. And if you think the original movies were dark, try reading the original comics. How you can even compare the tone of this to the originals is beyond me.

        • If anything soldier, he’s going to make them more relevant again.

        • I grew up with the turtles and loved them. I think this looks great. You and your closed minded fanboy buddies need to get over yourselves. And not that the Transformers were great but Bay didn’t destroy anything there, smart guy. Watch my comment get deleted because it probably hurt your feelings. Irrational fanboy comments like yours should be what gets deleted.

          • Why would it get deleted? It’s your opinion, that’s cool, doesn’t hurt my feelings at all. I know people think this looks great, they’re allowed to. Just as I’m allowed to feel something in relation to the fact that because people think it looks great, they will pay money to see it. Just as I am allowed to speak out here because of them feels. That money will enable more of this tripe to be made, and then they will move on to the next franchise they can get the rights to. I realize, of course, that this happens. My dislike of it will not magically put a stop to releases such as this. And the original content on which it is based will always be there for me to enjoy. But, again, I’m still entitled to voice said dislike. You’re entitled to voice your disagreement of my views and your anticipation of the movie.

  5. I was prepared to give this movie a benefit of a doubt, and I still will, but this teaser hurts my opinion more than helps it.

    Showing something like the four turtles individually executing some weapons forms in a dramatically lit sewer passage would have been more effective than this over the top drivel.

    You have the word “Ninja” in your movie title. Maybe the first trailer could feature, you know, some ninjutsu?

    • Historically, ninjas didn’t perform elaborate, flashy martial arts like you see in modern “ninja” movies. If they wanted to take the title literally they could have made a movie about four turtles who engaged in shady espionage and assassination activities during the Tokugawa shogunate but I think the writers decided to go in a different direction.

      • I’ve heard that Ninjas may even be a myth. They were said to be so secretive that the japanese cannot really prove they existed, but the myth has grown into a pop culture to the point where contemplating them not existing seems unbelieveable. Ninjitsu is a relatively modern matial art and is not so secretive now. So it’s hard to seperate fact from legend.

        • That’s exactly what the ninja would want you to believe!

          I’ve never heard of their existence being questioned, but that would be a fun topic for me to research. Ninjas as they’re represented in pop culture are grossly exaggerated, but as far as I’ve read, the actual espionage, tactics, weapons, fighting style, etc. are pretty well documented all the way back to 1000+ years ago.

          • It would make sense that not much is actually known about them. Even to the point that they may be a myth. I saw it mentioned on a documentary on japan (I can’t remember where now) It is interesting though.

            I expect the ninjas were based on a specific clan. I imagine there is lots of evidence of historic japanese espionage and asassination, but did it stem from the ninjas or just fuel the legend? interesting stuff. A tourist guide would say they existed, while a historian may be harder to convince.

            • Sweet. If you remember the title of that documentary, I’d totally watch it.

              If I remember correctly, ninjutsu originated from two rival clans: Iga and Koga. Whether or not they’re the legendary, supernatural half-man/half-crow ninja of lore, they did exist, and they did employ a system of warfare and survival skills that would later be referred to as ninjutsu.

              • I can’t remember it. It was on youtube. I’ve probably over-hyped it, but it was just a line in the narration that said something along the lines of….

                “Despite their reputation, the Japanese have no hard evidence that ninjas even existed…”

                I just found it interesting that even the Japanese themselves may not be certain. It all could be based on chinese whispers, folklore and stories. You sound like you know a lot about this stuff anyway. For me, it just stuck in my head that Ninjas might not have existed. I just never considered that they wouldn’t have.

                • LOL, well it worked. I’m more hyped to find this documentary than I am to watch the new TMNT movie. I guess I’ll start my search on youtube. Thanks!

      • Nowhere in my comment did I call for anything flashy or stringently historical. Besides, unlike modern Chinese wushu forms, Japanese martial arts forms are typically subtle and economic (no crazy spins and flips!).

        I just wanted some indication that they haven’t extracted all the Japanese culture from this adaptation. That’s what drew me to the Turtles as a child, and that’s what I’m most interested in as an adult. Maybe a full trailer will better represent the final product, but what I’m getting from this teaser is this movie will be your run-of-the-mill, high on spectacle/low on character CG action-fest.

