The thought of Michael Bay developing a reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was something that had me feeling sick in my stomach. Did Bay not do enough damage to my childhood by bastardising The Transformers? What’s your problem, Michael? What did I ever do to you? Is it just because I didn’t really like Bad Boys II? Anyway, if I’m perfectly honest, the more I see of the Jonathan Liebesman-helmed (Bay is producing) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the more I’m intrigued. Could it be that the film won’t actually be that bad? Speaking to SuperheroHype, Liebesman has been bigging up the heroes-in-a-half-shell.
Liebesman began, “I think for me, the touchstones were April O’Neil, Shredder, the Turtles and Splinter. Make sure we see how they become Turtles. Make sure they’re mutants. Make sure there’s pizza.”
On the modern-tech-wizard of Donatello, he described the character, “I think he’s just your typical teenager. Well, maybe not typical, but he’s still a massive geek who lives in his basement and has the most powerful internet connection in all of New York City. You can’t tell in what you saw [footage had been earlier shown to SHH], but he has these Nintendo keypads that he’s rigged into this little miniature holographic thing. He’s totally geeked out and invented his own equipment. In my head, he’s got these solar powered sort of ninja oufit. It’s solar powered so it can power all the gear on his back. He has a whole bunch of staff.”
As well as the Turtles and Splinter, Shredder will also be a part-CGI character. Liebseman confirmed, “William Fichtner isn’t Shredder. He is Eric Sachs. Shredder is played by another actor. He’s not all CG. You see him without his armour on. When he’s in the armour, there’s an actor, but he’s been augmented. Like in ‘Iron Man,’ it’s CGI.”
On possible changes from the source material, he added, “They do become mutants because of Mutagen. For me, as a fan, it’s a very satisfying origin. We discussed, ‘Should we do the exact same Eastman thing?’ The problem is, it becomes very complicated. People who aren’t fans will just be like, ‘What the fuck is going on?’ There’s already so much complication in terms of Splinter being formed because he was Shredder’s nemesis who stole his girlfriend. It’s just that then you start opening a whole bunch of doors that became very complex to explore in this film.”
One of the cooler things to come out of the interview was that “we might even hear” some of the original theme music from the classic ’80s cartoon.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is released on 8th August.