The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles set off a Twitter firestorm today when Paramount Pictures Australia tweeted out a new poster image to promote the film. The problem is that the Australian release date is Sept. 11 — and the poster shows the four title characters leaping from an exploding skyscraper.
At first, some fans believed the poster to be a hoax, since the film’s American release date is Aug. 8. As it became clear that it was the real deal, the juxtaposition of that image with the date sent shockwaves across social media. “Really? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles jump out of fiery NY tower in poster for film released Sep 11,” tweeted The Age writer Suzanne Carbone. “The most poorly judged poster and date combo imaginable… Well done Australia!” filmmaker Matthew Hamby commented.
Images of the controversial poster were removed from the studio’s Facebook page and Twitter account a few hours after they were posted, and Paramount Australia released an official statement that confirmed it was indeed a mistake: “We are deeply sorry to have used that artwork for the marketing materials promoting the September 11 opening in Australia. Combining that image and date was a mistake. We intended no offense and have taken immediate action to discontinue its use.”