The internet uncovers the horrible Ninja Turtles bullet we all dodged

Apparently, it was just as bad as we feared. Not long ago, it was reported that production on the Michael Bay-produced "Ninja Turtles" movie was pushed to 2014. Because 2014 is the 30th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? No! That was a convenient excuse. Besides, "Ninja Turtles" is basically a cheap imitator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles since half of their character description -- along with the central freaking premise -- were done away with. No, it was because the script was said to have "issues." Meaning: the script was terrible. Several people claim to have gotten their hands on this script, and there are terrible, awful, no good, very bad things in it. Starting with 18-year-old high school lovebirds Casey Jones and April O'Neil. Seriously. That almost happened.

News of the leaked script started coming out early last month, when Latino Review's El Mayimbe was tweeting his reactions to a script called "The Blue Door." Very few specific plot details were revealed, but it was definitely a "Ninja Turtles" script judging by the presence of Rocksteady, Bebop, and Krang (and despite the very conspicuous absence of Shredder). There were mentions of the notorious alien turtles and Dimension X. But now, we have more. And it is not good. At all.

While fan site TMNT Not TANT was ordered by Paramount to take down their posting about the script, as reported by io9, the studio wasn't able to stop some of those details from making it on to other sites. Latino Review actually went as far as putting together a 12-minute video about the script, using photos and fan art to tell the ridiculous story. Because here is a summary of what they all read:

Casey Jones and April O'Neil are both 18 years old and live in Michigan. They are high school students who are dating other. April is getting ready to move to New York City for a journalism internship. Casey plays hockey and holds down a job in what we learn is a secret location for Substation 16, a secret operation being run by one Colonel Schrader. Instead of Shredder. See what they did there? Col. Schrader is the leader of a military-like organization known as The Foot.

So, if you're keeping score, the Foot are no longer ninjas, and Shredder is now a probably white guy named Schrader. I'll go let you throw up.

The turtles are introduced as part of the mob of aliens that have been delivered to Substation 16, and the one identified as Raphael states that they have been "trained in ninjitsu," which is hilarious because they are from a planet that probably isn't familiar with the Japanese martial art of ninjitsu, because Japan is on Earth. As a part of this "alien ninjitsu," the turtles are able to perform feats of strength and agility like lifting forklifts and turning themselves into projectiles after hiding in their shells. Like in Super Mario Bros. Have I also mentioned that the turtles aren't even the main protagonists? Casey Jones is. The 18-year-old dude-kid with the hockey stick. Something that, as Screen Rant correctly points out, sounds a lot like... the Transformers movies. Sweet Splinter in the sewer...

I won't "spoil" the entire plot as it is recounted in LR's video, but it sounds like it makes clear and blatant references to the TMNT franchise (the toys, the cartoon) while trying to be a more clever and relevant version of it -- by shitting all over it. For his part, TMNT co-creator Peter Laird (who says he no longer owns TMNT property) was alerted to this script by TMNT not TANT and referred to the script as both "wretched" and "junk." (His former collaborator, the other co-creator Kevin Eastman, on the other hand, is all about the newer stuff he's seeing.)

But at least we know this particular script isn't being made. And that alone can be called a victory. Can I get a "Cowabunga"?

EXCLUSIVE: Review Of Bay’s Failed ‘Ninja Turtles’ [Latino Review]

Michael Bay’s leaked Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles script is full of bad ideas [io9]


    1. The most preposterous part of that script to me was that the dogs barked lightning.  Must have been a later draft.

  1. What Hollywood fails to realize (or maybe they get it now, since this was canned) is that we do not go see these remakes of 80s cartoons because Bay putts a new spin on it, we go inspite of all the garbage. On pure nostalgia because even though the Bayformers are total garbage, it’s still Peter Cullen underneath all the nonsene Optimus-Priming the shit out of that movie.

    1. If you cared, you’d stop going to these pieces of shit.

      So, kindly, stop going to these movies if you aren’t endorsing this garbage. Myself, I don’t want to see new versions of whatever I enjoyed as a kid, so I encourage Bay and the rest to pee all over my childhood.

      1. Ha ha, funny! If a major director’s take isn’t popular they’ll just tell themselves that the entire idea was incontrovertibly flawed and therefore there’s no possibility of making a version that people will pay to see.

    2. “Hollywood” takes this view as a point of pride. If you followed the torturous path of the Superman reboot, it’s clear that that the host of heavy hitters involved with that project see themselves as the image makers of record for anything they touch. They seem genuinely hostile to faithful adaptations. How many times do you see publicity for a film that mentions that actors, directors etc. did not read the source material. Doesn’t it seem odd that this is a fact they want reported rather than something they would hide. They are proud of being ignorant of the source.

  2. If they’re not sweating the quality, they could just have Roger Corman do it and shave a year off production time and several hundred million off production costs.

    1. I’d expect it would include the special-effect scenes from Battle Beyond The Stars. He got a lot of mileage out of those.

          1. I blame John Saxon for my unhealthy and disturbing love of John Saxon. He’s like that in everything.

  3. Wow, if movies were habitually canned because of sucky scripts, the output of Hollywood would drop by 80%!  Usually there’s a release date in the contract before the script is penned, and whatever there is at that date is released.  The last movie I worked on (another beloved childhood franchise) they were still writing on the last day of shooting, trying to make it make sense. Guess what? The film sucked.

