'TMNT' Co-Creator Peter Laird Not a Fan of Leaked New Movie Script
Turtlegate continues! Fans weren't thrilled when Paramount announced that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were getting a reboot by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes under the direction of Jonathan Leibesman. They were even less thrilled when word came that the TMNT would be aliens, not mutants, this time around, and it would in fact be called Ninja Turtles, and perhaps all of the bad press contributed to Paramount's decision to bump the movie back from Christmas 2013 to May 2014 and drastically cut the budget. The original script leaked online this week, and co-creator Peter Laird is not happy with it at all.
Laird posted a message to fans on his blog (via ComicBookMovie) commenting on the leaked script, which featured Casey Jones and April O'Neil as 18-year-old lovers, a trip to Dimension X, Krang, Bebop, Rocksteady, and a whole lot of other points that, frankly, sounded pretty terrible. Here's what Laird himself had to say about it:
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…I think the script that I read is so fundamentally flawed, and — more to the point — so NOT a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, that trying to make piecemeal changes to it in an effort to make it into something halfway decent is probably a fool’s errand. In my opinion, the thing should just be tossed out, deliberately forgotten, and the process of generating a new script really a new outline, then treatment, then script — should be started again. I have no insider knowledge of what’s going on with the movie, but from the bits and pieces that have slipped out, it seems like that may be exactly what is happening.
Yikes. Pretty harsh words, especially coming from the co-creator of the property. This script was obviously never supposed to leak online, but when the other TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman spoke about it recently, he said that "Paramount was supportive" of the changes to the mythology, drawing comparisons to how many times comic series go through different iterations over the years. But Laird doesn't seem pleased with the direction this one is heading. Here's what he said in regards to the alien aspect of the new film:
While we’re on the subject of this script… I have to say that while reading it, and especially reading the last twenty pages or so, I couldn’t help but think of the brouhaha which erupted a few months back when Michael Bay was heard to say that in the upcoming movie, the Turtles would be revealed to be “from an alien race”, and following that, all the mental gymnastics indulged in by people who wanted to parse his words and make it seem like “No, he didn’t REALLY say they were going to be ALIENS!”… and then this script makes it way out onto the Internet, and if it is legitimate, it’s painfully clear that YES, the Turtles WERE, in fact, going to be ALIENS.
So now that this huge backlash has come out against the script, we'll see if Paramount decides to stick to their guns and do some touch-ups or if they'll completely overhaul this story in order to appease fans before it heads into production. The leaked script skewed pretty young, so there's a chance the studio doesn't care about what the old diehard fans think because they could be reaching for a whole new younger generation, but we'll keep you posted as more on this arrives.