'TMNT' Co-Creator Peter Laird Not a Fan of Leaked New Movie Script

August 30, 2012
Source: Peter Laird

Peter Laird

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.

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  • Fig
    i vote for overhaul...
  • That's the problem. Paramount simply doesnt care about the old timers the 20-30 year olds who grew up reading the comics and watched the TV show. The one thing I can say in defense of the changes, in 1987 when the original toon premiered can you remember the comic fans loathed with a passion? I say you because I was only a few months old. Playmates didnt care about the comic fans they wanted to sell toys, and now Paramount doesnt care about the Dick Wolf cartoon fans or the comic fans because they are trying to reach a new audience and of course toys are to be sold here folks. I may not like the changes but I'm not going to argue over them because I cannot change them.
    • Dan
      Dick Wolf cartoon fans? There was a Law & Order cartoon?
      • Sammy Lane
        Wait!!??There is a LAW AND ORDER toyline??Holey crap!!Does it come with "Crime Scene" play set with a real theme show sound effect bottom??I want the Mike Logan action figure!Wahoo!!I know what I want this year for Christmas now!
  • TheRagingCajun
    Other than Casey Jones and April being 18 year old lovers, i would have to say Bebop and Rocksteady would be nice to have! A trip to Dimension X and a nice Krang could be awesome if correctly done. But frankly, i think no matter what the script looks like, if Bay is at the helm of this thing, it's doomed from the get-go. Micheal Bay is one of the worst directors out there right now, i hate his pointless, mindless movies as they have nothing to offer other than explosions left and right. I think he flat out sucks donkey balls and should be dipped in ooze. Head first.
    • Yep, Bay is going to ruin it. He is even trying to cover his ass now by releasing crap saying he had no involvement in the script yet he was the one who officially revealed the turtles were going to be aliens so he obviously was in full support of that script. Personally i want this film to bomb just to ruin Bay's career before he moves onto Pokemon or some other childhood tv show i used to watch.
      • Except Bay has never been "at the helm" he's a producer only.
        • TheRagingCajun
          Sure, he doesn't call any shots what-so-ever. He's probably the trailer lot waterboy too.... Ur a dumbass.
      • TheRagingCajun
        LOL!!! Amen to that brother! BOMB BABY BOMB!!!!
    Its Time.
    • grimjob
      Haha! YESS!
    • LosZombies
  • JL
    They should have just turned "Turtles Forever" in to movie instead...
  • Who do these people think they are that they can destroy a childhood favorite cartoon? Oh wait I forgot michael bay is attached to this.
  • superfan
    Remember about two or three years ago when, right here on, it was reported that this movie would be a Dark Knight-esque movie with a darker look on the origin story and have wicked sweet mutation scenes. THAT is the movie I want to see not another lame alien story from that queer bait Michael Bay.
    • The 'Mutation scenes' were in the leaked script and were pretty much revealing Colonel Schrader to be an alien who grows blades from his body. Krang growing two more arms in the final battle. The turtles being mutants in the a government project. You will not see a Dark Knight esque movie. If anything refer to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film which was the Dark Knight level of darkness of its time.
      • Dan
        The Turtles are not mutants in the a government project. I read the script. They are aliens. They only think they are mutants because Splinter was lying to them.
  • Jay
    They should just scrap the whole thing. Director and all. Start a completely new direction. Hire Guillermo del Toro direct and write it with the help of the original creators.
    • axalon
      "Hire Guillermo del Toro direct" My god...this is definitely the best idea I've heard all week.
  • BinaryChaos
    I think they are following George Lucas' methodology which is appeal to the kids and forget the fans/people that made them what they are today. I wouldn't be surprised if Paramount says we have a solid story and the hardcore fans will be dragged by their kids to the theatres. I personally think they are missing the idea behind these characters and what made them so special to people to begin with now they are just typical aliens from outer space that quickly became defenders of their new home planet. Seriously, how many times have people heard that story already? I think for them they want to open up all kind of possible ideas or plots for future sequels at the expense of the origins of these characters. All I can say is it'll be nice to see them back on screen again.
    • The thing that sux is the parents pay for the tickets an merchandise an if they just re-wrap it an re-invent it for kids now it just shows their lack of balls an creativity to come up with an gamble on something new. An makes me not want to spend a dime or my time. If they can't cater to us who grew up an enjoyed the TMNT why bother?
    • CowabungaCarl55
      I'm a kid and I hate the sound of this movie. Bay ruined Transformers and now he's ruining our heroes in a half-shell :(
  • Josh
    ya cuz the other TMNT movies were written so well....... akk
    • Undy
      better than the amazing spitey man
  • Richie G
    The original writers still seem to have a lot of passion for their creation... so why aren't they writing the script?
    • because they're not allowed
      • Richie G
        I don't mean 'why don't they take it upon themselves', I mean why doesn't Bay hire them
        • mxr5150
          Because he has too many people [execs] around him telling him he's brilliant, so in his mind he doesn't need help. It's sad.
  • wy
    If only the fan community of the Doom video game had been able to defend the original Idea from the game, and not let that adapted crap of a story that made it to the movie, as these guys from the TMNT community have done, maybe the Doom movie wouldnt have been so bad, just as other lame video game to movie adaptations have been
  • Platinum Dunes Spells it all, If the first two 80's movies were ok an Laird hates the new 1 we're not screw'd the studio is.
  • TheGoodMovieAddict
    I'm a fan, a die hard fan of Michael Bay and I am willing to give him the chance to "Impress Me" as a movie addict. He held up my expectations with the Transformers franchise (which had all been almost extinct). I remember, hell I'm 35. I watched those cartoons faithfully, probably just like you. But remember how hollywood has jacked up GI JOE. As many military movies that Bay has under his belt, why the hell didn't he do that one since it seems we don't trust him with our "heroes in a half shell". I trust him until he proves otherwise.
    • TheGoodMovieAddict
      Sad to see a page full of Hataz. Your upset with him while he's counting his Millions. Write a better script, publish it, copywrite it and SHUT UP!!!!
  • If I could say what I know about this film and where the truth lies, you'd all be blown away. This film will be fine. It will shock and amaze fans at how much love has gone into it. It's not based on the cartoon, it's based on the original comics and there's a lot here that fans of those comics will love. It does NOT go wildly off track from the source material like you're all being lead to believe by people who have 5th hand information.
    • Ya but if Laird doesn't even like the script , an these things are supposed to be from space now wtf? I could see dimension X or something But the original story was fine. I guess we'll all wait an see
      • I know this is a late reply but that's not the fact at all. That script is gone and it's far more traditional than you know.
    • Undy
      so er, you are Micael's lover?
  • Buy a clue
    I can't believe they are still trying to use this script. You would think the massive fan backlash from the rumor that they would be aliens would have gotten through to Paramount, but apparently they aren't that f'ing smart. Someone cancel this piece of crap before I'm forced to sit through commercials for it.
  • JIM
  • FantomRemix
    I vow! if they suck this movie up i will go onto get the funding and reboot the movie the right way!
  • in all truth there are many different takes on the origins and where the stories go. for instance I never really liked monalisa or Venus.... actually it was the vampires and the power ranger type thing going on with that series I didn't like. as long as they don't butcher the charicture of the charictures It could be a fun new spin on the idea. but as we have certain styles and stories we like and are going to be partial to the ones we related to best.
  • Underclass Underdog
    I am currently working on my own turtles reboot ) original fans will be more than happy, perhaps they could pay me instead of Bay, I'll do it for a quarter of the price.




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