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Michael Bay's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Causes Alarm on the Internet

With Michael Bay's announcement he'll be the new producer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, fans are skeptical, for good reason.

If you haven't heard the news as of yet, Michael Bay has jumped onto the upcoming Teenager Mutant Ninja Turtles film, set to be released the the end of 2013, as producer. Stuff We Like has the official video of said announcement. Here's the direct quote from Bay about what he wants to do with this ever-expanding franchise:

"When you see this movie, kids are going to believe, one day, that these turtles actually do exist when we are done with this movie. These turtles are from an alien race and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable."

The first word anyone pays attention to is the word "alien." The Ninja Turtles have never been alien, and as soon as you throw that word into the mix, it's going to cause a heap of trouble. As the news traveled, the complaints about Bay's alien direction came through the intrawebs faster than you can say "total reboot." One of the most interesting complaints came from Robbie Rist who was the voice of Michelangelo in the first set of TMNT films. TMZ reported on a letter he wrote to Bay:

"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."Rist added, "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?"

Obviously, Rist feels incredibly passionate about the project, and even though his work on the the movies was brief, he feels this may be a mistake. Aside from Rist, many people on the internet are clamoring, including many comic book creators, especially on twitter.

[Nightwing Writer Kyle Higgins] I respect Michael Bay's ability to get the same looking movie made over and over (how does he do it!) but this Turtles move goes too far

[Chew Artist Rob Guillory] Michael Bay is like the Ravishing Rick Rude of film. "All you fat, hairy fanboys take a look at what a real man's about to do to your TMNT!"

[Batgirl Writer Gail Simone] If Michael Bay made an Easy Bake Oven movie, it would be about Jell-o.

Michael Bay fired back at the outrage on his forum Shoot for the Edit.

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.

So far, the best reply to this comes from Jill Pantozzi on her twitter page:

No, Michael Bay, you chill.

Personally, I think that's a pretty darn perfect retort, and there's plenty more like it on twitter. However, it's not just twitter. Every social media site and news site has something to say about this film, and most of it is extremely negative. But why?

Michael Bay's idea, changing the word "mutant" to "alien," completely changes everything about what makes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but again, that all depends on how Bay and his writers put this thing together.

Obviously, they won't be mutants any longer, but why change it?

Why can't they be mutants? Why can't you bring in some super-cool scientific elements into this movie to explain their backstory without relying on the easy "these things are from space?" The idea that there's a mutagen that evolves beings, or even one that kind of splices two species together, seems pretty darn cool to me. In fact, it's much cooler than having people come down in a space ship to hang out on Earth, which we've seen hundreds of times in movies.

They won't be teenagers.

Again, this depends on how the film turns out, but if you have these "teenage" aliens come down to Earth, they really won't be what we know as teenagers. Being a teenager is a cultural thing more than anything else. Sure, it's a term that describes anyone between the ages of 13 and 19, but the word "teenager" is so much more than that. It describes a time, in a human's life, when their bodies are developing, and when it comes to humans, an the turtles, it describes attitude, style, and sometimes rising up against authority.

How could an alien race have all these qualities in a teenager? It would be the biggest coincidence in the universe, aside from the fact there is life on other planets that is intelligent, and knows how to speak English.

They won't be ninjas.

Unless they have the art of Ninjitsu on their planet. Most likely, if the film tries to use Ninjitsu in the film, you'll probably get a little story about how they watched the martial art from their planet and decided to practice it and teach it to their people, but that's the quickest and lamest story I could come up with.

The won't be turtles.

They'll be aliens.

TMNT has so many elements of American culture in it, and that's why I am a tad perplexed about this change in the upcoming film. However, a lot of these ideas get thrown out of the window if the aliens are sent here Kal-El style as babies though, and Michael Bay doesn't seem, for me, to be the right fit for the job. TMNT shouldn't be a gigantic, over-the-top, explosiothon. Sure, they'll be out kicking some butt, but TMNT is more than that. While Bay isn't directing, if you check out the films he's produced, most of them are flashy and substance-less. They aren't designed to have lasting appeal. They're designed to make a ton of money quickly, which he is good at.

