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Why I Disagree With the Massive Outcry Over 'Ninja Turtles'

Gregg speaks his mind about the overwhelmingly negative response to every bit of news surrounding the upcoming film.

Hey there Viners, if you're part of our community, then you likely know I love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was born in 1985 and grew up with the cartoon and movies. From there, my love for the franchise lead me to the comics, and years later I now have the privilege of reviewing the new IDW series and even the TV show here on Comic Vine.

When news broke awhile ago about a new TMNT movie, it's no surprise that my excitement level shot through the roof. I wanted a return to the feel of the 1990 movie. Dark and emotional, yet still hilarious and fun. It was the perfect tone for the franchise, but then they announced the creative team behind it. Suddenly, I realize that's likely not the movie I'd get. Instead, I'd eventually get a movie where you need to shut off your brain and enjoy some popcorn entertainment. It'll likely be flashy, filled with stupid humor and tons of action. And you know what? I'm actually fine with that. Clearly, though, I'm part of the minority on this one. Every single time something breaks about this movie, a good 95% of the comments look like the following:

So news broke the other day that Megan Fox is in the movie. And over at Variety, they're saying she'll be April O'Neil (which seems rather obvious, no?). I get some people don't like her as an actress, and if you legitimately feel that way, then that's fine and you're certainly entitled to your opinion. I confess, my knee-jerk reaction to this was disappointment. Moments later, though, I realized I was being ridiculous and I've seen some absurdly irrational reactions to this, too. "Fox will ruin this movie, Fox is the worst actress ever. SHE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE RED HAIR!" Really? Really? First and foremost, while she'll likely be a big part of the film, there's no way she's a selling point for the majority of us when it comes to a Turtles movie. Additionally, while an Oscar is certainly not in her future, I hardly think she's an atrocious actress. She's not great, but she's definitely far from the most cringe-worthy performer ever.

When it comes to acting chops, the role of April doesn't exactly require Meryl Streep and this is something I imagine Fox's capable of doing. I hardly see this as being a demanding role or the factor that will make or break this movie. If you don't like her, you don't like her, but thinking she alone will sink this ship is beyond silly to me. As for the red hair remarks. Seriously? Come on, man. I think they have it in their budget to dye her hair, don't you? And even if they don't, her being a brunette isn't a huge change that warrants flipping tables and smashing your keyboards.

Let's talk about the bit that generates the most discussion: Michael "Explosions Feed My Soul" Bay. Just like I said about Megan Fox, if you don't like his work, then ya don't like his work. That's fine, but I still see people saying they hate him as a director and he's going to destroy this. For the gazillionth time, he's not directing this movie -- he's producing it. Clearly, he has his hands in the creative process behind this film, but it's not just him. There's two writers, TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman, and director Jonathan Liebesman involved. If this movie does indeed suck, I see no reason why he's the one to receive all of the blame. But for now, they're claiming it'll have effects similar to Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Raid: Redemption-esque fight scenes. I just pray the final product will be able to prove those statements true. Because if so, it would absolutely make up for a potentially lackluster plot and/or dialogue (for me, at least).

And then there's the leaked script -- something that made any TMNT fan's blood boil. If (and IF is the key word here) that's where they're truly going with this, then I must say I'll be very disappointed. I understand the movie has the right to make changes to the source material, but drastically changing everything just feels completely unnecessary and pointless. That said, Michael Bay has claimed the version of the script that leaked has seen "the shredder" (har har) and is nothing like what they're working with. I really hope he's being sincere with this, and there's no way we'll know until they let us see more information (likely via a teaser/trailer).

There's one other thing I'd like to address about the script: Aliens. Right when the producer (Bay) said they'd be aliens I felt the Earth tremble from all of the fans screaming (which is a totally rational reaction, by the way). The vague statement opened the flood gates to the endless possibilities of what this meant. Did they crash here on a ship? Is there a planet of "Turtles?" I hope not, but it's worth saying that the Turtles have always technically been part Alien. The ooze that mutated them from TCRI? Yeah, made by the Utroms -- aliens (insert meme here). So while they're part Turtles from Earth, they're also part alien space goop. Part of me believes Bay was foolish with his choice words and that's what he meant to imply. However, if they're from a planet full of dudes and dudettes who look like mutated Turtles, then I'll let out a sigh that could create an avalanche because they'd no longer technically be mutants, and that's an unnecessary change. But in the meantime, there's nothing to say for certain that's the case.

