Disturbing Details On The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot Screenplay

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series cast
(Image credit: Group W Productions)

Reboots typically have a bad reputation as features made solely to capitalize on an existing—and often once popular—property with no care or concern about what truly made the original material worthwhile. The past few months have seen fan outcry over the new Total Recall and the proposed RoboCop reboot, but neither of these movie-lover outbursts came compared to the unrelenting nerd rage Michael Bay kicked off with word that his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot would turn the beloved characters into something "edgy" and new, namely aliens.

Thankfully, all the wrath from fanboys and fangirls may have played a part in Paramount putting the production on an "indefinite" pause, bumping its release date to sometime in May 2014. Script problems were sited for the cause of the delay, and thanks to the blog TMNT, NOT TANT, we may now how some idea what those issues were. From the looks of it, there are many.

This screenplay reviewed here begins in small town, America, where the badass vigilante Casey Jones—played by Elias Koteas in the 1990 movie—is a high school hockey player whose girlfriend April nags him about moving with her to New York City, where she has an internship at CBS. (No mention is made about a preference for yellow jumpsuits.) While working a night job as a security guard of a factory, he stumbles across the turtles, who explain they evolved because of a chemical spill. Casey's response follows:

But before your rejoice that the boys are still mutants, know that later in the screenplay they discover that they are not only members of a special race of turtles (read: aliens) but that they are destined to be special warriors, who presumably will fight Colonel Schrader. That's not a typo. Colonel Schrader is the head of a military group known as The Foot. But for all its talk of fate and prophecy, it appears teenaged Casey Jones is actually the protagonist of the film, and by this anonymous blogger's account, not a terribly intriguing one at that.

In short, despite Bay's claims that the turtles would be "exactly the same" as the ones many of us loved as kids, they are now aliens destined to presumably fight a great evil in the form of Colonel Schrader. There's no mention made of their sensei and father figure Splinter at all. (I guess rat aliens aren't edgy?) And Casey Jones and April O'Neil are two bickering high school sweethearts. But beyond all this, it seems they've also swapped the personalities of the turtles, attempting to make the typically brooding Raphael into the jokester Michelangelo was known as, and not much of one at that.

For those doubting that this could possibly be a real script that would ever be considered for production, consider that Paramount demanded the blog pull the posted download of the screenplay.

Kristy Puchko

Staff writer at CinemaBlend.