Co-Creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Weighs in on Michael Bay's "Alien Race" Movie Origin
03.22.12 by BJSprecher
Michael Bay opened up a Transformers-size can of worms recently when he revealed that the title characters in the new live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie he is producing for Nickelodeon and Paramount will be "from an alien race," rather than simply terrestrial turtles that have been mutated. The online backlash against Bay and the franchise reboot has been so vocal and volatile — The Guardian called the idea "witless" and Topless Robot called Bay the "nerd devil" and suggested he "suck sh*t" — that Bay has already responded to it, writing on his personal blog that fans should "take a breath, and chill."
Bay also tried to assure fans that he plans on doing right by the Turtles by mentioning that his "team is working closely with one of the original creators." He didn't specify whether he was referring to Kevin Eastman or Peter Laird, but Laird recently commented on Bay's decision on his own blog, saying that "it might actually work" to turn the Turtles into aliens, if only so that they can exploit them by making more of them than just the original four.
I have had several requests from TMNT fans during this past week to comment on the idea of the Turtles being "reimagined" as aliens for the upcoming TMNT movie to be produced by Michael Bay. A few people — who don't seem to understand that I am no longer in control of the property — want me to stop this, somehow. Obviously, I can't do that, even if I wanted to.
But I would actually encourage TMNT fans to swallow the "chill pill" Mr. Bay recently suggested they take, and wait and see what might come out of this seemingly ill-conceived plan. It's possible that with enough truly creative brainpower applied to this idea, it might actually work. I'm not saying it's probable, or even somewhat likely… but it IS possible.
However, as I have pondered this further, I have realized that in one way it IS truly a genius notion. Let me explain…
Over the years, I have made no secret of my distaste for what I consider to be the weak, facile, creatively bankrupt idea which can be summed up like this:
"If FOUR Ninja Turtles are good, then FIVE (or more) Ninja Turtles MUST be better!"
It was in large part this brain-dead notion that led to the creation of the execrable "Venus de Milo" character in the blessedly short-lived live action TV series "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation". ... Anyway, to get back to the "TMNT are aliens" thing — the reason I say it could be a "genius" idea is that — for the first time — someone has come up with a way to have as many freakin' Turtles as they want. I mean, if the TMNT are actually members of an alien race, there could be a whole PLANET of them!
You can read Laird's unabridged post here.
Producing with Bay are his Platinum Dunes partners, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, along with Galen Walker and Scott Mednick. Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles) will direct from a script by Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol screenwriters Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec.