Ninja Turtles - Let's Be Reasonable, People
Turtlegate has taken the internet by storm. It doesn't matter what new tidbit of information comes out, a large majority is clinging onto the "OH MY GOD, BAY IS DESTROYING MY CHILDHOOD" mentality. This came after producer (yes, he's not directing) Michael Bay said the following:
These turtles are form an alien race, and they’re going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely loveable.
Was it foolish for him to make such a vague statement? Absolutely. Even though the ooze which mutates the Turtles is in fact from alien technology, it's tough not to get your mind running with the whole "they're from an alien race" part. I, along with many others, instantly thought this meant the four "turtles" would be from an alien planet, likely having a population of turtle looking inhabitants. So, it was healthy to lash out a bit at this, and naturally, almost everyone did. The rampant speculation had almost everyone up in arms, ranging from comic book creators, previous Turtle voice actors, and even made some late night shows (Kimmel, Conan). This sent a powerful message to the team behind Ninja Turtles and it's clear they heard it loud and clear. Director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans, Battle: LA) made this more than transparent during an interview with Collider:
Look, it's so funny. If everyone was such a die-hard fan, they would know that the TCRI canisters where the ooze comes from... that is alien ooze. Now I'm not saying what Michael said is exactly what the movie is, because we're sitting in a room now figuring everything out. So we don't know, but we are like Michael said: we're expanding it, and the expansion will be true to the mythology. I promise you: fans will love it.
Whatever mythology we’re building on or expanding is coming from that guy, Kevin Eastman’s head, who created the Turtles in the first place. And so everything will tie in with the mythology; fans will be extremely excited with what we’re coming up with. A lot of it is stuff he’s wanted to do for a long time, but just hasn’t had the opportunity because now we have the budget and things on this film to expand it in the right way. And so, I’m happy that everyone is extremely passionate, and they will not be disappointed. It’s all coming from the best possible place for this franchise.
The critical part here is "we're sitting in a room now figuring everything out." The outrage over a possible planet full of turtles boomed into their ears (to the point where I imagine they're bleeding). So unless they're trolling us for fun, there is absolutely no way in hell they're going to stick with the idea of a planet full of turtles... assuming of course that was even a possibility to begin with. That crap idea, if it was ever on the table, is almost certainly in the garbage bin at this point.
Objective completed, right? The director heavily implied their origin is going to be inspired by the Mirage comic and Kevin Eastman, the co-creator of the franchise is on-board. The planet of Turtles idea is likely slain and we can throw confetti in the air, yes? Wait, what do you mean people are still screaming and ranting? Michael Bay said something else? Son of a... okay, what did he say to piss off fans now? Bay wrote the following on his forum:
Paramount marketing changed the name. They made the title simple. The characters you all remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers. Everything you remember, why you liked the characters, is in the movie. This script is being developed by two very smart writers, with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles. They care VERY MUCH about making this film for the fans. Everyone on this team cares about the fans. Just give them a chance. Jonathan the director, is a major fan of the whole franchise. HE'S NOT GOING TO LET YOU DOWN.
Hold up, that's it? So the name was changed to Ninja Turtles and the online community is combusting again? *sigh* Few things:
- It has been called Ninja Turtles before. Rewind to 1997, the show was called Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.
- People are blaming Bay for the change? Read the first line. Paramount marketing changed the name. Besides, the name change isn't a big deal nor will that be a deciding factor in the quality of the film.
- Don't jump the gun. People are going "THEY LEFT OUT TEENAGE AND MUTANT, SO WTF? THEY AREN'T TEENAGERS OR MUTANTS?" Wait until there's more information, and based on the rest of that statement, it sounds like they'll have the same mentality and will be "mutated" by the alien ooze (per the Director's chat).
Don't get me wrong, nowhere am I defending or supporting Michael Bay as a filmmaker (even though he isn't directing or writing here, mind you) or am I saying this will be a good movie. The entire point of this is the fact that I can't make that call yet (regarding the quality of the movie), and guess what? You can't either. We can't jump to conclusions based on unclear promotional statements that don't even give any solid facts surrounding the film. If they come out and now say "The turtles have a homeworld with other Turtles," then alright, freak out a bit. But in the meantime, this isn't worth the frustration and hate it's receiving. The least you can do is wait for some definitive statements or a trailer before releasing the fanrage kraken.
source: my blog