A reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie series is arriving this summer from producer Michael Bay (Transformers) and director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans), but for the time being the contentious project is still very much a work in progress.
The first TMNT trailer dropped a couple weeks ago, yet the footage is light on action (not surprising as post-production is ongoing), while the effects for the CGI Turtles have yet to be finished. Likewise, standard reshoots are currently underway on the film, and we only just learned a week back that Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shalhoub will be providing voices for Leonardo and Splinter, respectively. (There may be additional voice actor changes/announcements down the line, when all is said and done.)
As such, it doesn't come as a shock that the first TMNT posters - unveiled through the film's official Tumblr account - skip on showcasing the incomplete digitally-rendered individual Turtles (brought to life by flesh and blood actors via motion-capture performances). Instead, the highlights here are the individual Turtles' preferred weapons, including Leonardo's katana-like ninjatos, Michelangelo's nunchakus, Donatello's bo staff, and Raphael's sai, which you can peruse over below (click the posters to enlarge):
These teaser posters are in keeping with a comparatively gritty and darker tone for the film, between the shadow placement and the minimal, yet serious design. However, it's not altogether clear yet if that's really the mood that the TMNT reboot will strike.
As was discussed during our editors' video analysis of the first trailer, Liebesman's movie looks very similar to a Michael Bay Transformers film (albeit, with Turtles instead of transforming aliens). The marketing has thus far struck the same no-nonsense tone as that for the TF franchise, with hints at goofier and more kid-accessible elements contained within the actual movie (mutant Turtles aside).
Bay's Transformers series has flown high at the box office, by appealing to a younger generation of moviegoers with its slick aesthetics and eye candy, while providing enough substance to keep a number of older (and nostalgic) fans invested. TMNT appears to be using a similar formula for success, which accounts for why the project has already rubbed a number of Turtles lovers the wrong way - but is also an indicator that the film might be one "bet" that pays off for its studio investors.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens in U.S. theaters on August 8th, 2014.
Source: TMNT Tumblr