        That said, I’d love to have my preconceptions corrected. If this movie actually turns out to be something I like, I wouldn’t be so prideful that I’d deny it.

  6. At the end of the day…Michael Bay will be more responsible for the destruction of my childhood memories than Alzheimer’s.

    • Michael Bay puts hard work into his film s and all of you just want to complain. Transformers is terrific (all of them) and this will be a masterpiece. Besides, you will see this opening night.

    • Bay’s movies cause Alzheimer’s.

  7. Why does shredder sound like splinter in the voice over?? OR am I the only one that hears it?

  8. Damn Megan Fox is sexy. I’ll see this just for her! I think a Japanese dub of this will be cool. Never been a fan of the surfer voices.

  9. I hate Michael Bay’s films (not the guy cause I don’t know him or his creative process.) The Transformers films are pretty awful.

    This however, doesn’t look nearly as bad as those. I already enjoyed this trailer more than any of the Transformers films.

    The CGI is still a little iffy, not exactly perfect but whatever. I’d say it’s on par with the 90′s Turtles costumes as far as wackiness goes, and you have to admit you can’t get much sillier looking than the original Turtles. This is just a new iteration. if you’re going to legitimately complain about the CGI effects, remember that these characters are based on comic books and cartoons. This is the most “real” they’ve ever looked in their franchises history, as far as expression goes.

    And yes, I’m with everyone who doesn’t think Megan Fox is at all a good actress and really find it hard to believe out of the many who probably auditioned for this film, she was the one to give the best “performance.” Either way, I won’t actually judge it until I see it, and I will see it. Because what’s the point of even speculating or discussing (or whining, or bashing) a movie if you’re not even going to man up and watch it?

    I can totally dig the “WOO!” from the Turtle getting thrown into the tank (which was cool, stfu) and Michelangelo’s personality as it all fits well with what we know of the turtles before it. They’re taller now, oh well. Looking forward to it.

    • Ryan said it absolutely the best… Now everyone shut up!!

      • Tell’em Steve!!!

  10. now it sounds like he’s implying that they made the turtles on purpose
    which to be honest is even more stupid than aliens, because if you’re going to genetically splice a human half breed of heroes, of all the animals to go with, turtle would be at the bottom of the list
    also did anyone else notice Megan fox didnt have a single line
    no surprise there

    • Yeah, it was way more logical in the original movie: a guy trained his pet rat to become a black-belt level martial arts expert for no discernible reason. Then later the rat happens to randomly stumble into some radioactive chemicals. Instead of just killing him, like 99% of the radioactive chemicals in the world would do, they turn him and his friends into large, anthropomorphic mutants, thus retroactively rendering his formerly useless martial arts training into a valuable asset. It’s amazing how well that premise holds up after all these decades.

    • I’m actually not sure he is talking about purposefully creating the turtles, but it’s hard to tell from the voice over. I would argue that he might be talking about making the ooze, possibly to make super soldiers of some kind, and some of it got out, ended up in the sewer on some turtles.

  11. That was great. This movie’s going to kick a**. Screw the haters.

  12. My heart breaks every time my favorite cartoons get slaughtered. First Transformers, then GI JOE and now TMNT.


    • Well, the original show and comics are all still there for you to enjoy. :)

  13. personally i think this look awesome fun, i dont get everyone hating on it and expecting some ‘dark knight’ styled dark reboot, its the turtles…

    there teenage mutant ninja turtles

    …lets remember that as a kid i loved the cartoon cause it was goofy and they kicked butt, thats what i want from the film, goofy mutant turtles kicking ass and having a laugh, no-one should expect anything more and your fooling yourself if you think it will be!

    cowabunga dudes, wheres the pizza!

  14. There is something off with the turtles’ faces for me. I liked them in the original live action movie.

    • They have lips now.

  15. Very batman-esque

  16. Is it safe to ask if Michael Bay climbed deep in that Megan Fox cooch and can’t get his way out? WHY IS HE STILL CASTING HER??? She’s an arrogant, overpayed, well replacable, horrible actress.

  17. The moment when they are sliding down the snow, and the turtle slams into the profile shot of the Hummer (You chose that photo for your article, good choice!) is laughable at best. I don’t know the context for that shot… but they should not have paused and held on that shot for a second.

