The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film opens in the United States on August 8, but it doesn’t debut in Australia until September 11. One of the new Ninja Turtles’ posters is an image of the four heroes in a half shell as they leap from the top of an exploding skyscraper. The copy of this one-sheet at ImpAwards.com lists a generic “Coming Soon” at the bottom, but the Australian version, which, per Kotaku, was tweeted and then deleted by Paramount Pictures Australia, included the release date—which, again, is September 11. The resultant juxtaposition is… unfortunate.
Some have observed that this poster was designed for an Australian audience, which might not have the same associations between that date and that image as an American one. That’s a fair point, though once that poster is put online (where it can, and did, quickly spread to U.S. users) all bets are off. After I tweeted to my friend and colleague David Chen about the poster, he raised a question about the image: “At what point do you draw the line when using imagery that could be associated with 9/11?” In my mind, when you’ve got a poster that features characters jumping out of an exploding building, and you’re releasing that movie on 9/11, that’s maybe a place to consider drawing a line.