New TMNT Look Revealed… Sort Of

I understand the nostalgia that some filmmakers have for being able to turn things like “what does so-and-so look like?” into the equivalent of a plot-twist… but I really don’t know why anyone bothers today except in cases where a character’s appearance actually IS meant to be a surprise. There are too many moving parts to big movies now, and trying to keep something like what your main character(s) look like secret isn’t practically feesible: It’s going to get “revealed” by merchandising materials or production art or a thousand other things, and suddenly you lose control of your all-important “first-impression” moment and instead people’s first exposure is a potentially subpar version.

Case in point: According to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fansite, the thing at the right is a children’s Halloween costume-kit for Michaelangelo in the new Michael Bay-produced TMNT movie… and if so, it now gets to be the way we’ll be introduced to Bay’s (and director Johnathan Liebesman’s) version of the heroes:

First reaction: Not loving the basic idea of the head – too human, too much from the school of “people can’t relate without a humanoid face to focus on” creature-design – but a plastic Halloween mask is no way to judge that. The rest of the suits (the fansite claims to have pics for the other three), apparently, are a stretch-fabric onesie with a “stuffable shell” that functions as an attached backpack – making these the most utilitarian-useful Halloween costumes ever (“Just put the candy in my shell!”)

Otherwise? It’s instantly recognizable as “Mikey” orange mask and all but with extra accountremants (workout shorts, a sweater worn as a belt, sunglasses, tattoos, surfer/skater neck jewelry) that reflect his familair personality. I don’t hate this at all. I’m fond of the “identical but for colors/weapons” look from the comics etc for how it ties in with the Japanese/American fusion aspect of the characters, but as an alternate take this makes sense. And the DIY-grubbiness of it fits – I like the implication that these guys have “scavenged” their own personal looks.

The look also lines up to-the-letter with a written description of toys from awhile back, which also matched up with most of what I’d been hearing about the production post-“Alien” script: That the aim for the look was to keep the masks, weapons and standard looks but further differentiate them by body-type (Mike being smaller than the others, Raphael being a “tank,” etc) and clothing/gear choices. This Mikey looks exactly as described, so I imagine subsequent pics will confirm the others: Leonardo wearing Japanese/samurai-style fencing gaurds to some extent, Donatello wearing/carrying lots of tech and gadgets, Raphael in Muy-Thai style cloth/rope padding, etc.

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