        1. I’m pretty sure that staring at his taint for three hours would be more entertaining than watching one of his films.

          1. I’m not even sure you’d figure out what you were looking at until maybe an hour in.  The close up and quick cut motions would be enough to keep most people guessing for quite a while.

  4. I’ve never been clear:  how do scripts manage to get out to the general public?   They provide such entertainment.

    1. Gods bless the Internet.  Most scripts are read by plenty of people before they ever go into production (and only a teensy fraction of them ever do get shot), and all it takes is some script reader at Miramax or Disney, who reads and writes coverage on several scripts a week for the company, to anonymously post some of the tastier drafts online.

      Screenplays, whether unproduced or for as-yet unfinished/unreleased films, were a lot tougher to come by for the general public a few years ago.  Now, you’re probably only a couple of keystrokes away from reading Mad Max 4.

      1.  Sure, but don’t stop there.  How about the hidden diamond mine of all those filmed pilots for shows that don’t get picked up?  I bet there’s quite a few gems among all the dross, and none of it ever gets shown to anybody anywhere except planning executives.

        1. Every now and then there used to be a semi-public screening of a few busted pilots in the L.A. area, but I have no idea if that still goes on or not.  I have a dozen or so tapes of unsold pilots, but I can’t think of any of those that were particularly good.  Most were forgettable, a few were remarkably awful.  But yeah, there have to be some good ones out there.  Heat Vision and Jack got quite a cult following.  I’ve been out of touch; I haven’t worked on a pilot in a few years now.

  5. “The internet uncovers the horrible Ninja Turtles bullet we all dodged”

    Someone’s counting their weasels long before they’ve popped.

    1. *Stomped*… count their weasels before they’re *stomped.*

      What day is that again, exactly?  I need to find my boots… and Viking helmet… and mayonnaise.

  6. Goddamn just do another live action one. Some sick ninja battles, some great humour, some unexpected heart, probably involving Leo and Raph (though Mikey and Don getting more of a plot would be unexpectedly awesome) and use the animatronics/costumes from the second movie.  There’s lots of people who could script this movie, but in my opinion it oughta be Joss Whedon. If  Bay’s Turtle movie sucks (and I’m not gonna write it off just ’cause it’s Michael Bay) it might just put the final nail in the coffin of the movie franchise. The third was a turd. The animated one was really good but I’d still much rather look at amazing costumes and real fighting than another CGI movie.

    1. in my opinion it oughta be Joss Whedon

      Reckon it will be a long time before anyone figures Whedon can go wrong.

      This must be how Howard the Duck with George Lucas happened.

      1. I acknowledge that Whedon can do wrong. Alien Resurrection is not among my favourite films. However, he’s proven that he can adapt comics to the screen and screen to comics, and he’s a big ‘ol nerd who would probably understand the sacredness of the Turtles to those of us who grew up with them and came to be lifelong fans. Basically, he’s 10x more likely than Michael Bay to make a good Turtles movie.

        Also Howard the Duck was actually a decent comic book that never needed to be made into a movie.

        1. I love Alien Resurrection…but not in the way I love the other three.  It really just seems like a big nerdy parody of the others, which makes me smile (but I get why most people don’t care for it.)

          And what’s wrong with Howard the Duck?  I’ll admit it’s been YEARS since I last saw it, but I thought it was a pretty decent movie.  I mean not life altering, but enjoyable in a campy and humorous sort of way.

          1.  I always liked Howard the Duck (the movie), too — I got a real kick out of finding out the “flying over the water” scenes were filmed in my hometown’s river, a mile or two from the “yank the chassis out of the police car” scene in American Graffiti.

  7. So the writers totally destroyed the Casey Jones character in order to insert a boyish Mary-Sue in his place. 
    I think it’s safe to assume that they were lobbying for Shia LeBeof to play the part? It is, after all, the exact same ad hoc character that he has played in almost every mayor movie franchise during the last decade. 
    The reoccurrence of this unnecessary staple boy protagonist in all those unrelated scripts really indicates that there is a Devil, and that he is on the take.

  8. Are we certain this wasn’t the script for The Asylum’s Teenaged Mutated Judo Tortoises?

  9. the turtles are able to perform feats of strength and agility like lifting forklifts and turning themselves into projectiles after hiding in their shells

    It took me a surprisingly long amount of time to realize that this bit here clearly envisages a resurgence of the toy line.

  10. You know if you could slip something about the Turtles possibly being robots in there you’d have a pretty straight shot to making Transformers BeastWars…

  11. Okay, getting rid of “mutant” is dumb, but I’m not sure they can plausibly still be “teenage” after all these years. Actually, a cleverer person than Bay could have turned this fact into a biting satire of the horrors of impending middle age while still refusing to let go of the pop culture of one’s youth 

  12. d’A FUQ?!?

    Middle-aged Mutant Ninja Turtles would be more appropriate now, as someone points out, but Casey Jones and April as a couple?? That in itself is nothing less than sacrilege!Then there’s the issue of removing Oroku Saki, and replacing him with some German dude.Like, what’s up with that?

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