Paramount took the stage at CinemaCon this year, where in addition to showcasing the upcoming Transformers 4, they showed a brief teaser of the Michael Bay production of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
This teaser gave us a little information on the film to discuss while we waited for the drop of the trailer, and after some debate, rumors, and anticipation, that moment is finally here. The trailer has been released online, giving us our first real look at the Ninja Turtles, Shredder, and more of April O’ Neil.
A short but interesting look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with some key plot points revealed that are sure to cause some fan discussions, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
First off, the main men themselves. The group is comprised of relative unknowns, outside of Noel Fischer who currently appears as Mickey in Shameless and who plays Michelangelo, the orange masked nunchakus master. Joining him in red with sai in hand is Smallville’s Aquaman Alan Ritchson (Blue Mountain State, Hunger Games: Catching Fire) as Raphael, donning the blue mask and wielding two ninjaken swords is Pete Ploszek as Leonardo, and of course, in purple and carrying a big ass bo staff is Donatello played by Jeremy Howard.
Of course the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would just be pizza consuming sewer loiterers if not for their master, Splinter. Stepping into the iconic rat’s role is none other than Danny Woodburn. One of those actors that you might not recognize the name but the moment you see him you think, “Oh he was on Passions!” Okay, that might just be me, but Woodburn is an actor who has made his way around Hollywood. It appears as if the legacy of Splinter is in good hands.
One of the most contentious aspects of the film, outside of Michael Bay’s involvement and his desire to change the title to just Ninja Turtles and make the turtles origins alien-based, is the casting of Megan Fox as April O’Neil. There are many old school fans who can’t think of April O’Neil without first imagining Judith Hoag, the first woman to play a live action Ms. O’Neil, but I suppose it isn’t fair to dismiss a film solely based on one casting decision (although there are plenty who have their panties in a bunch over the casting of Human Torch in the new Fantastic Four).
However, those fanboys/girls who were hoping for a true to the comics story might want to check their blood pressure with this new bit of news. Those who were in attendance at CinemaCon were treated to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teaser trailer, and it appears as if there is a rather major change in the origin story. No longer does April O’Neil just happen to meet up with the turtles in a half shell as she went about her business as a news reporter, accompanied by her cameraman Vernon Fenwick (played by Will Arnett). Oh no, in today’s day and age in which apparently nothing can happen by chance, April O’Neil’s father and Shredder together played a part in the creation of the Ninja Turtles. How that happens remains to be seen, but I believe it will be a hard sell.
If nothing else, there’s the assurance that Shredder will always be a badass, no matter what. Being played by William Fichtner, chances of that not being true in this new movie are slim. Add in Whoopi Goldberg as Bernadette Thompson and former SNL cast member Abby Elliot as Irma Langinstein and this new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles holds some promise of being an entertaining evening at the movies.
While often being referred to as a Michael Bay picture, this reboot is actually helmed by Johnathan Liebesman. While only his sixth full length feature behind the camera, Liebesman is no stranger to the (attempted) blockbuster genre, previously having directed both Wrath of the Titans and Battle: Los Angeles. No doubt, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is his most anticipated film to date.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will arrive in theaters on August 8.
Images: IDW, New Line Cinema, Walt Disney Television