TV, Film, and Entertainment News Daily

TMNT Fans, Co-Creator Peter Laird Trash Leaked Ninja Turtles Script

The news in June that Paramount Pictures had shut down production of the Michael Bay-produced Ninja Turtles film pleased a lot of fans, as diehards weren’t happy with the Turtles’ revised alien origins or the removal of “Teenage” and “Mutant” from the title.

Their displeasure was seemingly confirmed last week when a website called TMNT Not TANT posted the reboot’s original script, which has since been removed following a cease-and-desist letter from the studio. No matter, though, as Latino Review offered its own review of the draft, describing it as “half-good and half absolutely horrible, with the first act-and-a-half delivering what Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans want: awesome Turtle action and wisecracks. What comes after, well, it’s Midichlorian-level nonsense.” Follow the link to check out their 12-minute video review.

Latino Review divulges that 18-year-old Casey Jones discovers the grown Turtles in a secret lab in Michigan. Some impressive-sounding action scenes lead into a quick origin reveal that they were normal turtles exposed to ooze, trained by Splinter in the sewers and named after famous artists. Splinter, Bebop and Rocksteady all also make appearances. The FOOT Clan work with Colonel Schrader, who turns into Shredder. After being reunited with Splinter, their master reveals that they’re all from Dimension X, which sometimes comes into contact with ours and causes trouble. Dimension X then crosses over and we see all kinds of craziness, including an old Turtle Warrior, the Ninja Turtles’ parents, Krang and the Technodrome. From there it gets complex, as the Turtles learn about Dimension X’s political unrest and their own war-stopping destiny.

The script has been slammed all over the Internet, which is interesting because TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman praised the film just last month. His former collaborator Peter Laird doesn’t agree, however, as he explained on his blog that, “Someone else alerted me to the existence of this script, and I just a few minutes ago finished reading it. If it is, in fact, the actual draft that was rejected and caused the production of the next TMNT movie to be pushed back to 2014 because the script was unsatisfactory, then I think all true TMNT fans should be grateful to the new ‘powers that be’ that they did not allow this wretched thing to go any further. It could definitely be taken as a good sign if that is the case.”

You’ll note that he wasn’t sure whether the script reviewed was the actual, intended shooting script or not, something that would be difficult to pin down anyway. Further down, he explained that the script he read would need a complete rewrite:

I think the script that I read is so fundamentally flawed, and — more to the point — so NOT a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, that trying to make piecemeal changes to it in an effort to make it into something halfway decent is probably a fool’s errand.

In my opinion, the thing should just be tossed out, deliberately forgotten, and the process of generating a new script — really a new outline, then treatment, then script — should be started again. I have no insider knowledge of what’s going on with the movie, but from the bits and pieces that have slipped out, it seems like that may be exactly what is happening.

While we’re on the subject of this script… I have to say that while reading it, and especially reading the last twenty pages or so, I couldn’t help but think of the brouhaha which erupted a few months back when Michael Bay was heard to say that in the upcoming movie, the Turtles would be revealed to be “from an alien race”, and following that, all the mental gymnastics indulged in by people who wanted to parse his words and make it seem like “No, he didn’t REALLY say they were going to be ALIENS!”… and then this script makes it way out onto the Internet, and if it is legitimate, it’s painfully clear that YES, the Turtles WERE, in fact, going to be ALIENS.

We probably won’t know the real reason why Paramount delayed the film. Perhaps fan outcry really did the trick, perhaps the studio just didn’t like the script or maybe the whole thing was a budget nightmare. Whatever the case may be, it sounds like it’ll make one hell of an interesting story when all is said and done.


  • Jmralls2001

    How could they have been “normal turtles exposed to ooze,” and also have been from Dimension X?

  • Dennis25

    Peter Laird needs to definately be involved in the real TMNT movie which is going to bev made sooner or later with directors credit and all just because if nothibg else Peter or Mr. Laird breings the brains and the logic to the turtle stories not all this other Alien mess that want to suggest that there are other walking talking creatures out there like the turtles its TOO CLICHE for crying out loud!!! like reading the first TMNT comics they were and are timeless classics which I cant even get my hand on one because they sell out too fast so from my understanding those stories identified and zeroed in on the best and most relevent aspects of the TMNT even with its dark look the dark look is not just (Oh yeah were gonna make the movie dark) turning off the lights but its the mood of the film the themes the emotions tooken time to have focused on which causes audiences to relate something as small as seeing a TMNT cry will get you invested into him not throwing in a thousand extras whom happen to be from another planet there is no room for that kind of sence to be explaned in a 1hr 30 minute movie unless the film zeros in on those characters nwith the movie not being called TMNT nor being about the TMNT because other than that hollywood’s Bay is piggyback ridding his love of 80’s influenced pop culture down our mouths 

  • DocSeptimus

    Dude paragraph breaks. Paragraph. Breaks.

