According to a story at The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures has pulled funding from Ninja Turtles, the Michael Bay reinvention of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, indefinitely laying off staffers who were working on the film while the script is retooled to lower the film’s budget. The film, which was originally intended to anchor the studio’s 2013 holiday schedule with a Christmas opening, will now be pushed back to May 2014.
Paramount–also the studio behind embattled and delayed projects like G.I. Joe: Retaliation and World War Z–bad been relying on the film to help bolster their struggling Nickelodeon network, which owns the rights to the characters, but now identifies the hiatus as indefinite.
On the heels of TMNT, which didn’t perform at levels the studio would have liked, and with a controversial script that reboots the mutant heroes as aliens, Ninja Turtles may not be the safest bet Paramount has on tap–but it was being touted by the CEO as recently as last month, according to THR.
“Our pipeline is extremely strong,” the magazine quotes Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman as telling investors in May. “We’re developing more new [episodes] of our popular series and more exciting new series. And of course, we’re particularly excited about the revival of the [Teenage Mutant Ninja] Turtles franchise.”