Every time a piece of news comes out about this movie the internet blows up. I get it, a huge chunk of us grew up with this franchise and hold it close to our hearts, but where is this kind of passion whenever there's a piece about the show or comic? The IDW comics have been brilliant thus far and the Nick show is hugely entertaining, yet discussion in those articles feel like being in an abandoned desert town compared to anything and everything regarding the movies. If you really love the franchise, show it by supporting it. Go purchase the comics (they're always re-releasing the old Mirage stuff, too) or check out the show on Nick (airs Friday nights). Seriously, go prove you're actually passionate about the franchise and give those a shot. To top it off, ComiXology even currently has a sale for TMNT comics! You can't beat $0.99 for those issues.

Now, I'm not saying the movie will be good, but what I am saying is the responses I've witnessed thus far have been hilarious overreactions. When the time comes, if you're that offended by the trailers we'll see, then just don't see the movie. Seeing the movie and then coming back to complain on the internet isn't you getting the last laugh. No, it's your money in the pockets of the people you allegedly loathe. So, when we finally get to witness a trailer and if you still feel the same way, then do yourself a favor and just don't see it. It's that simple. Your childhood won't be destroyed and do you want to know why? You still have those memories planted firmly in your head and those cherished events still happened. Hell, you can even go re-watch those cartoons and movies or read the older comics. There's no reason for you to even acknowledge this film when it comes out if you really don't want to. Me, though? I'm going to do my best to keep an open mind until we get the facts about the story and get a trailer.

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.

125 Comments
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Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek

@ghostsuck: Biased opinion? How is this biased at all? If it was really bias, he would be raging about how the movie would suck, but he's not, and he's actually using logic.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@Walzo said:

@ghostsuck:

So all of a sudden K4 loves Michael Bay? You're talking nonsense, what bias is visible?

I don't hate him, so obviously that means I love him!

Staff
Posted by Walzo

@k4tzm4n said:

@Walzo said:

@ghostsuck:

So all of a sudden K4 loves Michael Bay? You're talking nonsense, what bias is visible?

I don't hate him, so obviously that means I love him!

Is it a bad thing that I liked Bad Boys 2?

Must mean I love Michael Bay.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@Walzo said:

@k4tzm4n said:

@Walzo said:

@ghostsuck:

So all of a sudden K4 loves Michael Bay? You're talking nonsense, what bias is visible?

I don't hate him, so obviously that means I love him!

Is it a bad thing that I liked Bad Boys 2?

Must mean I love Michael Bay.

Dude, why didn't you tell me he was also paying you to like some of his work!

Staff
Edited by BlueLantern1995

Look I'm one of those people who is really angry with this stuff. I know what Bay and Fox have done to other franchises. Despite that I am going to give this movie a chance. I do not believe Fox is good enough for the role plain and simple though this is a matter of opinion and I could be wrong about that.

Furthermore I know Bay is in the Producer's seat and am still worried. The fact that Bay has never done anything that is focused on sex and explosions shows my point. I will give this movie a shot and hope I'm wrong. I do not say that this is automatically bad, I'm just saying it has a predisposition for it.

Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek

@k4tzm4n said:

@Walzo said:

@k4tzm4n said:

@Walzo said:

@ghostsuck:

So all of a sudden K4 loves Michael Bay? You're talking nonsense, what bias is visible?

I don't hate him, so obviously that means I love him!

Is it a bad thing that I liked Bad Boys 2?

Must mean I love Michael Bay.

Dude, why didn't you tell me he was also paying you to like some of his work!

Looks like we're all a club! Care to take a dive in my pool of Baydollars and VineCoins?

Posted by benblanks

technically calling him Greg Katzman 'K4' is like calling him 'Ka'...which is weird. Just sayin'.

Posted by Grey56

"Now, I'm not saying the movie will be good, but what I am saying is the responses I've witnessed thus far have been hilarious overreactions. When the time comes, if you're that offended by the trailers we'll see, then just don't see the movie."

Look, I don't know you sir. But this entire article seems like a rant on folks being upset over the changes to properties you admittedly love. This last line I've quoted is your back-door to not offering any real prognostication over the film despite all early information. I'm not going to out and out tell you you're wrong - because you haven't done anything except implore people to allow this film to get a chance.

