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I Guess I Can't Argue With That

People Are Predictably Really Unhappy About Michael Bay’s Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles Movie — As They Should Be

So, we just found out that Michael Bay‘s plans for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie will entail changing the turtles from mutants into aliens. Even though “mutant” was kind of the whole point of the fighting band of turtles, and making them part of an “alien race” not only kills the original idea completely, but it’s just a generally stupid idea if you’re plan is to make a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. The “mutant” part is part of the package. But now, people associated with TMNT are speaking up against Bay’s stupid, stupid, stupid decision, expressing what we fans of the series have thought since we first heard the news. No, not T-U-R-T-L-E power. More like rage.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a gigantic TMNT fan. So, I, like many other devoted TMNT fans, were pretty taken aback by the announcement that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would not be mutants. And if they are, indeed, aliens, then they probably operate on a different kind of time, so they’re probably not teenagers. Nor would they be ninjas, since that is an Earthly martial art. And turtles are also an Earthly species, so they won’t even be turtles.

So, wtf are these things going to be, and why are we calling this a movie about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when they will be none of the above?

For starters, Bay, who is producing the new movie, is taking the “pat the fans on the head” route and telling true TMNT fans to “chill” about his horrible idea to ruin TMNT:

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.

I really hate it when people tell me to “relax.” And no, Michael Bay, making the turtles aliens means that they will no longer have “everything that made [us] become fans in the first place.” Because part of that was the slime in the NYC sewer that turned normal, Earth turtles into ninjas trained by a similarly mutated sewer rat (also from Earth). Another thing: the turtles love pizza. Not because they landed on Earth and discovered it. Because they are born and bred New Yorkers (who happen to be mutant turtles). It was the slime that came from aliens. The ooze. And that’s it.

Ninja Pizza speculates that the TMNT creator in question is Kevin Eastman, since Peter Laird has already said that he won’t be involved in this movie. And we have yet to hear from Eastman about the changes Bay wants to make to the turtles’ origin story.

While we haven’t heard directly from a TMNT creator about this yet, we do have a pretty ardently angry statement from one of the actors from the original movie. Robbie Rist, who provided the voice of Michaelangelo in the first TMNT movie, used some words that we, personally would not use to describe what Bay is doing to the story. But they illustrate the point. From TMZ:

“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? The rape of our childhood memories continues … “

Okay, while we don’t agree with Rist’s choice of words (because we’re talking about fictional characters who are teenage mutant ninja turtles and not, you know, actual violent crimes), this is just how upset fans are about this. And Michael Bay doesn’t seem to give a flying crap. He just wants to change everything about a well-established story, probably add a slew of unnecessary special effects to a movie that should be gritty and organic (well, as organic as it can be, since it’s still pretty off-the-wall), and make all that gross money he’s going to make.

In summary, The Guardian puts this whole thing in perspective:

“Making the turtles aliens would ruin everything – their desire to be accepted, their bizarre late-1980s street lingo, their fondness for pizza. Everything,” the paper argued. “Are we really meant to believe that there’s an alien race of giant turtles who just happen to all be named after renowned Renaissance artists from this planet, and speak English, and who came to Earth with a giant elderly rat who’s presumably from the same race, just to live in sewers and loudly eschew anchovies at every opportunity? Hardly, Michael Bay. Hardly.”

See? It doesn’t even make sense to make them aliens. Unless Michael Bay wants to create original characters, which is actually what he might have done by accident.

Top pic by nebezial on DeviantART

(via The Hollywood Reporter, Bleeding Cool)

Previously in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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  • Anonymous

    There is only one way to combat what a certain producer plans to do to TMNT -a sarcastic Twitter hashtag. Please help any way you can..
    #MichaelBayThinks Little Women should be set at a sideshow with an all-dwarf cast.

  • Frodo Baggins

    It will have a $90 million opening weekend, and everyone who saw it will complain about how shitty it was.

    They’ll say the same thing after going to see all four of the sequels, will with have respective opening weekend grosses of $100 million, $120 million, $160 million, and $100 million.

    Then they’ll speculate as to how a filmmaker as thoughtless and self-indulgent as Michael Bay keeps getting work. 

