When we reported yesterday that Michael Bay claimed the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a movie his company Platinum Dunes is producing, were from outer space, we were actually willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he just wasn't familiar with the material and made a geek faux pas, perhaps. Today we get word directly from Michael Bay, courtesy of his own official forum, that he meant every word he said. And he wants you to chill out.
Quoth the Bay: "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."
It's tempting to say that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aren't exactly a sacred cow from a story perspective, since honestly they were never Shakespeare (or even "The Pirates of Dark Water"), but we'd suggest that keeping the fans at arm's length is bad idea right now. You might remember the controversy over an aborted Superman movie, which gave him a Venom-like costume and made Lex Luthor a Kryptonian. Or that rumored version of the Green Lantern movie, which would have cast Jack Black as a stoner who uses his power ring to make bongs. Fans didn't read those scripts either, but there was an understandable backlash at trying to fix what wasn't broken (at best) or making sweeping changes to an existing, established and beloved mythology for no conceivable reason.
If nothing else, making the heroes on a half-shell aliens calls into question the very title of the franchise, since… Well, what are they mutated from if turtle people are an alien race? If they rebooted the X-Men franchise and said they were aliens, fans would have a justifiable reason to be concerned, although admittedly that would probably be infinitely more sacrilegious given that franchise's real world subtext.
CraveOnline will be back with more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles news after we kick some shell.