You are correct though - as pointed out; we should speak with our wallet. And if that means not going to see the film and waiting to see the critical reviews - so be it. You are absolutely right that coming home to the safety of the interwebs after seeing the film is the worst form of demand for the characters to stay true to what they originally were.

All that said - Bay is the Producer. I don't know if you've been keeping count - but there's not much he hasn't touched (do any search of any film data base) that doesn't turn to critical pyrite. I share your passion for the original series and even the first film - it encapsulated much of what the properties embodied. Yet all of the announced ingredients thus far warrant high suspicion and equivalent gnashing of teeth (or beaks). My prediction? The film will be a lot of what you already said; lots of action, short on character and plot. Thus - I understand the outcry.

Posted by k4tzm4n

I'll repeat what I said on the other page since I believe it can apply to the latest comments:

Concern and worry is warranted and perfectly natural -- when expressed in a reasonable manner, of course. Thinking it'll "destroy your childhood" or "be the worst thing ever" isn't reasonable at all -- that's the crowd I'm addressing -- and there's quite a few people ranting in such a manner. I don't expect to change people's opinions about Bay or Fox nor do I want to, but I do aim to hopefully help them realize it's hilariously absurd to be so upset about this, especially when there's currently great TMNT products they're apparently missing out on.
Staff
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@Grey56 said:

"Now, I'm not saying the movie will be good, but what I am saying is the responses I've witnessed thus far have been hilarious overreactions. When the time comes, if you're that offended by the trailers we'll see, then just don't see the movie."

Look, I don't know you sir. But this entire article seems like a rant on folks being upset over the changes to properties you admittedly love. This last line I've quoted is your back-door to not offering any real prognostication over the film despite all early information. I'm not going to out and out tell you you're wrong - because you haven't done anything except implore people to allow this film to get a chance.

You are correct though - as pointed out; we should speak with our wallet. And if that means not going to see the film and waiting to see the critical reviews - so be it. You are absolutely right that coming home to the safety of the interwebs after seeing the film is the worst form of demand for the characters to stay true to what they originally were.

All that said - Bay is the Producer. I don't know if you've been keeping count - but there's not much he hasn't touched (do any search of any film data base) that doesn't turn to critical pyrite. I share your passion for the original series and even the first film - it encapsulated much of what the properties embodied. Yet all of the announced ingredients thus far warrant high suspicion and equivalent gnashing of teeth (or beaks). My prediction? The film will be a lot of what you already said; lots of action, short on character and plot. Thus - I understand the outcry.

well when I said "put your money where your mouth is" I was meaning for pepole to stop moaning about the goddamn film and read the goddamn comic instead if they love TMNT so much.

Online
Posted by dominicanjoker

My opinion is they should hire Noomi Rapace for the role of April she can act and she looks enough like April. It's completely unnecessary to not make them Mutants. I heard something of the old script that I really liked that they chose their color coded mask because of Reservoir Dogs, if they keep that scene and do it right it should be hilarious, I practically can hear Mikey saying I want to be Mr. Pink and Raph making fun of him

Posted by Agent_Prince

This article has definitely done it's job, and that is getting everyone talking about the TNMT, sorry NT movie. Bay may not be the director, but the producer is the man who coughs up the money and wants to see the end product.

With Man of Steel, Zack Snyder is the director, and I am currently very skeptical to say the least because of it. However, it is produced by Christopher Nolan and his company, so you could argue as to who is really behind the wheel. It's well known that Man of Steel had to be made to a strict deadline otherwise the movie would not have been able to happen, and Nolan will have been busy making Dark Knight Rises.

It boils down to this: If the movie is good, Nolan will get the credit, if it is bad, Snyder will get the blame.

But in the case of NT: Bay will get credit and blame for either outcome.

Posted by Demonturtle

@k4tzm4n: nice job!

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Nah I totally agree man...for me personally my criticisms stem from the obvious leaked script and I guess from Megan Fox as well. If that leaked script is indeed the actual script then yes I do feel it may be a disappointment, but that's just me. As for Ms. Fox, its like this, true, she isn't exactly a major A-lister that is going to win an Oscar anytime soon, but even the roles she has had thus far in the great action movies that put her on the map were terribly insufficient in my opinion, namely Transformers and the DC movie which really shouldn't be named (Jonah Hex). Personally for me I'm of the opinion that roles should actually go tot he person who has the right hair color, and while redheads aren't exactly the most numerous out there, in Hollywood or otherwise, I still say there is perhaps one or two that could be worthy enough pull off April O'Neil. Personally for me...the following actress would be a killer April...