  • Dennis25

    I am so greatful and appreciative for the fact that they(Bay & whomever else) put a stop to their idea of a TMNT movie because the real TMNT movie has got potential so much potential if done right so how do you do it right well you study what works the most in keeping the TMNT relevent which is its first 4 issue comic books as well as its 1st Movie which by the way was independently produced and still remains the most interesting unique, loved and talked about TMNT movie of its catalogue. Explore the different aspects of the Turtles personalities and get it right for example. Ralpheal is the most human of them all in which he doesnt necissarily say he wants to be human his best friend is Casey Jones and Raph enjoys exploring the human world more than being around his brothers all day and night in the sewers. Mike is presumed to be the youngest of them all whom is happy, carefree as long as there is pizza envolved, in which case he does like to share but he is the least effected Turtle of his imtrapment circumstance, its like you and your family of brothers being quarentined because you have something no one else has. The refreshing aspect is you never miss what you’ve never had such as the desire for intimate human contact for effection this interms should in my opinion strenghten their brother hood making them closer and more understanding of each other I would as a director also mix them up a bit to show how their personalities play off one another such as the Samurai Leonardo, and the fun and carefree Mike or even a story of Mike upseting Leo in which Leo fires off on the childish and loveable Mike causing Mike to cry angering the quick tempered Rapheal to play the deffender of Mike annd argue with as well as challenge Leo to rough blood splattering fighting when the intellectual of the bunch comes home from another part of the sewer in which he explored for artifacts, intervenes on an intellectual level in which all of the Turtles respectfully listen to him as they know Donatello remains nutral in their brotherly wars of disagreements and frustration for Donatello is the smartest book wise of them all. Donny was the first turtle to realize his hopeless condition of being 1 of only 4 particular unique creatures in which splinter saw this and thought it was sad so to cheer up Donnie, Splinter awoke him in the middle of the night while the other Turtles were still sleeping and took him to a ruined open book and taught Donnie how to read, in which Donnie looks back at Splinter with a new found hope and purpose of seeking knowledge and exploring books. this is a good example of character depth. NOT DIMENSION X  

  • Lewis4510

    Some punctuation would be nice too.

  • Fury

    more like: Dude, coherent sentences.

  • Akkadiannumen

    Sounds like an expensive movie. That’s probably the main reason (combined with the rest) why they delayed it.

  • AdamH12110

    Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like we just got a TMNT revival and don’t really need another one.  I know it was back in 2003, but it doesn’t really feel like it was all that long ago to me.

  • Andrew Breneman

    They replaced “Alien” with a vague reference to “Ooze”. He’s saying it’s obvious that’s what they did, and it is.

  • Norman Jeter

     PLEASE!!!!!! STOP!!! It hurts my brain to read your long diatribes with little punctuation, missed pauses, and useless rambling. It’s got more punctuation than your first one, slightly less spelling errors, but STILL hurts to read. You do make some good points. Once I Started inserting pauses where sentences should end, it started making a little more sense. The problem is, NOONE’S going to read it because there is no reason to torture one’s self to glean a nugget of good info from an otherwise long useless post.

    As for Dimension X, if you were a fan of the cartoon growing up, Dimension X / Krang / Technodome, all played a HUGE role in the series. Also the origins of the TNMT, while never a possibility that they were aliens, seems a little mixed up from Cartoon series to the Big Screen. According to the cartoon (and I assume the Comic) Splinter was human before he tracked into the mutagen to rescue the turtles, because the last thing he touched before he touched the mutagen was a rat, he morphed into the Rat-Splinter (I can’t remember his name pre-mutagen) and the turtles morphed into humanoids because the last thing they were near before climbing into the mutagen was a human. Whereas in the big-screen version splinter was the pet rat of the Japanese guy who learned Martial Arts by imitating his master? Then he, somehow, managed to make his way to New York and ended up in the sewers  where he encountered the Mutagen along with the turtles and they all morphed to humanoids..

    As far as story-lines go, and plot histories are concerned, the first is more easily accepted than the second. I really hope they go back to the Cartoon origin story as that one was easier to go along with.

  • Michael J

    Ooze….Alien turtles…who are found in a secret lab…the Ninja Turtles parents?…Thank the comic book Gods and the all of the fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.This movie was destined for failure. 

  • Christopher Douglas

    Pretty spot on, man. Oh & he was only a human in the cartoon. Other than that, on all the other mediums, he was just a pet rat.

  • Norman Jeter

     ahh ok.. I never got to the comic books. My big TMNT medium, growing up, was the cartoon.  Everyday, WPTY 3:30CST. So in the comic book medium he was a pet rat as well? That explains a lot of the confusion away as to where they came up with that for the big screen movie. I do think I like the cartoon explanation a little better though. Like I said, it was a lot easier to digest a human, already knowing martial arts, turning into the rat splinter, VS. a pet rat (mimicking his owner) turning into a humanoid, learning to talk, developing higher brain functions, teaching himself to read, and MASTERING martial arts, and then teaching the turtles all of the above.

  • Dilbo

     Splinter tells them that they were mutated from the ooze, but in actuality the turtles and Splinter are creatures from Dimension X.

  • sandwich eater

    Oh my god.  Col. Schrader?  That is by far the worst change.  I suppose they did this so they could cast a white man as the Shredder; I mean having a white guy playing a dude named Oroku Saki is beyond ridiculous (I remember something like this happened in the show Heroes before I quit watching it).

    They need to get Michael Bay away from this as fast as possible. I can’t believe someone could turn out such a terrible script.  I mean it’s not that hard there are hundreds of TMNT comics to adapt, all they had to do was pick a story arc and follow it.  Then they’d just have to include an origin flashback and then they’re done.

    I am a huge TMNT fan, and I would rather there be no movie than one as awful as this.

  • David Fullam

    Give Eastman his royalty check and of course he will praise crap like this. He’s all about the benjamins.

  • beane2099

    Rocksteady, Beebop, Krang and Dimension X? Yes.  Colonel Schrader and all that other crap?   Hells no. 

  • Christopher Douglas

    Agreed. The human take made waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more sense.

  • momaw

    Splinter was a mutated rat in the original comic, not a mutated human.

  • Norman Jeter

     We’ve established that… Several posts back.. now move on to where we are all agreeing that the mutated human version of the storyline made more sense and was easier to accept.