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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 juannmartn

I hate you, Michael Bay. I hate you sooooo much....

Posted by Transmetal

Michael Bay, the first click you hear is the millions of fans turning off their computer because of this BS, the second click is my assassin pulling the trigger.

Edited by Shazam78

Well I am a childhood fan of the Teenage "Mutant" Ninja Turtles! The fans are what made this franchise a huge cash cow in the 80s don't ignore their complaints.   Hmmm watch another Michael Bey Ninja Turtle explosion movie or sit through Mass Effect 3 ending again.  Both seem like bad things to do with my time. Perhaps I should go outside and enjoy life instead?

Here's Another Option.
Posted by Static Shock

@cmaprice: How you feel about Michael Bay is fine (I share your sentiments). But, please don't post pictures like that in the future.

Posted by The Hooded Hero

Is Michael Bay a moron. I'm not gonna see this movie. I'll probley just wait till it airs on regular tv. Not even gonna waste my money. Thanks alot Michael Bay I was excited about this movie too.

Posted by NightFang

Well I won't be seeing this movie.

Posted by MetropolisKid41

There is a special extra horrific circle in hell for serial rapists like Michael Bay. Sure he's raping film properties and our childhoods instead of actual physical people but he's still going to be getting pineapples jammed up his ass everyday next to hitler.

Posted by The Man of Yesteryear
Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles
Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles
Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles
Heroes in a half-shell
Turtle power!

...just doesn't have the same ring to it

:/

Posted by Shamelesslysupportinaznballers

I'm pretty sure it was taken out of context or Bay just misword it. The ooze was alien in origin in the comics and everything we all know and love about the cartoon show is to the TMNT franchise what the Adam West Batman show was to Batman.

Then again it's Michael Bay so I don't know.

Posted by BatWatch

@DIOMJK said:

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.

(laughs)

Posted by k4tzm4n

@mattwing87 said:

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

YES! Finally another person that reads the IDW run!!!!

Staff
Posted by BatWatch

I just browsed through Bay's IMDB page, and out of twenty movies, I only liked two of them, Armageddon and the Island (and the Island was not that good). He's batting ten percent. Fail.

Posted by sesquipedalophobe

Making the Ninja Turtles aliens who watched Kung Fu is like rewriting Mr. Darcy to be a jive-speaking, misogynistic shoe salesmen in the States. At this point it no longer resembles the source material.

Posted by thveej

Michael Bay........ you are such a goof.

I don't even know where to begin with this, like WHY??!?!?!?!??!?!?!!?

I mean yeah I understand if he wanted to add mad explosion to the movie, hell even add his stupid racial sterotypes (which I found so disgusting that I almost got sick watching Transformers 2); but don't fuck with the formula. It's not like he is making a movie about an obscure comic book. This is fucking TMNT, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, if you want to make a space turtle movie make a battltoid movie, or just call it something else. It just does not make sense for them to be aliens, the coolest thing about TMNT was how cool the turtles were. They were like the cool kids you wanted to chill with, why would a race of alien looking turtles be into eating Pizza, playing video games, and other stuff associated with being a teenager. Second the reasoning for them to be Ninjas made perfect sense with Master Splinter and that whole background. I mean for how much he fucking raped the Transformers IP, dude didn't change the formula too much (Good Transformers vs Bad Transformers, alien robots etc.)

That dude just needs to keep making Bad Boys movies, no more Transformers, no more TMNT, just don't fucking ruin other people's ideas.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@inferiorego said:

@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.

Ah, college... I'm so happy you're in the past. I can't say I miss those all nighters of rushing through papers and more. Glad to hear you got an A, though.

Staff
Posted by Tyrisis

In the original comic, the turtles were mutated from an alien ooze. That is as close to alien as it got in their origin. However, the original volume 1 comic was very aliencentric. That doesn't justify Bay's eagerness to destroy every good IP from the 80s and 90s. I went and saw the Transformers movies, even after the farce that was the first one. I won't touch this one though.

Posted by Hazlenaut

Turtle have been though a lot of changes. That why was war in the fandom with the original turtles’ comic fans with the 80s cartoon fans along 2006 cartoon fans. I have watched both series, heard and watched other adoptions. He already showed that he knows nothing of the turtles when he stated he is going to make edgiest as they can be. That was the line that made me angry. Can someone make montage of all dark stuff that has happen to the turtles including from the 80s cartoon?

