After months and months of waiting, the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie will finally hit the web on Thursday. While we still need to wait a little while longer to see the footage with our own eyes, many people from various media outlets had the opportunity to get an early glimpse of the teaser at CinemaCon yesterday. They've all reported on what they saw, and they've each pointed out one very important thing: the Ninja Turtles' origin story has a new twist to it. Needless to say, you shouldn't proceed if you don't want spoilers.
The TMNT franchise has had quite a few different origin stories over the years. From the original Mirage comics to the current animated series on Nickelodeon, there are always slight changes made here and there to the key characters or the relationships between them. While a movie that's a blatant and well-done rehash of the original story would be awesome to watch on the big screen, we all know a reboot often strives to sprinkle its own creative changes throughout. In this movie's case, it turns out the Ninja Turtles are created by April O'Neil's dad and Shredder. I'm sure this upsets some of you out there, so I'll give you a minute to vent before I say why I think this premise has potential.
Got that out of your system? Okay, great. First and foremost, this isn't the first time April's father would be linked to the ooze. In the most recent comic (by IDW Publishing), it was revealed that April's dad previously worked with Baxter Stockman at Stockgen. What were they testing, you ask? Ooze, of course! While that only gives him a loose connection to the dudes in that story (and is really there for a greater emotional connection to April), the point is it's not a totally new idea that he'd have a link to their origin. It's also worth noting that Splinter wasn't spotted in the teaser, and these kind of experiments often include rodents, right? Could it be possible that April's father is in fact Splinter in this new cinematic universe? It's not that far-fetched considering the premise, especially when considering Karai is Splinter's daughter in the latest TV series. This is of course pure speculation, but I can't help but wonder, you know? If true, that would give April an even stronger connection to the team -- one that has the potential to be much deeper than just the interest of a curious reporter.
Shredder working with April's dad to create the Turtles is a pretty new concept. In the teaser, Shredder says he and Mr. O'Neil created the mutants because the city needs heroes. New York City has a major crime problem and Shredder states they were created to help put an end to it. On the surface, it seems like this would make him a good guy, but come on, this is the freaking Shredder we're talking about and no noble hero walks around in that kind of armor (details have been leaked and it apparently has a crazy amount of blades). Making him an uneasy ally is cool if the situation calls for it, but I can't see them making the franchise's iconic villain a legitimate good guy.
Maybe he sincerely believes in protecting the innocent and helped create the team to combat crime, but it's blatantly obvious there's another agenda at play here. Were they really made to even the odds against the Utroms? The old script (which they claim was completely scrapped) certainly didn't shy away from aliens, and an older synopsis on IMDB (no idea how legit it was) said the plot dealt with an alien invasion. Or was making the Turtles just a step towards perfecting the ooze? Shredder has always been about power and order, and he certainly has never turned his back on having new kinds of weaponry under his control. Could he be testing the ooze in an attempt to form his own superhuman Foot army? If so, would this lead to the creation of a new version of Bebop and Rocksteady or Tokka and Rahzar? Who wouldn't want to see that? Sure, maybe Shredder legitimately wants to help the people of the Big Apple in his own stern way, but there's absolutely no way he also doesn't have some kind of shady plan in the works, too. Whether it's a grab for complete power or doing cruel things for the "greater good," it's safe to assume his intentions aren't exactly pure. At any rate, this story is certain to at least give the character a different dynamic with the team.
It's clear they're aiming to create a whole new mythos for the franchise and, while I do believe these basic plot points have a lot of cool possibilities, there's of course no way to tell how well they'll be handled. That said, the potential is certainly there and that at least has me somewhat optimistic to learn more about this new take on the franchise I love oh-so-much. So, what do you think, fellow TMNT fans? Are my ideas total nonsense or does it actually make a bit of sense to you?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finally opens August 8th.