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

Posted by inferiorego (23308 posts) - - Show Bio

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 MichaelBay'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.

#1 Posted by Decept-O (7827 posts) - - Show Bio

While not a huge TMNT fan I still admire the characters and franchise and you couldn't go anywhere during the 90's without hearing about the "heroes in a half-shell..turtle power" blaring someplace or another.

The origin hints that possibly the same radioactive waste goop which blinded Matt Murdock and gave him his Daredevil powers, spilled into the sewers and mutated the turtles and a rodent into the heroes we all know.

It would be a dumbass move to even mention or try to use the alien concept, even if they are "mutated" somewhere along the line.

Just don't mess with the original.

#2 Posted by TheGreyOutcastX (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

Why, Michael Bay?! Why can't you leave my childhood alone?!!!

#3 Posted by BoyWander (329 posts) - - Show Bio

This basically voices all my complaints. cool.

#4 Posted by Bobcat14 (25 posts) - - Show Bio


Check out this link from when the Turtles were last scene in Space. It was pretty terrible then and w/ Bay involved it will just be as bad or even worse in the near future.

#5 Posted by leokearon (1952 posts) - - Show Bio

Michael Bay decides to ruin another 80's icon.

#6 Posted by ARMIV2 (9270 posts) - - Show Bio

Though I never really got too into the Turtles, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

#7 Posted by AmazingFantasy15 (350 posts) - - Show Bio

The horror, the horror!

#8 Posted by TDK_1997 (16121 posts) - - Show Bio

Why are they doing this to me????????

#9 Posted by pikahyper (14754 posts) - - Show Bio

They should have just had him make Battletoads the Movie.

#10 Posted by Beast_in_the_Shadows (433 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow, if there was anything to put my nerd-rage over the DC reboot into perspective, it's this.

Making them aliens would change almost everything about them. In addition to the examples explained here, it also takes away the subplot of them being outcasts and alone for the same things that make them unique. Unless we find out that their entire race died out (which has been done to death) but even then, they are still genetically normal and never have to question whether they are just freaks resultant of an accident.

Poor move, Mr Bay. The fans are completely justified with their disappointment. We are not complaining because you gave them new costumes or because you are telling a story when they have aged and are no longer teenagers. We are upset because you seem to want to tell a completely different story, but give it the TMNT name.

#11 Posted by North Roberts (41 posts) - - Show Bio

I didn't know that ninja weapons caused enough explosions to validate Michael Bay's attention.

#12 Posted by venomyak (1532 posts) - - Show Bio

Dude I don't even like TMNT that much and I can tell how wrong this is.

#13 Posted by blur1528 (1095 posts) - - Show Bio

Most fun article that I have read in awhile.

#14 Edited by cmaprice (857 posts) - - Show Bio

Michael Bay shouldn't be allowed to make films, period. 
He's all style, no substance. Even that is a bit too generous, seeing as the style is certainly nothing to write home about.

#15 Edited by Soldier zero (256 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheGreyOutcastX said:

Why, Michael Bay?! Why can't you leave my childhood alone?!!!

Same here.

Mr Bay already have the undying enemity of the TF fandom thanks to Transformers 2 & 3. Now this!

My big question is: when are they're going to screw Thundercats making them mutants?

@North Roberts said:

I didn't know that ninja weapons caused enough explosions to validate Michael Bay's attention.

Just replace nunchucks with linked sticks of dynamite.

#16 Posted by AlKusanagi (712 posts) - - Show Bio

So which of the turtles will be what offensive racial stereotypes? Raph has the vaguely New York accent in the first movie, so he can be a guido. Don is good with computers, so he can be Asian, no, wait, an Indian stereotype that speaks only in dialog from a call center. Mikey will be a sassy black 70s street hustler. And Leo will be Shia Lebouf. Finally, Splinter will be a hairless, wrinkly rat, so they can work in as many jokes about him looking like a penis as possible, and all his dialog will be fart noises played on a synthesizer.