Posted by Grey56

@Jonny_Anonymous: Roger - I knew what you were trying to say, it's probably my fault for not making it very clear. What I meant was - if they make clear what they like by what they read then it will hopefully translate into what is depicted on the silver screen. Even if not, then they still have great stories to show for their hard earned money.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

FANBOYS -_-

Posted by Trodorne

This is well thought out opinion on the fan boy syndrome. While I would like nothing more than success of the series. I would also like nothing more than Michael Bay stripped of any movie creative process. If anything for the franchise I would encourage more READERS than movie go'ers to take up the books than seeing a movie that would be a waste of millions of dollars in the hopes to make billions in profit. books allow for more expansion of the imagination than movies could ever do.

Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

I liked TMNT alot, not sure why you need to change that formula

Posted by DeVianThaI

The only thing that calms me is that the co-creator is writing this (partially).

Edited by k4tzm4n

@Trodorne: @Demonturtle: Thank you.

@Mrfuzzynutz said:

I liked TMNT alot, not sure why you need to change that formula

Right now it's unclear what has been changed -- if even anything at all. They claim the "aliens" thing has been thrown out the window.

@DeVianThaI said:

The only thing that calms me is that the co-creator is writing this (partially).

Yes, he's been helping and has praised the script thus far. Only time will tell what that truly means, though!

Staff
Posted by k4tzm4n

@Agent_Prince said:

This article has definitely done it's job, and that is getting everyone talking about the TNMT, sorry NT movie. Bay may not be the director, but the producer is the man who coughs up the money and wants to see the end product.

With Man of Steel, Zack Snyder is the director, and I am currently very skeptical to say the least because of it. However, it is produced by Christopher Nolan and his company, so you could argue as to who is really behind the wheel. It's well known that Man of Steel had to be made to a strict deadline otherwise the movie would not have been able to happen, and Nolan will have been busy making Dark Knight Rises.

It boils down to this: If the movie is good, Nolan will get the credit, if it is bad, Snyder will get the blame.

But in the case of NT: Bay will get credit and blame for either outcome.

The funny thing is Nolan claims he's barely doing anything with the film.

I actually feel guilty talking about it because I’m sitting here having nothing to do to it. I try to be as supportive as I can, and I’m just amazed by what he is doing. It’s not something I would know how to do
Staff
Posted by blackkitty

Megan Fox, I see this role akin to how she did in Transformers so, like it or hate it, there you go. As for her not having red hair... seriously? Nick Fury isn't black in the main universe, king pin isn't black, electro isn't black. So, face it, movies make changes to characters, it just happens.

As for changes in the movie, wait and see. They need to do something to breathe new life into the series. The animated movie didn't do so hot for them so, time to try something else. I will be supportive and just pray this doesn't end up like The Last Airbender.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@blackkitty said:

Megan Fox, I see this role akin to how she did in Transformers so, like it or hate it, there you go. As for her not having red hair... seriously? Nick Fury isn't black in the main universe, king pin isn't black, electro isn't black. So, face it, movies make changes to characters, it just happens.

As for changes in the movie, wait and see. They need to do something to breathe new life into the series. The animated movie didn't do so hot for them so, time to try something else. I will be supportive and just pray this doesn't end up like The Last Airbender.

Yeah, I wish TMNT made more at the box office. The rooftop fight alone was worth the price of admission.

Staff
Posted by Shipwreck

The point about Megan Fox maybe true, but she did state that comic book movies don't deserve skill from their actors. This course, has turned her into ugly for most comic lovers. I don't think she be doing such movies unless she gives them respect that others have given them.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@Shipwreck said:

The point about Megan Fox maybe true, but she did state that comic book movies don't deserve skill from their actors. This course, has turned her into ugly for most comic lovers. I don't think she be doing such movies unless she gives them respect that others have given them.

Do you happen to have a source for that? I seem to recall her saying something like she'd be "okay" with doing CBMs for the rest of her career, but I don't remember her bashing it like that.

Staff