Ninja Turtles: Take Five

Ninja turtles movie

I grew up on TMNT. My brother had the sheets, the action figures, the puzzles, the nun chucks, you name it, we had it, and we watched the show and the movies quite a LOT – “God, I love being a turtle!” I also love cheesy puns, cheesy pizza (with anchovies), and cheesy costumes, but I don’t want no cheesy plot. When the announcement came out about “alien” turtles I was angry, but that was cleared up; the turtles are coming from Ooze. Michael Bay stated after the fan uproar:

“It’s from the original source material. These are from the original writers, and I never went out to correct myself in the press. I do listen to the fans and I do want this to be authentic. I think they’re going to be really happy with this movie. When I see the digital stuff, the turtles look great.”

Ninja turtles movie
Megan Fox and Alan Ritchson (Raphael) on the set of “Ninja Turtles”

Ninja Turtles: Take Five

Ninja Turtles (the “Teenage Mutant” has been dropped), is the fifth film in the Turtles series. Flashback moment – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time and TMNT (2007). The fourth installment, from Nickolodeon Movies / Platinum Dunes, is being produced by Scott Mednick, Galen Walker and Michael bay’s production company Platinum Dunes. Lightbox Productions LLC is funding it and it’s being written by Josh Appelbaum, Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, and Andre Nemac. It’s going to be a CG / live action hybrid, and I have to admit, I am excited for a new Turtles movie. I hope beyond hope that they don’t bosh it and I am afraid that the presence of Megan Fox might turn it into a model movie with no plot like Transformers III, but hey, there’s no point in being a negative Nancy.

Ninja Turtles was originally set out to release in 2011, but it continuously was pushed back, and now it was pushed back again – hopefully for the last time. The movie was most recently set to come out June 6th 2014, right between The Good Dinosaur and How to Train your Dragon 2, two big family movies. It’s now been moved to August 8th because Paramount Pictures wants to insure that they get the maximum income out of it, both ticket-wise and marketing-wise as they intend to sell a lot of merchandise along with the film. It would have been coming out right alongside Paramount’s next Transformers (which is likely reaching about the exact same audience – both target boys toys and I mean, Turtles even commandeered Megan Fox) which was originally scheduled for June 27th, the switch was made to allow for parents to have a month in-between so they have more time to go buy a new toy. Well, they didn’t state that officially, but I think it can be assumed. Most likely, with Turtles’ change, Transformers will come out even earlier, June 25th, since Michael Bay movies traditionally open on the Wednesdays of that week.  Nineteen days following Transformers and being sandwiched right between family blockbusters seemed like pushing it, but rescheduling places Ninja Turtles a week away from Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studio’s next superhero franchise (August 1). So no matter what, there’s going to be competition for the superhero, family, toy, action film.

Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) is directing, as Paramount moves away from DreamWorks Animation and works to establish its own name amongst the family film genre. Ninja Turtles isn’t going to be entirely family friendly though. It is looking at a PG-13 rating with a lot more action and aggression than is usually seen in children’s film.

William Fichtner is playing Shredder.

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“I play Shredder,” he stated in an interview with the Huffington Post. “It is cool. It’s one of those things that came along where I thought, ‘Really? Let me think about this for a minute.’ Then I was like, ‘Yeah, OK, this sounds like a journey.’ I’m very glad that it worked out, I’m really glad that I’m doing it.”

Now, although I can’t see him being one of the greatest Kung Fu masters, he has experience playing dark villains (Elysium, The Lone Ranger) and I have high hopes. The four turtles, Raph, Mikey, Don, and Leo are played by Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, and Pete Ploezek, and of course, Megan Fox is April O’Neil. Master Splinter, our favorite rat, is Danny Woodburm. Oh and Will Arnett has joined the cast too; he’s playing Vernon Fenwick – you know fans, April O’Neil’s cameraman.

Above, was Raphael getting his flirt on with Fox – Cowbunga. If you want to listen to Ritchson, a fan of TMNT from youth, and the new Raphael, you can just disregard everything you’ve heard so far about this movie:

The frustrating thing for me since I’ve signed on is that you hear that it’s already got a reputation, this movie that hasn’t come out yet. I think people assume they know what’s going to be about, and those people are wrong. Everything you read online is wrong. And it’s frustrating because you want to tell everybody how great it is, and you can’t really say why, but it is. It’s so much better than people think, and I promise that. And it’s going to look way better than anybody can imagine.” He also added that he believes Ninja Turtles will “live up to and exceed everybody’s boyhood dreams of being a ninja turtle.

Is he right, or is he not?  Well, I’ll let you know in a year.