There you go, Bay. I wrote at least half the material you'll need for the film right there. I'll be waiting for my 10 million dollar commission.

#17 Posted by TheGreyOutcastX (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

@Soldier zero said:

@TheGreyOutcastX said:

Why, Michael Bay?! Why can't you leave my childhood alone?!!!

Same here.

Mr Bay already have the undying enemity of the TF fandom thanks to Transformers 2 & 3. Now this!

My big question is: when are they're going to screw Thundercats making them mutants?

Dude, don't give Bay any thoughts about Thundercats. At least one franchise must remain safe the destroyer of childhoods.

#18 Posted by Soldier zero (256 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheGreyOutcastX said:

@Soldier zero said:

@TheGreyOutcastX said:

Why, Michael Bay?! Why can't you leave my childhood alone?!!!

Same here.

Mr Bay already have the undying enemity of the TF fandom thanks to Transformers 2 & 3. Now this!

My big question is: when are they're going to screw Thundercats making them mutants?

Dude, don't give Bay any thoughts about Thundercats. At least one franchise must remain safe the destroyer of childhoods.

DOH! You're right, I have to shut up.

#19 Posted by davidgrantlloyd (448 posts) - - Show Bio

Aliens???? Seriously??? Why not just make them robots while you're at it??

Even if there are some cool aspects in the film (style, design, action scenes, etc) ... most audiences (I presume) will concur that it would probably be best to leave them as mutated turtles.

#20 Posted by BoyWander (329 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll be optimistic and say maybe the mutagen is from aliens (like krang?)... it's a long shot...

#21 Posted by TheGreyOutcastX (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

@BoyWander said:

I'll be optimistic and say maybe the mutagen is from aliens (like krang?)... it's a long shot...

This also crossed my mind.

#22 Posted by BoyWander (329 posts) - - Show Bio

@AlKusanagi: Don't forget they'll take away Shredder's face plate and have him play an almost completely unimportant part. Also the foot will explode each time one is hit.

Either way it really doesn't matter because the camera will shake so much you won't notice.

#23 Posted by g33ky monk3y (215 posts) - - Show Bio

At first I was giving Michael “Awesome” Bay the benefit of the doubt, maybe he just used the wrong word. Its possible he meant “alien” as in different, strange, or foreign. Maybe the emphasis was in the wrong place. But re-reading it again for the 100th time, nope. Bay specifically said “from an alien race”. What purpose does this serve, to remove (or move) the Turtles’ origin? There were a few villains and adventures that took place on alien planets and in other dimensions, but the best and most recognizable were the romps through New York City, beating up The Foot Clan or Baxter Stockman’s Mouser droids. Bay’s producing credits are limited, B-grade horror films, mostly reboots and remakes. Considering he is just the producer on this project as well, I’ll hold out that the film could still turn out pretty good. I’ll just disregard his quote as a producer that doesn’t fully understand everything about the film he’s funding. It reminds me of a Penny Arcade comic from a while back, where Bay “re-imagined” Megatron as a riding lawnmower and Bumblebee as a fondue pot. Maybe he just doesn’t know the source material. To quote Guy from Galaxy Quest, “Have you even watched the show?!”

#24 Posted by NXH (1031 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll "chill" when Michael Bay drops dead.

#25 Posted by nakobass (55 posts) - - Show Bio

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!

#26 Posted by Mr_riddler (15852 posts) - - Show Bio

It's official, we're scr**wed. Eastman and Laird Save us!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
#27 Posted by Eyz (3187 posts) - - Show Bio


Well, that's already how I his Transformers looked like, not "Robots in Disguise" but more like "RANDOM PIECES OF COMPLICATED CGi"

#28 Posted by Mattersuit (4295 posts) - - Show Bio

Okay...so Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who are not teenagers, mutants, ninjas, or turtles.

I see a slight problem with this.

#29 Posted by wowylied (238 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't wait to see him raped streetshark, mice form mars, the magic bus, mighty max and all others things from when i was a child...

#30 Posted by Jolt92 (189 posts) - - Show Bio

It will be shit anyway so I don't really care if he doesn't stay true to the original.