All-in-all, these latest developments about the TMNT movie are disappointing to fans. It's like remaking the Karate Kid, but setting it in China, and Mr. Miyagi is played by a professional stuntman, and they're learning Kung Fu, not Karate.... wait... that happened.

I'd rather see people working on this film that could give TMNT the credit it deserves. Aside from having Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird involved, personally, I'd like to see Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition) on as director, and aside from the obvious Nolan brothers writing it, I think Luc Besson (Unleashed, The Professional, The 5th Element) would by a perfect writer for a film like this.

Well, it's going to happen, and while many are screaming that Bay has murdered their childhood, they only do it because they love TMNT. It is their childhood, and when someone comes on to a film and makes a major change like that, or course they'll be outraged, and there's no reason anyone needs to "chill out." Sure, each incarnation of the turtles had a different take, but as of now, no creator has strained from the original source this much. I guess we'll have to wait and see though.

What do you guys think about this growing development? What creative teams would you like to see on this film?

Follow Mat's antics on twitter or check out his online show Barely Watchable.

186 Comments
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Posted by k4tzm4n

Here's two important things so many people are overlooking:

  • Bay isn't directing, he's producing.
  • Bay isn't writing. The writers of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol are (Josh Appelbaum / Andre Nemec)
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Posted by Inverno

@k4tzm4n said:

Here's two important things so many people are overlooking:

  • Bay isn't directing, he's producing.
  • Bay isn't writing. The writers of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol are (Josh Appelbaum / Andre Nemec)

Oh and the lovely fact the director is also he guy making the sequel of Clash of the Titans, one of the most half-assed adaptations ever, really helps the case.

Posted by ultimatepunchrod

Great, concise points that I wish Bay would listen to. He's going to do to TMNT fans what he did to Transformers fans: leave them out in the cold.

Posted by kennybaese

To be fair, what doesn't cause alarm on the Internet?

I honestly am not a big enough fan of the Turtles (my parents didn't let me watch the cartoon or movies when I was growing up, so I missed the boat on it I think), but even this seems super stupid. That said, I bet this movie will still make boatloads of money.

Posted by The Jeff

at least the Power Rangers are safe

Posted by Nerx

@CaioTrubat: Thank you for clarifying that, but if he is writing we need to call the rapevan and ask the aid of every burly homeless person in the area. Screw the lube we use sandpaper.

Posted by fodigg
No, Michael Bay, you chill.

lol! Awesome.

And yeah, I cannot overstate how much I loved TMNT growing up. Sure, GI Joe, Transformers, and when I was even younger He-Man were cool--I had the PJs--but TMNT was my favorite. And as I got older, there was always a way they stayed cool. I graduated from the cartoons to the live action. From the live action to the Archie comics. From the Archie comics to the gritty original run of comics. And since then there's always been something TMNT out there for people of various ages (usually comics covering the older crowd).

The TMNT are iconic and awesome yet silly and fun. They have incredibly broad appeal. They deserve better than the treatment Transformers and GI Joe have gotten on the silver screen recently. (To be fair, they also deserved better than Turtles In Time.) I just don't want Bay involved.

Posted by Trodorne

@k4tzm4n said:

Here's two important things so many people are overlooking:

  • Bay isn't directing, he's producing.
  • Bay isn't writing. The writers of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol are (Josh Appelbaum / Andre Nemec)

Im not over looking that fact. But remember when he helped produce:

  • Pearl Harbor
  • Armageddon
  • Transformers II
  • Transformers III
  • The Island
  • The Unborn
  • Friday The 13th
  • Nightmare on Elm Street

you all remember those movies right?

Posted by GothamRed

Wow, michael bay really doesn't get the eighties does he

Posted by fodigg

@Trodorne said:

@k4tzm4n said:

Here's two important things so many people are overlooking:

  • Bay isn't directing, he's producing.
  • Bay isn't writing. The writers of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol are (Josh Appelbaum / Andre Nemec)

Im not over looking that fact. But remember when he helped produce:

  • Pearl Harbor
  • Armageddon
  • Transformers II
  • Transformers III
  • The Island
  • The Unborn
  • Friday The 13th
  • Nightmare on Elm Street

you all remember those movies right?

