Studio pushes back pic to May 16, 2014

Paramount Pictures has shut down pre-production on its reboot of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and moved its release date to May 16, 2014, the latest in a string of pics the studio has delayed in recent months.

Sources say “Turtles” was pushed because the filmmakers and studio felt they wouldn’t be ready for the October shoot date. Paramount had no comment.

The shutdown is not indefinite and the plan is to work on the script over the next couple of weeks in order to beef up the material and bring the budget down slightly.

Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form are producing through Bays’ Platinum Dunes banner. Jonathan Liebsman is on board to helm.

Original 1984 Mirage Studios’ comicbook “TMNT” centered on four turtles who are turned humanoid through contact with radioactive slime, and trained in martial arts by their humanoid rat master. Bay stirred controversy with fans of the comicbook-based franchise when he said the reimagined series would have alien elements.

As for Paramount, the “Turtles” move marks yet another film the studio has either had to delay or order major reshoots on in the last few months.

The studio pushed “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” off the summer calendar a just weeks before its scheduled release, and the Brad Pitt sci-fier “World War Z,” which was once on the sked for a holiday bow, was pushed to June 2013 and has since been held up for rewrites and reshoots.

Studio insiders say Par has been adamant about bringing in projects at a certain budget such as “The Associate” and its reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise.

Also while the studio has faced all these delays for future films, Par has not had to contend with a mega flop in recent years.

The Devil Inside” from its InSurge division was a success for the studio bringing in more than $100 million worldwide after only costing $1 million.

The re-release of “Titanic” in 3D did well for Par overseas. DreamWorks Animation pic “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” brought in $60 million on its opening weekend.

Even “The Dictator” after a modest start has gained some ground, generating more than $120 million worldwide.

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