  • Frodo Baggins

    Well, judging by his determination to ignore the title of TMNT, I’d guess his Little Women movie would be about giant men.

  • Giovanni D. Martello

     Imagine the outrage if the following were true. We will not “chill out” Michael Bay…

     ” Hey guys I’m gonna make a
    Transformers movie but instead of coming from Cybertron they were
    created by the united states govt to combat terrorism. The experiment
    goes horribly wrong and creates the Decepticons. the USA has to create
    more good robots called Autobots to combat the failed experiment. Cybertron doesn’t
    exist and no these robots are not aliens. It’s ok though. I have a big
    budget and there will be plenty of explosions. Fans will not be
    disappointed!” – Sincerely, Michael “Asshat” Bay

  • Frodo Baggins

    Never mind, Cracked said it better than me, with pictures:

  • Anna B
  • Anonymous

    I fear what he’ll do to April O’Neal.

  • Giovanni D. Martello

     My prediction: She’s not a news reporter. She lives on a farm where the Elderly Alien Turtles UFO crashes. Her name is now Betsy O’Neal.

  • Anonymous

    “A farmer who arches her back a whole lot.  Brilliant!” – Michael Bay

  • Anonymous

    Personally I’m enjoying watching all the commentary on people about this. Doesn’t everyone get that this is exactly what he did to Transformers? He took a franchise about alien robots and somehow made it into a male teenager’s sexual fantasy complete with multiple women present only for the sexualized poses they could make and excessive explosions.

    When Michael Bay was announced on TMNT I naturally assumed the movie would mostly be about a teenage Casey Jones somehow being the POV character despite having built in lead characters from the established franchise. Casey Jones will befriend the Turtles and be involved in everything the Turtles do while not personally actually doing much of anything other than being present. April O’Neil will of course be his love interest, not have any really point or action as a character and spend most of the movie straining her back trying to get into ridiculous poses which are mostly found in comic books drawn by artists who failed anatomy. Also there will be a lot of needless explosions. And possibly some incredibly racist characters who, according to Michael Bay, are just bringing diversity and talk in totally realistic and not at all deeming ways.

    tl:dr Michael Bay is a terrible director who never aged mentally past 17. Stop going to see his films!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe I’m crazy, but when I read Bay’s original statement I didn’t take it to mean that they were making them Aliens. Alien doesn’t have to mean from another planet, it just means different or from somewhere else. I really feel like people are reading too much into this. It’s what we geeks do, but I think everyone needs to calm down. Bay’s latest statement does not fill me with confidence, but it’s Michael Bay so the only thing I’m confident about is that lots of stuff is going to blow up. TMNT is a huge part of my childhood, but if Bay’s version is a turd it’s not going to retroactively ruin my childhood any more than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III’ did. So come on, people! Until we know more, let’s focus our nerd rage on something important, like the endings to ME3! 

  • Adam Whitley

    maybe the earth’s yellow sun will give them super powers

  • Anna B

    I honestly think he does not mean immigrants from across the border.

  • Anna B

    I hope he gets the stupid idea of hoping Emma Stone takes the role… so that Emma Stone gets to tell him to go fuck himself.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think he means that either. I took it to mean different. I mean, imagine a world where you didn’t grow up with TMNT and then ran across them. You wouldn’t say, Hey! It’s some kind of reptilian martial artist! You’d say, ‘HOLY S**T! LOOK AT THAT F**KING MONSTER!!!’ (Or maybe you’d just walk by because they’d be wearing a trenchcoat and hat thereby making them virtually invisible) We’ve become so familiar and attached to the story that it’s hard to look at it objectively and fresh. I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now. (although he is on seriously thin ice after that Dark of the Moon BS)  

    However, Teenage Mexican Ninja Turtles? I would totally go see that.

  • Null

    Transformers was all about robots and explosions to begin with. We wanted to watch giant robots fighting! Problem with Bay’s directing style is stuff’s so over the top you’re confused as to what’s actually going on.

