In our minds, one of the biggest question marks on the calendar this summer is the Michael Bay-produced, Jonathan Liebesman-directed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. Blending motion-capture effects work with an overload of Bayhem, it hasn’t exactly found a consistent tone in its trailers, and one has to wonder which age demographic a gritty, realistic take on talking turtles will actually appeal to. Still, it will be one of the more interesting blockbuster hopefuls of 2014, and I’m still intrigued by how this version will reinterpret the classic cartoon characters.
Now, new images from an upcoming book titled “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History” have hit the web. As you can imagine, there are a few shots from the upcoming film featured in this guide, including looks at intrepid journalist April O’Neil (Megan Fox), wise mentor Splinter (voiced by Tony Shalhoub) and the villainous Shredder (William Fichtner).
The jury’s still out on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but the crew working on this one doesn’t exactly give me hope. Keep in mind that Liebesman’s previous films include the plainly awful Battle: Los Angeles and Wrath of the Titans – movies with terrible stories that weren’t helped by lackluster direction. The first trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles contained some pretty cool turtle action, but it’s highly likely that everything outside of sheer action will deflate the movie, from Fox’s acting to some pretty generic-looking villains.
Of course, if the Shredder depicted in this book actually turns out looking half as cool on the big screen, the film will be well on its way to winning me over. We can thank Idle Hands for snagging the images; they also got a quote from Fox about her portrayal of O’Neil:
She grew up with a chip on her shoulder that eventually became a great asset, providing her the courage to become a little bit of a modern-day Joan of Arc.
Not sure if the fans would agree with that one, but it’s good to see that Fox is aiming high. The official synopsis for the remake reads:
The city needs heroes. Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and her wise-cracking cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) to save the city and unravel Shredder’s diabolical plan. Based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Characters Created by PETER LAIRD and KEVIN EASTMAN with a Screenplay by JOSH APPELBAUM & ANDRÉ NEMEC and EVAN DAUGHERTY, Producer MICHAEL BAY (the blockbuster Transformers franchise) and director JONATHAN LIEBESMAN (Wrath of the Titans) bring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the popular franchise that has captivated audiences of all ages for decades, into the 21st century.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arrives on August 8th.