Hollywood refuses to go back to the drawing board yet again. This time the titans of Hollywood are tearing at the childhoods of ’80s and ’90s kids everywhere by creating a new Ninja Turtles film set to premier in August.
One viewing of the teaser trailer will prove enough to see many issues with the film. Upon my first viewing of the video, I couldn’t get over the fact that Megan Fox will be taking on the role of reporter April O’Neil. For many fans, O’Neil is just as essential to the story as the mutated reptiles themselves. As usual with films based on source material, it seems that film makers either didn’t bother to study the original content or just decided to go against it without care. Changes as simple as April’s hair color are enough to set fans off.
Despite a few one-liners in the trailer, it seems the film has a grittier edge. TMNT really blew up when the 1980’s cartoon portrayed the turtles as campy and outrageous party dudes with a fondness of pizza and silly antics. The film may be too dark for fans of the franchise to enjoy.
A star studded cast including Will Arnett and Tony Shalhoub, the familiar names may not be enough. While Tony Shalhoub has proven to be a treasure with his work on Monk, the actor’s star may have faded too much for the mainstream audience to embrace. The same may be said for Whoopi Goldberg who also appears on the credits.
One of the things I always loved about the film adaptations of TMNT was the practical effects. The turtles were real people in suits and not computer generated images. The use of CGI may ruin the effect. To me, it seemed more realistic than having computer generated turtles. Modern technology may play a hand in giving the adolescent turtles more astonishing abilities, overuse has proven to turn off the masses (as seen in Green Lantern).
Fans of the original content may argue that the comic itself was grittier than the films and cartoons of the past. This is true. However, the franchise has seen lasting success due to the family friendly nature of the content. In addition, the original comic was a parody of comic book trends in the 1980’s.
Perhaps the intent of the film is to get back to basics and lean more toward the original comic books. Will enough fans embrace this very idea and forget about the other interpretations? It seems unlikely that this film will be much like any adaptation we’ve seen before.
Let us hope that film makers are intending to be more true to the source material and not just create their own twist on things. The franchise may never be the same come August when the film debuts in theaters. As a fan, I am curious to see what they’ve come up with.