    As for sexualization, Arcee was built like a pretty sexualized female in the 80s cartoons, and she was pink. Which made no sense in the context of robots (what are those wide hips for? The breasts–do they squirt oil to blind your enemies?) Later incarnations of Transformers actually did have some more interesting female characters–Blackarachnia and Slipstream (Starscream’s evil female twin. Hilarious) come to mind.

    That said, the blockier designs from the 80s were, I think more relatable compared to Bay’s designs–they look more insectlike, and people don’t like insects.

    Then again, I was 7 when I saw the G1 transformers, I’m 33 now. I bet this has a lot to do with my opinion. ;)

  • Anonymous

    This guy is a ruiner of dreams.  I saw the first Transformers movie and was not impressed.  I have not bothered to see the other two.  Michael Bay destroys all the good things he accesses.  In short, he possesses the Minus Touch.

  • 24panelspersecond

    See, my theory is that he is under the mistaken impression that he is remaking HIGHLANDER 2: THE QUICKENING. It’s those darn katanas that have him confused.

  • Nick Gaston

    I wonder if, in a parallel universe, Michael Bay has been hired to direct the big screen adaptation of The Cheetahmen, and plans on adapting Nostromo for the basis of the script.

  • John Parker

    Now you know how the true Transformers Fans felt.

  • Anna B

    Honestly, I’d agree with you if the Transformer movies hadn’t been so bad…

  • Janna Hochberg

    This could work is if they are aliens because they are off Earth.  The only way I think I could swallow this movie is if it featured Cudley the Transdimensional Cow Lick sweeping everyone away for some good old fashioned intergalactic wrestling.
    Oh, and if Michael Bay wasn’t directing.

  • Alice Tordoff

    I actually hate the original quote about this from Bay, not entirely for the alien thing but the bit about  the ‘They’ll be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable’ as if they weren’t already!

  • Anonymous

    Wide hips and breasts are no more or less nonsensical than robot noses and lips.  All the same, the comics actually do make an attempt at explaining sexual dimorphism among the Transformers:

  • Anonymous

    Remember…Highlander…remember Zeist!

  • Stephen Dudley McPherson

    So I suppose the Turtles will be an all CGI affair, no men in suits or anything like that right? I’m so sick of this crap. Why can’t they just stick to the original story?
    Then again, the 80s cartoon had a different origin story and so did the early 2000s cartoon, but they were still all mutant turtles, not aliens. What is Michael Bay’s obsession with aliens anyway? Is he an alien?

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Wait, wasn’t their total love for pizza something from the Archie Comics / Cartoon Series in the 80s?  From the original comics, I don’t remember their obsession with pizza.  If they had a normal enjoyment for pizza, I’d be fine with it.  Pizza doesn’t have to be a ‘big thing’ with them.

  • Mariah Tess

    Ha. I’ve had this image as my desktop’s background forever now….

    Anyway, I’ll read the article now.

  • Mariah Tess

    Ok, read the article. You guys are funny. I am a huge TMNT fan. But, I’m also a fan of Michael Bay and it doesn’t seem to make sense that he would completely reinvent the TMNT… so maybe he’s not. He did say he’s going to keep everything that made us fans in the first place. It may be a really dope fictional movie…. fictional is the key word here. I mean, I’m a huge fan of the Robert Ludlum ORIGINAL stories and the Matt Damon MOVIES were absolutely nothing like the books. Both were amazing. I agree with Bay that everyone needs to RELAX and CHILL. Prejudging should be kept at a minimum. If you hate it after you see it, that’s fine, but until then, it’s kind of pointless.

  • @my!!

    you guys, if the turtles don’t get splashed with the ooze, does that mean daredevil also never went blind? 

  • Kyle Greene

    I would just like to point out that in the original and new line comics, if im not mistaken, the ooze is actually a mutagen from outerspace. So he could have easily been stating that the are mutated from an alien source which would kinda make them “alien”. Well just have to see.

  • Kyle Greene

    I have a feeling he was stating the truth in a way. In the original comics and the new rebooted line, if im not mistaken, the ooze is a mutagen of alien origin. Which would meen the turtles would be partially “alien”. Don’t take my word for it, look it up. I personally feel very safe having either laird or eastman on the set working with them. Should be a great movie as long as one of those two are present.