#31 Posted by Funkydeath (30 posts) - - Show Bio

Nooooooo!!!! I was so excited about a new tmnt movie especially after that sham that was the last one. But, now that excitement has been dashed. Alien turtles... Really?

#32 Posted by The_Mercenary (2076 posts) - - Show Bio

Waittaminute... If they aren't teenagers... And they aren't from earth... Then that means...


#33 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3627 posts) - - Show Bio

I love all the comic book creators reaction to it. It's pretty funny when Bay is actually reacting to all of this.

#34 Posted by Theodore (3607 posts) - - Show Bio

Shame on him. I wanna punch him in the mouth.

#35 Posted by DanyBoy (52 posts) - - Show Bio

First I was : "ok maybe the Mutagen got an alien element in it..." but reading the comment I came up with this :

Maybe he means alien : A person who is not included in a group; an outsider.

Ok, he said "alien race"... teenager is an alien race !!!!!

Wich now make total sense. They are outcast, they struggle to live within the society and we all know they are curious, teenager and love pizza and skateboarding !

It's Bay so of course he wanna make some huge buzz. And he did ! The guy knows his musical score.

#36 Posted by DanyBoy (52 posts) - - Show Bio

@BoyWander: killer comment !

#37 Posted by eric7 (3 posts) - - Show Bio

just go ahead and call it something else because this does not look like a tmnt movie

#38 Posted by The Mighty Monarch (3662 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh Gail Simone, you are the absolute best.

#39 Posted by Lexino (45 posts) - - Show Bio

I wonder why news articles are using the fanart image by Stjepan Sejic aka Nebezial, which has nothing to do with the movie...? Because it looks cool? sure, but people might associate it with the movie.

#40 Edited by Shadow_Thief (2511 posts) - - Show Bio

Of course, if he uses the same formula he used with the Transformers, the TMNT will be largely relegated to being background characters while the real story focuses on a hyperactive, unlikeable paperboy they befriend through arbitrary and utterly implausible circumstances.

Up yours, Hollywood. Every time I see a movie about a beloved, established icon being released, I just automatically assume that their image has been hastily stapled to a generic film to attempt to compensate (in terms of box office returns) for said film's utter mediocrity. This is what you've conditioned me to do.

#41 Posted by hectorsquall (1137 posts) - - Show Bio
#42 Posted by .Mistress Redhead. (26668 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a Michael Bay film, why would I see it in the first place?

#43 Posted by Omega-Man (825 posts) - - Show Bio

This is awful. but there are possible wrong wording of this alien could mean anything. Not really mean they are from another planet.

#44 Posted by thecheckeredman (421 posts) - - Show Bio
@pikahyper said:

They should have just had him make Battletoads the Movie.

Or Biker Mice from Mars...
#45 Posted by KidChipotle (14840 posts) - - Show Bio

Someone is eventually going to be shot from an angry fan boy.....

#46 Posted by Ms. Omega (4829 posts) - - Show Bio

Ohhh Hellz Naw.........this makes me sad I grew up on TMNT :(

#47 Posted by Nerx (15351 posts) - - Show Bio

Get a bunch of hobos and burly men then march into his house then violate him until he ends in a wheelchair

Time to remove all differences and unite for a grand cause
#48 Posted by Atary77 (88 posts) - - Show Bio

The mutation aspect was good not only for the Turtles themselves but for various other characters in the series especially Master Splinter!

Bay's whole claim that it'll be good sounds like the same stupid pitch he gave for Transformers... and we all know how those turned out ><

#49 Posted by Mutant X (1584 posts) - - Show Bio

Damn it.

#50 Posted by pspin (1081 posts) - - Show Bio

I bet that April O'Neal or Casey Jones will die and go to turtle heaven only to come back and save the world with a sock full of sewer slime. Which would be ridiculous, not to mention impossible. Oh wait, that was the other Micheal Bay "movie(?)"

That being said I hope they make it more like the 2003 series than the other one

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