I have feeling that he wants us in rage because the hype of the changes will get the non fans less knowing viewers to watch it. I as skeptic as all you what Bay is going to do due to his past experience.

Posted by Kal'smahboi

It's not that big a deal. Did the mutation ever play an important part of their lives or their story? As long as they grow up on Earth and get trained by Splinter, what's the difference?

Posted by BlackArmor

@nakobass said:

For all the Bitching and Crying Fanboys gave about the Bayformers. Transformers are bigger then ever thanks to Bay.

I'm sure he will do a great job with TMNT, I don't like the alien origin thing either, but if you took some time and really learned about Micheal Bay instead of jumping on the Bay Hate Train, you will learn he loves to screw around with people. Look at how much buzz this new TMNT movie has already just because he said the word, alien. Bay keeps laughing all the way to the Bank, and you guys don't even realize your helping him to do it. Just relax, and wait for the movie to come out, jeez!

Bigger doesn't matter if there is low quality, that's why Transformers fans a (rightfully) angry, because of an apparant lack of quality in the films it doesn't matter if its popular

That said fans are blowing this out of proportion, if it is as bad as every other Bay film I've seen then people won't remeber it for more than a year and we can go back to quality Turtles stories

Posted by BlackArmor

@The Jeff said:

at least the Power Rangers are safe

Duh duh duduh Coming in 2015.........nah, just joking.........or am I?

Posted by Owie

Well, what 80s material has been remade well? Not Transformers or G.I. Joe.
 
But this is truly stupid.  I hate when they get the idea to totally re-do something for no reason--it's not like the alien origin somehow makes it easier to sell the movie to non-fans somehow.  Aliens is no easier to explain than mutants.  And TMNT are pretty saturated in the culture, it's not like even non-fans aren't aware that they're mutants, thanks to their name.  That's what really drives me crazy, when they change stuff just to feel like they made an impact on it, and it makes no improvement whatsoever from any point of view.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@Kal'smahboi said:

It's not that big a deal. Did the mutation ever play an important part of their lives or their story? As long as they grow up on Earth and get trained by Splinter, what's the difference?

I'll copy/paste what I had on my blog:

If the Ninja "Turtles" are travelers from the stars, then what does that make Splinter? Do they come from a planet where there just happens to be various humanoid animals and a rat-looking fellow is their leader/master, or will he be completely omitted from the new movie? I don't see much need for a master if they're already established "space ninjas" who happened to crash land on Earth. Maybe they'll pull a Jarvis and turn Splinter into their AI on their spaceship, which I can only hope looks just like the cartoon van they used back in the 90s. Hey, Spaceballs pulled it off!
Staff
Posted by maxicere

The f@*&#@*&#@ stupid idea to change everything in movies.... Why don't start something new without destroy something people love??? Always happens the same with movies adaptation.

Don't do more movies related or based in comics, please, if you turn the original concept. Make another thing.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
 
 
Posted by Kal'smahboi
@k4tzm4n said:

@Kal'smahboi said:

It's not that big a deal. Did the mutation ever play an important part of their lives or their story? As long as they grow up on Earth and get trained by Splinter, what's the difference?

I'll copy/paste what I had on my blog:

If the Ninja "Turtles" are travelers from the stars, then what does that make Splinter? Do they come from a planet where there just happens to be various humanoid animals and a rat-looking fellow is their leader/master, or will he be completely omitted from the new movie? I don't see much need for a master if they're already established "space ninjas" who happened to crash land on Earth. Maybe they'll pull a Jarvis and turn Splinter into their AI on their spaceship, which I can only hope looks just like the cartoon van they used back in the 90s. Hey, Spaceballs pulled it off!
They could just as easily be trained by a space rat and come to Earth (stranded or otherwise) and become obsessed with Earth culture (pizza, skateboarding, etc.) It can be done. Is it an unnecessary change? Yup. A devastating one? I don't believe so.
Posted by krazyman27

@DIOMJK: No, he just happened to make him into a guy who inadvertently kills people over the the course of two movies while doing no detective work and fighting like a drunk robot.

Posted by Deadpool2325

My childhood just hasn't been able to stop crying.

