Paramount Pictures released its new trailer for the upcoming live-action reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise today. The new trailer features a lot more action beats and more reveals of the Turtles, their mutant rat master Splinter, and their arch-nemesis Shredder. The newest trailer is available in the video player below.
The movie will be the first live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie released since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III in 1993. The latter aforementioned film only grossed $42 million at the domestic box office, compared to the $135 million domestic take in 1990 for the original live-action film. The last time the heroes in a half shell were in theaters was in the IMAGI feature-length computer-generated animated film in 2007, titled TMNT. TMNT only managed about $54 million domestically and $95.6 million worldwide.
The new live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that received a trailer today is a straight reboot of the franchise. The new Shredder is now played by William Fichtner. For the turtles and Splinter, producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman utilized live performance captured actors on the set to perform the physical actions of the characters. In addition, it appears that alternate celebrity actors were brought in to provide the voices. So far, Paramount has confirmed that Johnny Knoxville is voicing Leonardo, and Tony Shaloub is voicing Splinter. For the human side of the cast, Megan Fox plays the Ninja Turtles’ longtime companion April O’Neil. Will Arnett co-stars as April’s witty cameraman Vern Fenwick, who first appeared in the 1980s animated series.
According to Paramount’s official synopsis, Shredder and the Foot Clan control all of New York City, including the police department and politicians. The four Ninja Turtle brothers then rise from the sewers to take back the city with the help of April and Vern. Based on the trailer, Shredder has gone from being a disgraced Japanese ninjitsu practitioner named Oroku Saki to a Caucasian, American white-collar criminal. While Michael Bay is not the director of the film, it easily looks like he could be the one behind the camera. The trailer features an almost trademark bay style with the action and color palette. This new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie looks like a spiritual brother of the Transformers movies Bay directed.
One interesting line in the trailer is when Arnett’s Vern asks if the Ninja Turtles are aliens. Fox’s April O’Neil bluntly answers, “No, that’s stupid, they’re turtles.” This line is particularly noteworthy because Michael Bay, at the 2012 Nickelodeon Upfronts, announced that the Ninja Turtles in the movie would not be mutants but actually members of an “alien race.” He specifically said, “When you see this movie, kids are going to believe one day that these turtles actually do exist when we are done with this movie. These turtles are from an alien race, and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable.” The line about making the Ninja Turtles members of an alien race got the fan community in an uproar, so much so that Bay had to quell the anger by writing a response on Shoot for the Edit. Perhaps Bay, Liebesman and the writers are giving a wink or having a go at fans. That aside, none of the crew members have flat out denied that the early script storyline of the alien race element has been changed. However, the film is being released with the term “mutants” in the title.
The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie will hit theaters on August 8. Until that time, fans can enjoy the new trailer released for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as promotion will ramp up in the coming months.
By Jeffrey Harris