Michael Bay Responds to Teenage Mutant Ninja
03.20.12 by Ryan
Turtles Aliens Criticism
Oh, Michael Bay.
The successful Transformers director has caused an online backlash with his recent comments about the upcoming live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot he is producing for Nickelodeon and Paramount. During the Nickelodeon Upfront presentation in New York City, Bay revealed that the new Turtles would be "tough, edgy, funny, and completely lovable" but also "from an alien race." Of course, it's that last part that has fans in an uproar, considering that the characters, as originally conceived by comic book creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, were victims of an accident where toxic ooze gave the turtles their enormous size, while a mutant rat named Splinter raised and trained them in the martial arts. While their initial origins were based in parody, the subsequent 1980s cartoon series and trilogy of live-action movies have made the characters beloved by many, and Bay's retooling of their story was not met well by the online community.
io9 called the reboot's plans troubling" while Entertainment Weekly remarked that Bay is "essentially erasing almost 30 years of love for transmogrified adolescent reptile ninjas by claiming each turtle is less of a fearsome, fighting toxic anomaly and more of a forest green E.T. with nunchucks." The UK's The Guardian took it a step further, offering an even more passionate stance against the change.
From an alien race? That's not how it works. That's not how it works at all. Everyone knows that the turtles came about because they were exposed to radioactive material as babies. They're mutants. They're quite definitively not aliens. They're called the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, not the Teenage Alien Race of Turtle-like Creatures Who Happen to Know Ninja. Making the turtles aliens would ruin everything — their desire to be accepted, their bizarre late-1980s street lingo, their fondness for pizza. Everything.
Meanwhile Bay thinks everyone needs to calm down. Taking to the forums of his personal website, Bay said that everyone should just "chill."
Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script. Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex back story. Relax, we are including everything that made you become fans in the first place. We are just building a richer world.
Fans might calm down knowing that Eastman and Laird are associated with the project, though Bay did not exactly mention them by name. Now scheduled for a 2013 release date, the script is being handled by screenwriters Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, whose most recent effort, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, became the most successful movie in the franchise's history (in worldwide gross). Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans, Battle: Los Angeles) will direct the movie, and he's no stranger to an effect's-heavy movie. Still, that may not be enough to convince fans that Bay is steering the reboot in the right direction. For instance, actor Robbie Rist, who voiced Michaelangelo in the Ninja Turtle trilogy, expressed his disgust with Bay in a public statement he recently issued.
You probably don’t know me but I did some voice work on the first set of movies that you are starting to talk about sodomizing. I know believing in mutated talking turtles is kinda silly to begin with but am I supposed to be led to believe there are ninjas from another planet? The rape of our childhood memories continues.
With fans this devoted to the original conceit, all we can say is, "Good luck, Mike!"