Posted by krazyman27

How many of you guys are fans of the original cartoon series? Because I'm willing to bet that's MUCH further from the source material than simply making them 'aliens'. And do you seriously think they wont have the turtles grow up on earth? They're not just gonna pop up in NY as alien ninja teenagers. And they will NEVER get rid of the mutant angle, it's in the franchise name, no one is that stupid, (my guess is the sludge is simply from outer space). It's insane how much you guys can take one sentence with no actual information and jump to the conclusions you do.

A year from now I may be complaining harder than any of you, but just because you don't like (what) the PRODUCER (says) doesn't mean the whole movie will be trash.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@krazyman27: did you even watch the video?
Posted by cmaprice
@nakobass said:

For all the Bitching and Crying Fanboys gave about the Bayformers. Transformers are bigger then ever thanks to Bay.

I'm sure he will do a great job with TMNT, I don't like the alien origin thing either...

Transformers may very well be as big as ever, with three terrible abortions of cinema at their feet, but is that really better? I was never keen on Transformers in any respect, but those movies killed any curiosity I did have. The toys may sell better these days, but is that something the fans appreciate when the quality and perception of the characters and premise have been compromised? 
 
Should people be ok with no talent hacks like Bay, Schumacher, Liebesman, and Ratner putting their hands all over franchises because their one trick is making it 'flashy' so there are plenty of toys for the companies, or should we hope for people like Nolan, Jackson, Darabont, and del Toro to come along and respect the material while appropriately updating it as needed to work in a medium and add depth to the story? My vote is for the latter, even if the toy sales aren't spiked as much.  
 
There is no substitute for having established, quality storytellers at the helm regarding creative decisions.
Posted by cattlebattle
@BlackArmor said:

@The Jeff said:

at least the Power Rangers are safe

Duh duh duduh Coming in 2015.........nah, just joking.........or am I?

LOL, at least in Power Rangers something was always blowing up, Bay would feel right at home...
 
  
Posted by DMC

Oi Bay

Posted by TheGodofThunder

#*** this movie. I am not even kidding. #*** michael bay too

Edited by CATPANEXE

I think the uproar is more the fact Bay is attached considering what a splendid job he's done so far, and the detail of their origin is just the first example of the tone we will be seeing set. I don't think it's the end of the world nor death of the franchise by any stretch, but I've went into that enough elsewhere, but my expectations for this film itself are definitely lampshaded. Actually, I'll just quote myself (one of them, I'm up on blasting off about this) regarding Bay's direction of the film, and peoples reactions and whether they're justified in a negative projection or not.

I'm real tired of people telling me to have faith in Bay. I was told this when he announced with other " dark comedy ", Transformers 2. I was told the same for his " darker more serious film " Transformers 3. And I was told the same and called stupid, here, as a matter of fact when he announced his " better than the original " version of Nightmare On Elm Street, and for myself immediately rejecting it. Guess what happened with all of the above? The second time I'll use this cliche saying today ~ To keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results is pure insanity. Applying it here, every time things have been speculated involving this mans work that is exactly what led to disappointment in them. I'm counting myself out of being excited about this film, and assuming that anything from the Turtles franchise will get any kind of proper representation in the film as well do to that sound logic. If any of you were in charge of driving this vehicle, then, I would be excited. But sadly your not.

To be clear again, I am optimistic about the direction of this era of the Turtles franchise, and the other mediums it has to offer, and happily believe that will offset what will come of this production. But I'm not about Bay making a quality film or anything in the ball park of something that actually appeals to the fans (be it of whatever incarnation of the Turtles, a note for some other time regarding expectations). It's optimism to expect fair weather when the conditions can logically call for it, but self inflicted delusion to hold out for a sunny month in the dead of winter in an always arctic climate.

Posted by krazyman27

@spiderbat87: the 15 second video that said the same thing thing I've read 50 times, or is there a different one? I'm not saying I like the idea of any changes but I'm trying to remain optimistic in a flood of negativity, doesn't make sense to get worked up over something this early on. But, if someone starts a petition online to do away with the alien origin I'd probably sign it.

Edited by LaserLambert

If Bay wants to make a movie with a bunch of green aliens (probably racist caricatures in some way) that kids will love, then create a new IP and do it, Leave TMNT alone!

Kids don't give a shit about TMNT why do they keep marketing it to them? they've never heard of it in their lifetime! anything that has action and comedy with colorful characters is the same to them! Market it to the 20 and even 30 year old crowd that fell in love with them when they were a thing.

