Is it from the eighties? Do you have fond memories of it? If so, chances are Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes is trying to screw it up. They made their way through your horror favorites already, remaking “Nightmare On Elm Street,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday The 13th” with the same beer commercial aesthetic, and now they’ve decided to branch out from the horror genre. First it was the dubious-sounding Hasbro-branded “Ouija” movie that still hasn’t found a home. And now, it’s the goddamned “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” in the hands of Jonathan Liebesman.
The Turtles, which were created in 1984 as a parody of more hard-edged modern comics, eventually spawned a kiddie-friendly animated series as well as three movies, one respectable, one much lighter, and one largely forgotten. The characters have undergone significant multimedia reboots over the last few years, most notably in 2007’s animated “TMNT,” but none of them have stuck. Paramount and Nickelodeon thought they had the magic recipie for Turtle Power when they teamed to buy the rights to the characters for $60 million, but it isn’t until now that they’ve had a completed script for a new live-action version, courtesy of “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” screenwriters Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec.
Liebesman, who previously worked with Platinum Dunes on the obviously completely necessary “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning,” would make this his followup to March’s release of “Wrath Of The Titans.” Liebesman is also attached to a massive two-film saga about Julius Caesar at Warner Bros., but in most years, one film from Liebesman is enough. The former FX wizard started young with “Darkness Falls,” a harbinger of what was to come, as he would repeatedly turn out schlocky, downmarket genre fare, culminating in last year’s unwatchable “Battle: Los Angeles.” A Caesar film loosely compared to “Patton” sounds intriguing, but a Nickelodeon-backed attempt to sell more toys sounds more his speed. The Wrap reports Liebesman was one of three directors in contention for the job, but given that Liebesman has a relationship with PD (he was originally attached to direct “Friday The 13th” as well), they were probably just jerking those other two guys around.