On the first date with my now-wife, over ten years ago, I took her to see Pearl Harbor. I still can't believe there was a second date.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@CaioTrubat said:

@k4tzm4n said:

Here's two important things so many people are overlooking:

  • Bay isn't directing, he's producing.
  • Bay isn't writing. The writers of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol are (Josh Appelbaum / Andre Nemec)

Oh and the lovely fact the director is also he guy making the sequel of Clash of the Titans, one of the most half-assed adaptations ever, really helps the case.

Clash of the Titants was garbage, but remind me again how that's Liebesman'sfault? He had no connection to the movies. The trailers for this one at least make it look like decent popcorn entertainment.

And again, different writers as well.

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Posted by Darkchild

LEAVE MY CHILDHOOD ALONE YOU BASTARD!!!!

Posted by Nerx

For the record Friday 13th and Nightmare on elm street remakes sucked donkey balls

I am still saying that someone should organize the violation/molestation/ravishment of bay with spiked bats

Posted by TheGreyOutcastX
Edited by k4tzm4n

Nice. Honestly, I'm hoping the whole alien race aspect means the turtles are transformed from a mutagen based on alien technology, and not "Hey, there's a planet of characters that look like the TMNT." It's a longshot, but I'm reallllly hoping that's the case.

Anyway, I'm waiting to see at least some footage until I decide whether to jump overboard. After all, Bay isn't directing and the writers behind Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (one of the most entertaining and fun films I've seen in awhile) are writing.

Oh, and happy birthday.

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Edited by k4tzm4n

@Trodorne: He directed the majority of those movies. I'm not complimenting the man, but what I am saying is if this movie sucks, he's hardly the person that should receive all of the blame (which is what's currently happening from most).

For what it's worth, I love the latest piece of work from these writers and I enjoyed Liebsman's Battle: LA... Although, I'm fully aware I'm part of a pretty small minority with that opinion ;)

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Posted by KRYPTON

Why? What has the TMNT universe come to.

Posted by inferiorego

@k4tzm4n said:

Here's two important things so many people are overlooking:

  • Bay isn't directing, he's producing.
  • Bay isn't writing. The writers of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol are (Josh Appelbaum / Andre Nemec)

Every movie he's produced, which I guess I forgot to write in simply because I was angry, is just as crappy as the films he directs:

Nightmare on Elm Street

Friday the 13th

The Hitcher

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

The Hitcher

Wait.... does this mean TMNT is going to be a bad horror remake?

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Edited by k4tzm4n

@inferiorego: Speaking of horror / gore, Liebsman's resume is packed with movies in that genre (except for Battle LA / Wrath), so I'm not sure how he was sought out for this gig. I assume he must have some strong connections.

Regardless,

@k4tzm4n said:

I'm not complimenting the man, but what I am saying is if this movie sucks, he's hardly the person that should receive all of the blame (which is what's currently happening from most).

For what it's worth, I love the latest piece of work from these writers and I enjoyed Liebsman's Battle: LA... Although, I'm fully aware I'm part of a pretty small minority with that opinion ;)

And LOL @ "simply because I was angry"

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Posted by inferiorego

@k4tzm4n said:

Nice. Honestly, I'm hoping the whole alien race aspect means the turtles are transformed from a mutagen based on alien technology, and not "Hey, there's a planet of characters that look like the TMNT." It's a longshot, but I'm reallllly hoping that's the case.

Anyway, I'm waiting to see at least some footage until I decide whether to jump overboard. After all, Bay isn't directing and the writers behind Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (one of the most entertaining and fun films I've seen in awhile) are writing.

Oh, and happy birthday.

Normally, I usually tell myself to "wait it out and judge later," but I'm Michael Bay just doesn't make good films.Out of all of his films, The Island is the only one I like, and that film is terrible. Yes, I really don't like Transformers. This is the first time, I can remember, that I have no faith in the producer.

Thanks for the bday wishes!

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Posted by red_rover

When Michael Bay was interviewing for possibly directing Phone Booth the first thing he said was "how do we get this guy out of the phone booth?" He didn't get the job. That's right, they chose Joel Schumacher over him.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@inferiorego: You're welcome. You should spend the day celebrating your non-stained memory of TMNT. Watch the 1990 film! Nothing says "happy birthday" quite like that.

