Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I never would have guessed it, but the sleeper hit of today's presentations at Comic-Con was Warner Bros.' CGI 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' movie (scheduled for release March 30, 2007). After debuting the world premiere of the teaser trailer (which promptly popped up on Apple.com), writer-director Kevin Munroe opened the floor up to questions, and -- in addition to a few queries -- got a buttload of fawning compliments. Multiple teary-eyed fans gushed that they were overjoyed to have proof that the "film is in good hands." One fanboy in particular professed -- between sniffles -- that he was having a hard time holding back the floodgates while watching the one-and-a-half-minute teaser. I can only imagine how ecstatic he and the other diehard fans must have been after Munroe screened an additional five minutes of kick-ass exclusive footage -- showcasing meaty clips and even a few plot points from the film -- at the end of the Q&A.

For my part, I was glad to see a 'TMNT' film that looks like a graphic novel brought to life rather than a live-action puppet show co-starring Vanilla Ice. The animation is definitely reminiscent of the early comics and has a darker feel than the previous feature-length movies. In addition, here are the top five things I learned from the footage and from the Q&A with the director ...

1) Although the film is entirely CGI, Munroe revealed that it will act as a sequel to the first two live-action 'Ninja Turtles' flicks.

2) Shredder will not be the villain in this 'TMNT' movie ... but he will play a role in the franchise should any future movies be made.

3) The Turtles will not be voiced by celebrities -- apologies to anyone who was hoping for Tom Cruise as the voice of Leonardo. Sage sewer rat Splinter, however, will be voiced by Mako of 'Conan the Barbarian' fame.

4) At the outset of the movie, it appears that Leonardo has somewhat gone off the deep end and become a loner/rebel who has renounced his position as leader of the Turtles. How bad is it? Let's just say, if turtles grew stubble, smoked cigarettes and drank whiskey, that's probably what Leo would be doing.

5) Neither Vanilla Ice nor M.C. Hammer are affiliated with this film in any way.

Watch the teaser trailer now

Tags: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Comics, Comic-Con, Summer Movies
categories Features, Cinematical