Right now, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has fans pretty freaked out. Michael Bay is producing the film through his not-so-loved Platinum Dunes company; the director of Battle Los Angeles (far from a universal crowd pleaser) is at the helm; the storyline and character design rumors have not been encouraging; Megan Fox was cast as reporter April O'Neil... we've heard all of these complaints and more.
Turtlemania (not the good kind) reached a new pitch recently, as the image of an alleged TMNT official Halloween costume broke onto the Interwebs and had people freaking out all over again. Some people were anxious about what the costume might imply about the overall design of the motion-capture CGI turtles we'll see in the film; others somehow worried that the child's costume WAS the official look of the turtles in the film (can't really explain that). In either case, fans have grown more worried than ever.
...But Halloween costumes are just flimsy merchandise. Even when the images that depict them are 100% accurate, there's no telling what percentage of accuracy that costume has when compared to finished CGI renderings in motion on a movie screen. (I could go down of list of cases where crude images betrayed what turned out to be successful character designs - but we have someone already working on that article. ;-) )
Now CBM has posted a series of images that might change the Ninja Turtles debate yet again; they are pictures supposedly taken by a source close to the production, depicting the new Ninja Turtles in maquette (figurine model) form:
Now, the initial speculation about the new Ninja Turtles began with alleged toyline descriptions. The Halloween costume image matched the toy descriptions, thereby lending further credit to theories about the character designs. These production maquettes (if that's what they indeed are) also fall in line with those two previous examples. The image is blurred (we may soon have updates with better looks), but here are details of the leaked toy descriptions, which we can now see confirmed by the maquette photo:
- Leonardo: a sort of pseudo samurai gear get up including shoulder armor, some leg bits, arm bracer and foot wear up to the calf with bindings showing... Armor (non metal) along his chest as well.
- Donatello: a mix of techie, modern and a dash of samurai...with some gadget on his head and gadgetry coming off of his shell.
- Raphael: an urban warrior look with white, bandage-like wrappings on his feet, right leg, and right arm. He wears this very Conan-esque loin cloth..thing..with leather straps draping down as if he were more suited for gladiatorial battle.
- Michelangelo: a hoodie wrapped around his waist, pants and sneakers with the toes cut out, wrappings on his hands and forearms, a necklace...and his mask ends drape down to his chest.
At this point we can basically call it: what we initially heard from those toy descriptions is almost certainly what we're getting in the film - and there's good AND bad news that goes along with that (quasi-)assurance.
GOOD NEWS: Those maquette turtles look WAY better than what the Halloween costume had people nervous they were going to see. The turtles - for all their "urbanization," "modernization" and/or "gadgetry" - look like actual mutant creatures that are trained (and athletically able) to kick some serious ass. The four of them look distinct, with distinct personalities, and they also fall on a good line between being kid-friendly and adult acceptable. When getting four humanoid mutant turtles who know martial arts to look "realistic" on the big screen, you could do a LOT worse than this.
BAD NEWS: If the leaked toy designs were correct, then we could be in for a pretty bad version of Turtle-nemesis, The Shredder (Lone Ranger star William Fichtner). Here's what was said about him in the leaked descriptions:
Pointy edges coming off of absolutely anything. He’ll be the stuff of ridicule for some time. Very overcomplicated outfit.
The image above is a cool rendition - but if the source who initially saw the toy designs felt the need to use the phrase "stuff of ridicule," that's probably an omen that something is off in the design.
...Then again, fans have been panicking about the design of the Turtles, and now it looks like that could turn out okay. So... here's hoping?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will open in theaters on August 8th, 2014.
Source: i09 (via CBM)