Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Poster header 2

The phrase “epic fail” may not be as fashionable as it once was, but sometimes it really is the only way to express just how horribly something has gone wrong. Case in point: Can you come up with a better way to describe a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster that combines exploding building imagery and a 9/11 release date? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Gawk at the controversial Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 9/11 poster the jump.

Paramount Pictures Australia proudly posted their new TMNT poster on Twitter. The tweet has since been deleted, but you can still get an eyeful thanks to the magic of screenshots (via Cinema Blend).

Ninja Turtles 9/11 tweet

And here’s a bigger version of the poster itself.

Ninja Turtles 9/11 poster

Paramount yanked the image as soon as they figured out their mistake. And just so we’re clear, there’s no reason to believe it’s anything but a mistake. It’s not like Paramount has anything to gain from intentionally pissing people off. Moreover, the 9/11 connection probably doesn’t spring as readily to their minds as it does to ours.

Still, it was a major world event, and an expensive studio blockbuster like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles no doubt has a whole chain of people who have to sign off every time a new piece of artwork goes out. You’d think someone, at some point, would have noticed this awkward juxtaposition and pointed it out.

Ironically, had this poster been released in the U.S. it wouldn’t have attracted nearly as much controversy. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens August 8 here in the States, so it wouldn’t have had that offending release date.

And it is that unfortunate combination that’s at issue, not the picture itself. In fact, the same artwork was released a few days earlier without issue in Hong Kong, where the movie lands August 7. Plus, American cities including New York get destroyed with alarming regularity in big-budget actioners. That’s nothing new.

Overall, this is hardly the worst thing we’ve ever seen a studio do. But it’s probably the last thing Paramount needs for a movie that’s already attracting a lot of skepticism. Bet they miss the days when all they had to do was fend off rumors about alien origins, huh?

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