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Posted by Om1kron

To be perfectly fair to Michael Bay, I think he's heard about the backlash that Mass Effect 3's ending has had on the internet world and was trying to take some slack from the shoulders of bioware and shoulder some of the internets hate sparingly so Bioware can get back to ruining franchises of their own video games we all love.

Secondly I am not surprised at this move at all and on top of the fact Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman are involved and have not made any statements (because ninja turtle money can only get those guys so far) Kevin Eastman was just at meltdown comics promoting his new book (which hasn't even been covered here) and auctioning off all of his ninja turtle swill he could share. So obviously he and Laird have no problem George Lucasing their franchise.

I just love how they're letting Michael Bay look like the dipsh*t here.

Posted by KidSupreme

I think the history channel .. they must be Aliens!

Posted by Namor1987

I loved TMNT& still do especially the 1st film but dang Bay totally smucked up a legacy. I'll stick to the new series on Nicktoon

Posted by inferiorego

@k4tzm4n said:

@inferiorego: Speaking of horror / gore, Liebsman's resume is packed with movies in that genre (except for Battle LA / Wrath), so I'm not sure how he was sought out for this gig. I assume he must have some strong connections.

Regardless,

@k4tzm4n said:

I'm not complimenting the man, but what I am saying is if this movie sucks, he's hardly the person that should receive all of the blame (which is what's currently happening from most).

For what it's worth, I love the latest piece of work from these writers and I enjoyed Liebsman's Battle: LA... Although, I'm fully aware I'm part of a pretty small minority with that opinion ;)

And LOL @ "simply because I was angry"

I am really not happy with the writing team as well... I am an angry fanboy.

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Edited by k4tzm4n

@inferiorego: Did you not like M:I - GP?

./inferior storms on TMNT set

I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS. SCREW YOUR FOOD SERVICES, TERRIBLE CHOICE! /smashes table

THIS IS THE TRAILER BEING USED FOR TALEN? /kicks over

THIS IS THE SHIRT YOU CHOSE, BAY? REALLY? ....Not bad, you get a pass.

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Posted by GundamHeavyarms

Michael Bay's description of the Ninja Turtles as "aliens" doesn't really bother me. I don't know why, it just doesn't. I suppose I don't do nerd rage very well. Don't get me wrong, I didn't like the transformers movies either, mainly because they focused too much on Sam, and all the other humans in general, but the movies didn't tarnish my childhood memories. I liked Beast Wars more than G1 anyway.

Everything is up to interpretation. Perhaps, and this is just me here, what Bay is going to do is out the turtles. They've always been a secret to the humans. To people, who have never seen anthropormorphic reptiles before, they would assume that they were aliens before assuming they were earth turtles that were mutated by an alien mutagen. (The ooze was created by the Utroms remember, that goes all the way back to the mirage comics.)

Or maybe Bay said what he said to make people angry, which would get people to talk about the movie, which we're already doing.

Posted by the_fallen11

God. Dammit.

Posted by Duo_forbidden

No words.

Posted by inferiorego

@k4tzm4n said:

@inferiorego: Did you not like M:I - GP?

./inferior storms on TMNT set

I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS. SCREW YOUR FOOD SERVICES, TERRIBLE CHOICE! /smashes table

THIS IS THE TRAILER BEING USED FOR TALEN? /kicks over

THIS IS THE SHIRT YOU CHOSE, BAY? REALLY? ....Not bad, you get a pass.

Quick side-story. I had a seizure while watching MI3 because I hadn't slept in two days, so even though it's completely an illogical fear, I am scared to watch it.

I'd be a terrible Green Lantern.

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Posted by k4tzm4n

@GundamHeavyarms said:

ecause they focused too much on Sam, and all the other humans in general,

That reminds me... I sincerely hope April and Casey aren't the main focus here with the Turtles in the background.

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Posted by The Mighty Monarch

Coming Next From Michael Bay...

Posted by HeavyDuty32

Michael Bay's just going to make every single popular 80s cartoon into a movie about aliens so he can eventually tie them all together into a single super explosion based EXTRAVAGANZA!

Man, I hope that's not true.

Posted by DarthShap

This is so Highlander 2.

Immortals/Mutants you said? No you mean aliens!

