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For the first time since 1993, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are making their return to the big screen in live action this summer. Produced by Michael Bay and directed by Jonathan Liebesman, the new movie promises to reintroduce the classic characters to a new generation, replacing foam rubber suits with fancy performance-capture technology. We have been patiently waiting for our first look at the new version of the turtles for months now, and tonight we finally got our first peek, as the premiere trailer was debuted during the Paramount Pictures presentation at CinemaCon.
The trailer begins with a camera soaring through skyscrapers and a voice over from Shredder (William Fichtner). He talks about how the city has become overrun with "crime, violence and fear," and how a once great city has been destroyed. We see shots of a tower on top of a skyscraper come crashing down and hooligans wearing masks firing off guns. Shredder talks about justice being restored and the need for heroes.
Down in a subway we see flashes of action as criminals are getting their asses handed to them by the turtles, though they are moving too fast for us to get a good look at them. April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is on the scene and we see her recording the action on her phone. The voice-over continues, but there are also flashes of Shredder out of costume talking with April, and shots of the legendary ooze that will eventually transform the titular heroes. Shredder then drops the biggest bomb of all and perhaps the movie’s biggest change in TMNT mythos: knowing that heroes are not born but rather created, Shredder actually worked with April’s dad to create the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The next shot has one of turtles (I couldn’t see the color of the mask) skiing down a mountain on his shell before slamming into a parked SUV and getting stuck to the side upside down (for comedic effect). The scene then switches to a rooftop where April is standing and is shocked when Leonardo (Pete Ploszek) jumps down and lands from seemingly out of nowhere. She turns around as though to run, but comes face to face with Michelangelo (Noel Fisher). The turtle quickly tries to calm her down by telling her that there is nothing to freak out about and that "it’s just a mask." He removes his disguise to reveal his face, and April faints.
Outside of the change in the origin story, the biggest reveal was the look of the turtles themselves. While the bodies looked fine, the thing that gives me pause is the look of their heads. While it’s obviously a challenge to find some kind of middle-point between real life turtles and humans, the design seems to be stuck in a weird middle point where it just looks a bit off. In addition to being out of proportion with their bodies, they are also a bit weirdly shaped and look… off.
So when will you be able to see this trailer for yourself? As we reported late last month, the preview will be making its theatrical debut in front of Captain America: The Winter Soldier next month, but stay tuned in the next two weeks for it to arrive online and get ready for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in theaters on August 8th.