Movies

BREAKING: Michael Bay’s Non-Teenage Alien Ninja-Like Quasi-Turtles Movie Might Not Have Been Very Good

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As many of you are aware, the script for Michael Bay’s original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie appeared to leak earlier this week, like Bumblebee all over John Turturro’s face. You know, the one where the Turtles were aliens, and was so bad that Paramount demanded a new script — which is pretty fucking telling when Paramount approved a Transformers script which included the line “I am standing under the enemy’s scrotum.” At first I didn’t believe the script was real — I swear, it seemed to much like a parody of Michael Bay adaptations to be, like you guys would enter during a Michael Bay-ize it contest — but Michael Bay has confirmed the script was real, just an older one, discarded well before the one where the Turtles were aliens that pissed everyone off earlier this year.

This script was dated January 2012, and the Turtles are definitely aliens in it, so… yeah.

I’ve waited to report this mostly because I’ve been trying to think of some blisteringly hilarious take on the material, but I haven’t been able to. Maybe it’s because I’m burned out, maybe it’s because I’ve never been funny (saved you guys the trouble of pointing that option out) or maybe because it’s just so fucking terrible I can’t even joke about. Not that TMNT is serious business, but there’s a certain point in which Michael Bay turns from a largely successful idiot who hates all aspects of storytelling that don’t involve explosions, the U.S. military, or shots of models’ asses, and becomes a semi-sentient void which takes ideas even as ludicrous as teenage mutant ninja turtles and inserts them into the dumbest, tritest, least imaginative “entertainment” possible. 
This is that point.
Now, FilmDrunk has several portions of the screenplay, which I recommend you read if you 1) hate yourself or 2) want to feel more justified in hating Michael Bay. But here’s the highlight reel:
? The main character is not any of the Turtles, but Casey Jones.
? Casey Jones is not a sporting goods-loving vigilante, but a hockey-loving teen who used to date April O’Neil and works in a furniture store who stumbles upon a secret government installation which are keeping alien turtle-like beings. This sounds familiar at all?
? Shredder is now an evil military commander named Col. Schraeder. I swear I’m not making this up. 
? The Non-Turtles are from Dimension X, and there’s a prophecy that they’re going to stop war there and on Earth.
So it’s pretty much a carbon-copy of Transformers, but… worse, somehow. That kind of awfulness is astounding. I’m sorry I can’t be funny about this, but I’m just so mesmerized by Bay’s terribleness that I can’t think of anything to say. Seriously, go to FilmDrunk. You won’t be sorry. Unless you’re a TMNT fan, in which case yeah, you’ll probably be pretty sorry. At least the new script can’t possibly be any worse… maybe?

About Author

Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.