Posted by k4tzm4n

@inferiorego: Dude, what made you decide to see MI3 instead of sleep?!

That's okay, I hear they're not recruiting anymore. However, Red Lanterns are always searching. I hear Atrocitus provides excellent benefits and a solid 401k plan.

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Posted by DeathpooltheT1000

This short films had way too much character development and plot for Bay!

Posted by inferiorego

@k4tzm4n said:

@inferiorego: Dude, what made you decide to see MI3 instead of sleep?!

That's okay, I hear they're not recruiting anymore. However, Red Lanterns are always searching. I hear Atrocitus provides excellent benefits and a solid 401k plan.

College made me stay up late. That was the night I wrote a 25 page paper on Doctor Who about the human race constantly being threatened by aliens.

P.S. Got an A on that paper.

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Posted by krazyman27

It's weird that people are so passionate about this but when Christopher Nolan makes 3 Batman movie that are nothing like Batman we all applaud it. I'm a big TMNT fan, but I'll reserve judgement until I see more than a one-sentence statement about a movie that hasn't even started casting yet. (Plus, have you forgotten how awesome the first Transformers movie is?).

Also, this should be labeled an Editorial because it is way too biased to show up on the homepage like it is.

Posted by hydrabob

Death to Michael Bay!

Posted by DIOMJK

@krazyman27 said:

It's weird that people are so passionate about this but when Christopher Nolan makes 3 Batman movie that are nothing like Batman we all applaud it. I'm a big TMNT fan, but I'll reserve judgement until I see more than a one-sentence statement about a movie that hasn't even started casting yet. (Plus, have you forgotten how awesome the first Transformers movie is?).

Also, this should be labeled an Editorial because it is way too biased to show up on the homepage like it is.

My arguments about how much Nolan movies captured the Batman from the comics better than any other adaptation (not counting the cartoon), except mildly tweeked to make the transition to the screen, aside, Nolan still Kept Bruce Wayne as Bruce Wayne. Didn't make him a wizard who gained bat powers, didn't make him an alien.

Posted by inferiorego

@krazyman27 said:

It's weird that people are so passionate about this but when Christopher Nolan makes 3 Batman movie that are nothing like Batman we all applaud it. I'm a big TMNT fan, but I'll reserve judgement until I see more than a one-sentence statement about a movie that hasn't even started casting yet. (Plus, have you forgotten how awesome the first Transformers movie is?).

The difference is that Chris Nolan is a solid director who makes legitimately great films. Plus, Chris and Jonathon Nolan are great writers. They pull the vast majority of the story and elements from the comic.

Michael Bay directs summer blockbusters, and he produces less than stellar horror remakes. Yes, his films make tons of money, but they're still pretty bland films. As for Transformers, I really don't like the series, but I completely understand why people do.

Usually, I won't make judgements on a film, but I, personally, think Bay and his writing team is a terrible choice for this film.

And yes, I'll most likely see it when it comes out.

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Posted by Zomboid

Michael Bay is horrible. If anyone else said what he said, I wouldn't really care. I'd probably trust in letting them do what they wanna do, and see how it turns out. But just knowing Michael Bay is on board this film frustrates me. R.I.P. childhood.

Posted by Renchamp

The last time I checked, TMNT had teenagers from space/another dimension: the Neutrinos. And they were effing lame!

Moderator
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Michael Bay needs to stay away from remaking my favorite old shows in to movies, seriously.

Posted by Prizm

First he destroys Transformers, now he is trying to assasinate TMNT. It't like this man just wants to destroy my childhood. What's next: Power Rangers?! My God, the man would have a field day with that. Michael Bay, don't just stop making these movies. Please, stop making movies in general.

Posted by inferiorego

@Prizm said:

First he destroys Transformers, now he is trying to assasinate TMNT. It't like this man just wants to destroy my childhood. What's next: Power Rangers?! My God, the man would have a field day with that. Michael Bay, don't just stop making these movies. Please, stop making movies in general.

This is just for you, but only if you like The Onion: Caution NSFW, naughty language.

Staff
Posted by hectorsquall
Posted by mattwing87

I think I will just stick to the new TMNT comic series and the old movies and old cartoons.

Posted by ReVamp

...lol.

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