Back in June, it was announced that producer Michael Bay and Paramount Pictures were delaying the production of Ninja Turtles, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles big screen reboot that has a lot of fans in an uproar, because they hated the script. Soon after, the PR police swooped in and said that it wasn't actually the script causing the delay, which bumped the movie from Christmas 2013 to the summer of 2014, but the fact that they needed to improve upon certain special effects, and that they also wanted the movie to arrive in time for the Turtles' 30th Anniversary.
But now, the original script by André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum has leaked, and in turn was hurriedly pulled off the Internet by Paramount Pictures, helping to prove the legitimacy of it. Those that read it and reviewed it before it was "disappeared" confirmed that fans worst fears about the movie were true, and that the script played like a retooled version of Michael Bay's own Transformers.
Apparently, Paramount Pictures had a lot to be concerned about with this draft. The script, which is out there floating in the ether, and available if you know how to find it (you may not want to), is being described as "terrible", both in style and content.
Here are some of the key problem points with the script (as pointed out by screenrant).
- The script includes a character named Colonel Schrader, the head of a secret military operation run by an army nicknamed "The Foot" (get it?).
- Casey Jones and April O'Neil are now dating and in high school. The two have reached a crossroads, as Casey is an unambitious slacker, while April is becoming an intern for CBS. Casey is also described as being the protagonist of the film - not the turtles.
- The Turtles crack a variety of "updated" pop-culture jokes, making references to Kermit the Frog, cell phones, and the Kung Fu Panda movies (among other things).
- Casey and the Turtles eventually travel to Dimension X, where the four reptilian warriors discover they are members of a Turtle-like extraterrestrial race (and not mutants, as they previously believed).
Each page of the script is being called a misstep, as the story is chock full of inane juvenile humor, it turns April into a nagging poster girl ala Megan Fox, and it makes the turtles a secondary component to the teenage Casey. This new Ninja Turtles sets out to build a unqiue mythology unknown to fans, and its possible that some of these elements may be retained in future drafts.
Peter Laird, original co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, actually commented about this version of the script. This is what he had to say.
"Someone else alerted me to the existence of this script, and I just a few minutes ago finished reading it. If it is, in fact, the actual draft that was rejected and caused the production of the next TMNT movie to be pushed back to 2014 because the script was unsatisfactory, then I think all true TMNT fans should be grateful to the new "powers that be" that they did not allow this wretched thing to go any further. It could definitely be taken as a good sign if that is the case.
It reminds me of one of the reasons I am glad to not own the property anymore... because I don't have to tear what little hair I have left out while trying to fix junk like this."
The original script review and leak came from TMNTnotTANT, and its authenticity has not been confirmed by Paramount Pictures, but is certainly smelling like the real deal.
And now I leave you with this line of dialogue from the script.
"Kung Fu? What do we look like, cartoon Panda Bears? We're trained in Ninjutsu. And we don't just know it, we serve it for breakfast..."
At least you can sigh a quick breath of relief. This isn't the script going before cameras early next year. The question now is, "How much can they fix before its too late?"