Time now for another episode of PARAMOUNT’S GOT PROBLEMS. Deadline is that the troubled studio, reeling from the double delay of G.I. JOE: RETALIATION and WORLD WAR Z, has put the kibosh on Michael Bay’s proposed TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES reboot.
Here’s the scoop:
The issue is said to be the script. Paramount has delayed several big movies from this year to 2013, including G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Brad Pitt’s World War Z, leaving it with a spotty pipeline for the current year. Now it has halted work on its planned holiday movie for 2013, temporarily laying off preproduction staff and informing those prepping the film that the work stoppage is "indefinite," according to sources. Another source close to the production says the movie has been pushed by ten weeks.
Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes is producing and Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) is set to direct from a script by Kevin Eastman and Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec. Other key players include Bourne franchise line producer Denis Stewart and second-unit director Dan Bradley (Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol).
The move comes as analysts have been knocking Viacom's Nickelodeon division for lower ratings. The Ninja Turtles project, a joint Paramount-Nickelodeon production, was eyed as a chance to bolster Nickelodeon as well as reboot a family film franchise. The studio had paid a hefty sum for rights to the property, which had been the basis for three hit movies for New Line Cinema in the 1990s.
Badass Digest is saying the script was rotten and I’m apt to believe them. Bay and company thought dropping the TEENAGE MUTANT from the title and making the group aliens from a world full of giant turtles was a GOOD idea. Nobody, especially fans of the franchise, want to see that.
The big question here is “When the hell is Paramount going to get their act together?”. I mean, seriously, Disney canned Rich Ross for the epic failure of JOHN CARTER and that was just one movie. The TMNT cancellation marks the third major faux-pas for Paramount in less than two months (fifth if you count the box failures of A THOUSAND WORDS and THE DICTATOR) and they’ve got nothing of significance hitting theaters till PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 rolls into theaters this October. How the entire regime hasn’t been fired and been replaced my competent suits is beyond me.