With the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, director Jonathan Liebesman and production company Platinum Dunes have had to deal with an almost criminal amount of blowback from hardcore fans, angst-ridden haters, and even the people who stopped giving a shit about the Turtles when they were children. Much more so than the franchise’s completely CGI TMNT in 2007, this colorful re-imagining has done a lot of damage to people’s nostalgia centers. So the last thing it needed was any kind of controversy over its marketing materials. And yet, here we are, with social media in an uproar over an Australian poster release that just so happens to recall the worst act of terrorism in U.S. history.
The poster, seen above, was (obviously) shared by the Australian arm of Paramount Pictures, and while it doesn’t initially look like anything is amiss — the Turtles are in mid-action with explosions happening — they’re seen to be leaping away from that explosion, which seems to be inside of a building, which was (to some) a blatant reminder of the events on September 11, 2001. Oh yeah, and the movie is being released in Australia on September 11! Cue the conspiracy theorists who assume that Paramount is trying to say that everyone who died on that day was basically a computer-generated fighting animal.
Now, I’m not one that gets easily offended by marketing ploys, intentional or accidental, so I think the Internet was just having a bad Tuesday when this poster popped up. This is a film so far removed from reality that they were, at one point, thinking about changing the title to reflect the characters’ alien origins. This is not a movie upon which any kind of historical expectations are laid. There are only 365 days in a year, and you can bet your sweet asses that something truly horrific has happened on every one of those days, and that some movie, TV show, album, video game, book, or Applebee’s platter deal was released on that day and contained similarly trivial references.
I wonder if someone adding this ADR line in will quell bad feelings.
Of course, it’s possible that only a few people were truly offended, while others just took the time to remind Paramount that the Internet is a troll’s kingdom. If there were more jokes than emotionally driven comments, that still wouldn’t stop the studio from balking at this untimely coincidence. As such, they took the poster down not long after it was shared.
Here and we thought the recent rap single would be the most offensive thing the Ninja Turtles would unleash on the public. Speaking of which, here’s the newly released full music video for it. Get your weapons handy.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will hit theaters — and not skycrapers or the Pentagon — on August 8.