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'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Put On Hold To Fix Script & Budget, Release Date Pushed Back To May 16, 2014

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by Kevin Jagernauth
June 15, 2012 3:32 PM
16 Comments
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It looks like Paramount has finally learned their lesson the very, very hard way. After scuttling three movies slated for a 2012 release into 2013 -- "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters," "World War Z" and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" -- it seems studio executives have decided to actually read the script of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," and they don't like what they see. They really don't like it.

Even though pre-production was underway in Vancouver, with a Christmas 2013 release date planned, the studio has delayed "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" pushed the release date back to May 16, 2014. It seems inconceivable to us that a movie about four talking turtles with martial arts skills from an alien planet (or something), with a sewer rat for a sensei, could possibly have story problems...right? But as Deadline elaborates a combination of script issues and concerns about keeping the budget down to around $125 million (!?) have forced the delay.

But the effects of the hiatus on the pic have further reaching consequences. THR adds that the film was being seen as something that could not only revive the brand, but the ratings-challenged Nickelodeon itself (owned by Paramount's parent company Viacom). But clearly, Paramount is not ready to fall down another financial rabbit hole with this one until everything is the right place creatively. You would think they would've learned this a few movies ago...

Director Jonathan Liebesman is still on board, and we suppose Kid Cudi is too, though hew have no idea who he might play. But it looks like Michaelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo will have to wait a bit longer to get another shot at eating pizza on the big screen. And it looks like super-fans, who were worried by what Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes were going to do to their heroes on the half shell, can breathe a sigh of relief. For now.

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16 Comments

  • teenage mutant ninja turtle | June 26, 2012 8:36 AMReply

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  • Koibones | June 20, 2012 1:28 AMReply

    I must be the only Turtles fan that liked the IMAGI CGI movie... Mako was an awesome Splinter and, yes, it did put some extra focus on the human element, and yes, Shredder was dead, but I liked the Casey/April romance story as well as the more fluid martial arts fight scenes and facial expressions that just aren't possible with guys in suits. The final thing I loved about that movie was they cast major film stars in minor roles and lesser-known (to most people, but still major) voice actors as the Turtles.
    Ask someone who doesn't read credits who Fred Tatasciore, Billy West, John DiMaggio, Phil LaMarr, Frank Welker, and James Arnold Taylor are and they will not be able to give you an answer.
    (Billy West is Fry, Zoidberg, etc. on Futurama, John DiMaggio is Bender, etc. on Futurama, Frank Welker is Nibbler on Futurama and Various Animal sounds in many movies, tv shows and video games, and James Arnold Taylor is best known for his video game roles as Titus in Final Fantasy X and Ratchet in every Ratchet and Clank game except for the first one.)

  • Ruckus | June 17, 2012 2:06 PMReply

    First off, Production had NOT started in Vancouver. We were all ensconced in an office at Paramount until a week ago and then moved to offices in Culver City....which lasted all of 4 days before we were shut down. Yes, the script was a major problem but consider this: How to make a movie for $125 million when the 5 principal characters are completely CG. That's a VFX price tag of $80 million alone. Then consider the cost of production crew for a 70+ day shoot. Do the math. The script needed major retooling so Paramount's decision was smart. Yeah, I hated to lose my job but who wants to work on shit? I've been in that situation before on another HUGE movie that tanked because the studio didn't have the balls to wait for a decent script.

    Ultimately it's Jonathan Liebesman's film, not Bay's. Bay's a producer, he's NOT directing. Bay's got post to do on Pain & Gain and then he rolls right into TF4, so he'll have creative input as a producer but again, it's Liebesman's movie. All you Bay detractors need to fuck off on the Michael Bay front and learn how movies are actually made.

  • KT | June 18, 2012 9:04 AM

    Shut the fuck up.

  • Cloudryder | June 16, 2012 10:21 AMReply

    Michael Bay has the potential to make good movies...the one thing he tends to stray from is fan service....he needs to take advice from the elements that made the franchise a success and not try to stroke his own "explosive" ego....just remember Mike, fans today can make a mob tomorrow...

  • Steve'o | June 16, 2012 12:59 AMReply

    They should push it back to never! Please for the sake of humanity. Take that asscl0wn Michael Bay off the project and put someone who knows TMNT. Its the fact that the alien element that's going to fuck up the film. Plus we all know that most likely the story is going to be focusing way too much on the human characters. I mean come on, look at Transformers! So Bay do us all a favor and leave it alone. Stick to what you know. Cuz dude you clearly don't know dick about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

  • Rikk | June 16, 2012 12:54 AMReply

    Thanks fucking God. Kick Bay off entirely.

  • Yellow Rage | June 15, 2012 11:59 PMReply

    Here's a Hint, NICKELODEON:

    Cast Asians and Inuits AS ASIANS AND INUITS, and people will start taking your live action films seriously.
    "Nobody" wants to see stories about Asians and Inuits you say? Asians and Inuits are not people? Only whites are "sombodies"?
    Well burn in Hell, all of you, you deserve the financial ruin that you get.

  • dan | June 15, 2012 11:33 PMReply

    I say just re-release the 1980's film to theaters. even if the film is on DVD and Blu-Ray, kids and family's may still go see it at a cheaper price like under 3 bucks or something. IMO.

  • Steve'o | June 16, 2012 1:01 AM

    I agree! But correction. The first movie premiered in 1990. But not too far off. But yeah, re-release the first two movies into theaters and please leave out the 3D bullshit.

  • Jin | June 15, 2012 9:22 PMReply

    How about they stop with the freaking remakes of the classics and come up with new ideas!!! Put the original shows back into syndication to "revive" the brand!

  • Jordan | June 15, 2012 3:57 PMReply

    It hasn't been put on indefinite hold. Deadline has updated their article, and Paramount has set a new date for Ninja Turtles. It'll release on May 16, 2014. So it's still on. The push back was for budget concerns.

    http://www.deadline.com/2012/06/paramount-delays-ninja-turtles-start-date/

  • Zack | June 15, 2012 3:34 PMReply

    Smart move. I mean, you can't have a Michael Bay movie without a good script.

  • AnthonyIsADonkey | June 15, 2012 5:30 PM

    Gotta love the donkeys who can't read into obvious sarcasm...

  • Zack | June 15, 2012 4:18 PM

    I'm aware of that. That was like as if sarcasm is all I'm saying.

  • Anthony | June 15, 2012 4:14 PM

    Since when did Michael Bay cared about a "good script"? The films he made lately was like as if they were written by four year olds. They all were bad is all I'm saying.

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