The Platinum Dunes reboot of the beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise never got off to a good start. Michael Bay is a divisive lightning rod amongst film lovers, so his involvement was an immediate red flag. Bay then made things worse by telling people that the new film would change the essence of what the Turtles were, making them Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles instead of Mutants. This, obviously, did not sit well with fans.
It was a quick downward spiral from there, and since then the project has been delayed for “retooling.” After reading this script review from blog TMNT Not TANT, we can understand why. We also hope there’s some very serious "retooling" happening if this project is ever going to move forward.
While we’re hardly hardcore Turtles fans (we saw the movies and the cartoons and have dabbled in the comics), you don’t need a doctorate in Turtle-ology to see that this project was on the wrong path and guaranteed to anger fans.
The site has posted some choice snippets from the script, including the revelation that Shredder is now Schrader and some sort of military man (and the Foot are his “team” or something) and that Casey and April are teenagers in love with the dramatic complication of her moving to New York to follow her career and Casey wanting to stay local. The Heroes in a Halfshell almost seem like an afterthought. As the site mentions, this is eerily reminiscent of Transformers.
Worse than that is the actual dialogue on display in this draft, which is howl-inducingly terrible in some of the samples on the site. We’ll not even get into the crossover into “Dimension X” and the big revelation there.
Whether or not this was a final script or an early draft remains to be seen – but what is obvious is that it’s A, lousy, and B, at least a framework for the direction this project was headed. If it’s accurate, delaying this thing was in everyone’s best interest.
RoboCop Director Says Movie Is Hell
Meanwhile, director Jose Padilha is struggling on the set of his RoboCop remake according to news posted at Screen Crush.
The film was already struggling to overcome the departure of Hugh Laurie and a negative review of the script, and now the man behind the camera is expressing frustration at working within the studio system.
City of God director (and Padilha friend) Fernando Meirelles recently shared a conversation he’d had with the filmmaker. It’s a bit disheartening if you were hoping for good things from the RoboCop relaunch.
Meirelles tells a South American site:
“I talked to Jose Padilha for a week by phone. He will begin filming RoboCop. He is saying that it is the worst experience. For every 10 ideas he has, nine are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight. 'This is hell here,' he told me. 'The film will be good, but I never suffered so much and do not want to do it again.' He is bitter, but he’s a fighter.”
As Screen Crush points out, we have to take this with a grain of salt – first off, it’s from a secondary source and not Padilha directly. On top of that, it’s been translated from Portuguese into English.
That being said, we’re not particularly surprised by this revelation – working for the studios when you’re used to a certain amount of autonomy is always a sobering experience and it’s probably even more difficult when you’re handling a high-profile project like this one. We’re rooting for Padilha, though – if they’re going to go through with redoing RoboCop, we’d prefer it be good. Hopefully he can right the ship.