  18. I’ve only been a so-so TMNT fan. I was born too late to get into the 80s/early 90s craze and didn’t get into the turtles at all until the slightly darker/grittier series in the 2000s which I was a big fan of. And I am no longer the demographic for the most recent CGI series.

    As for this trailer. It looks okay, though the turtles themselves look hideous to me. I might see the movie but I’ll wait to see more and reviews of the film come in. I’m afraid this will turn out like Transformers and be more about the human characters of April and Vern instead of the turtle brothers themselves. The fact that the screenwriter in an interview was already mixing up the names and characters of the turtles in a film that he wrote, doesn’t inspire much confidence that the turtles will get the focus they deserve.

  19. the turtles are computer generated,too bad,i still prefer the animatronic suit of the previous films,i hope it works though.

  20. the com comments section of articles like this one that makes me steer clear of a lot of the community elements of movie websites. For everyone talking about how it suprised them, you have a dozen more ranting about how its not what they expected so it will be “teh wurst evah!”

    Try some critical thinking, whereas the Transformers movies focus on intergalactic threats and taking over/defending the world. This teaser does a decent job of narrowing the scope. The city, the cops, the judges etc.

    Just because Michael Bay’s name is attached does not make it a bad movie. Hell his name is attached to one of the best TV shows on right now.

    Finally since this is a teaser, a few seconds worth of footage, it does everything it was supposed to. Show us its a turtles movie. Show us how they move a bit. That its big. And that it’ll be fun. DONE, Done and Donesky!

    Oh and the part about something being blown up? Guess what, I like it when things blow up! Heck Christopher Nolan did it in TDK and even in its teaser. & that turned out ok.

    Fricking chill.

    • Very true. I think it’s just Michael Bay’s name.

    • Maybe you’re new here so you don’t know how this works. When Michael Bay does it we derisively call it “explosions” or “blowing stuff up”. When Nolan does it we call them “practical effects sequences” and we praise him as a filmmaking genius for “avoiding CGI” (even though a lot of his explosions use CGI, like the exploding football field in DKR you were talking about)

  21. Was that Shrek at the end?

  22. Call that a teaser??? Think I just watched the whole film!!!! Looked ok!

  23. spam filter is very sensitive today. Couldn’t post my opinions on this. I posted two other comments only 20 minutes before hand.

    Vic, What gives?

  24. Well after reading the comments I’m pretty certain this movie has one very dedicated defender in Aaron. :)

    I have to say that this looks pretty freaking cool. I was born in 1980 and grew up on TMNT – in the comics, the tv shows, the movies, and the toys. I still have my all the comics, including the Green-Grey Sponge-Suit Sushi Turtles parody comic (which was awesome).

    Anyways, yeah I will be seeing this one.

  25. it looks at least watchable now. the first news when it was still in pre-production didn’t exactly inspire confidance this will be a great movie (which the turtles deserve) I honestly don’t mind them tying April’s dad with the Turtles I will have a huge problem if they reveal that he was mutated into Splinter though, which I’m afraid will be the case. I’m sorry to be this guy but it’s just not the same with Michelan Sisti or Townsand Colemen voicing Mikey it just feels wrong.

  26. Wow – Not impressed with all the Michael Bay/Transformers movie references. We get it, Michael Bay turned Transformers into a freak show and the movies progressively got worse.

    I am assuming most of us are remembering the movies from the 90′s and comparing the two. Which is fair but it will only make you dislike this version more (IMO). They will not look like the old version, so accept it and move on.

    This should be a fun movie with good action and good one-liners for humor. If you are expecting more than you may have to alter your expectations.

    Bottom line, it seems different and strange because it’s not our TMNT from the 90′s but it doesn’t mean it is not a good or fun movie. I am open to seeing it first before trashing it.

  27. Why isn’t April O’Neill a redhead? If you’re going to mess around with my childhood, Mr. Bay, get some of the details right!

  28. The creatures from the Hellboy movies were 500% more believable than this GCI crap because they were actually on screen, but nope, had to go the cheap route that always looks inferior, unless you’re James Cameron and have 400 million dollars to go to the CGI department.

    • Sorry to burst your bubble, but Del Toro didn’t really have a guy in an 80-foot tall plant monster costume running around New York smashing buildings: A lot of that stuff was done with computers. There was even a fake looking CGI human baby in that sequence.