Bottom Line - Little kids don't give a shit about whether they are aliens or mutants, and the 20-30 age group ONLY WANT MUTANTS. It's ridiculous to change this shit, and even more ridiculous to claim that this is more "believable".

Fuck Michael Bay.

Posted by Monarch_Chronicle

lol i found this kinda funny...Ps the whole thing is awesome but the bit about Bay is near the middle of the vid.

Posted by Hunter114

They'll probably end up calling it something like Totally Wicked Alien Thugs... but seriously, there are certain expectations that people... you know... expect... from a movie like this, I mean sure there's been a steady deviation from the original comic, but were they really that big? - having multicolored headbands instead of red ones, having a more detailed background, given slightly different personalities depending on the incarnation and the change from being called "Hero Turtles" to being called "Ninja Turtles" ... other than that, it's all been pretty steady.

They have always been teenagers, always been mutants, always been ninjas and always been turtles... and quite frankly changing that would be completely out of order, the Turtles are supposed to be incognito... in the shadows... their priority is to remain a secret from the outside world... so they choose a man who is mostly known for over-the-top explosions to be the director... I mean really movie makers... REALLY?!?!

Posted by TheGreyOutcastX
Posted by KEROGA

ugh he better pull this off ! and it better be great!

Posted by hectorsquall

From: Leonardo, O'Neil in favor of Bay's TMNT Reboot

"Michael Bay wants to do a different take on the turtles origin story ... Mazel Tov!" Tochi said. Hoag's support may be a bit mercenary in nature as she openly lists the Bay projects she's been involved in since her sewer-spelunking days.

They are trying to reassure people but I bet those actors don't even know what he's planning to do, that's probably just an answer to Robbie Rist's open letter.

Posted by LaserLambert

@TheGreyOutcastX: amazing, actors not talking shit toward a director/film producer with massive influence! they must really believe that Bay is doing something creative and intelligent.

Posted by Mutant4life

Michael Bay must be stopped!!!!!

Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy

Bah. To hell with you, Michael Bay.

TMNT doesn't needed to be 'spiced up' by changing their origin or anything. Besides, it's impossible to make a better movie than the first film. So you might as well stop.

Posted by LitosWay357

my thing is, why does this have to be a TMNT movie? he can do all that shit without soiling the name. maybe it can become something good in it's own right. I mean Mega Man started out as an Astro Boy Game...

Posted by TheGreyOutcastX

@hectorsquall said:

From: Leonardo, O'Neil in favor of Bay's TMNT Reboot

"Michael Bay wants to do a different take on the turtles origin story ... Mazel Tov!" Tochi said. Hoag's support may be a bit mercenary in nature as she openly lists the Bay projects she's been involved in since her sewer-spelunking days.

They are trying to reassure people but I bet those actors don't even know what he's planning to do, that's probably just an answer to Robbie Rist's open letter.

Oh it definitely that last part given how quick their responses where. How long before everyone else makes a statement?

@LaserLambert said:

@TheGreyOutcastX: amazing, actors not talking shit toward a director/film producer with massive influence! they must really believe that Bay is doing something creative and intelligent.

Sarcasm is duly noted.

Posted by The Impersonator

@AmazingFantasy15 said:

The horror, the horror!

Posted by CATPANEXE

@TheGreyOutcastX said:

There is an article on CBR saying that the actors for Leonardo and April O'Neil from the original movie are actually in favor of Bay's thoughts.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=37716

Then again, when your an out of work actor or starlet in LA county with an empty refrigerator, sometimes you jump up in the crowd and kiss the bosses buttcheeks hoping for a hand out?

Posted by TheGreyOutcastX

@CATPANEXE said:

@TheGreyOutcastX said:

There is an article on CBR saying that the actors for Leonardo and April O'Neil from the original movie are actually in favor of Bay's thoughts.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=37716

Then again, when your an out of work actor or starlet in LA county with an empty refrigerator, sometimes you jump up in the crowd and kiss the bosses buttcheeks hoping for a hand out?

I already figured that. Kinda was the case when the actress of O'Neil cited her past works with Bay.

Posted by CATPANEXE

@TheGreyOutcastX:

I wasn't demoting faith in your intelligence, but dismissing the persons commentary in the link. Don't confuse my direction towards something another said towards your self for sharing it.

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