We recently heard more pieces of main casting news for Ninja Turtles, the live-action reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise from producer Michael Bay, which means that we should soon be able to put voices to the faces of the four pizza-loving, karate-trained, sewer-dwelling mutants. The film's development has so far received mixed responses from the fans of the show, and from TMNT co-creator Peter Laird, who have expressed concern at Bay's involvement, the casting of Megan Fox as April O'Neil, and rumors that the Turtles' alien-mutagen-based origins were being reshuffled to make them full-blown aliens.
The film was originally supposed to start shooting last summer, but has since been heavily delayed. We've heard several different explanations for the delay, from script rewrites, to budget trims, to plans to release the film on the 30th anniversary of the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic's release. Whatever the real reason for the long wait, it seems that production is finally getting underway.
Specialist travel site On Location Vacations have been keeping an eye on a large set being built in Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, NY (just east of Long Beach) that they'd originally thought was for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but which appears to have been built for Ninja Turtles instead. One of OVL's Twitter followers reports that the production signs around the set marked "4SQ" refer to Ninja Turtles' working title "Foursquare." Liebesman's crew may well find themselves bumping up against The Amazing Spider-Man 2's shooting, which is already taking place in Long Beach (with production signs reading "HH").
The exact location of the set build is the Jones Beach State Park West End 2 parking field, and a regular reader of OLV sent in a description of the shooting prep:
“The crew was arriving and huge sound boards, backdrops and lighting that was in place 10 a.m. Sunday. It looked to be physically in place to start filming. West End 2 is a huge double lot and they are using 6/8 of the lot. It was also set up to close the road as needed. Its a good desolate road that was used to film the Royal Pains Florida driving scenes and some of the Hamptons stuff.”
Also, if any Screen Rant readers happen to be beautiful female models living in the NYC area, then Jonathan Liebesman wants you - yes, you - to be an extra in the Ninja Turtles film. Grant Wilfley Casting posted an ad under the "Foursquare" name seeking "beautiful female models willing to work for regular background rate ($145/8hrs).” Of course, there are any number of situations that would require beautiful women to be in the background for shots, though the information does call to mind a few obvious choices - the gang visiting an NYC nightclub, perhaps, or hanging out backstage at a fashion show (remember, this is a Michael Bay production).
Fans of the TMNT franchise, are you happy with the news that shooting is taking place near the Turtles' home city?
Ninja Turtles opens in U.S. theaters on June 6th, 2014.