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Even as Paramount Pictures begins its promotional push for the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Los Angeles filmmaker Benjamin Eck is offering a glimpse of his own reimagining of the heroes in a half shell in the teaser for TMNT: Banished.
The planned short fan film is considerably darker than what most Turtles devotees might expect, with Raphael banished by Splinter after his “uncontrollable violence” begins to pose a threat to his family. Accompanied by Casey Jones, he takes refuge in Los Angeles, “he will quickly discover that he’s not New York City’s only secret hiding on the West Coast.”
“My childhood was the Ninja Turtles and I’ve remained steadfast in my fandom,” Eck said in an email. “However, at 28 years old, my adult years have found me wanting a more serious take on the Turtles. Something that rings true to the first issue comic. So, I’ve decided to explore that in short film form. My vision is not intended to spite Michael Bay or Paramount’s depiction of the Turtles. It’s not about practical versus digital, it’s not about redesigning them from the ground up, it’s simply about achieving a darker vision of the Turtles. A vision that I feel no studio would ever want to touch. One where their highly dangerous weapons are showcased doing the damage they’re so capable of. The Turtles were trained assassins and that’s how I intend to portray them.”
He hopes that the teaser below will generate enough interest to justify a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the full fan film.