The latest battle in the war of words being waged between producer Michael Bay and hard-core Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans – over the impending live-action franchise reboot (which Bay’s Platinum Dunes is producing) – has to do with the project’s truncated title, Ninja Turtles.
Much like the Transformers series director did in response to the backlash over his own announcement about the Turtles being true extraterrestrials in the new movie, Bay has released yet another response to fans’ complaints about the title change-up… and much like before (if we’re being honest), his comments are likely to be interpreted as condescending by longtime TMNT fans, while also doing little to abate their anger.
Still, for what it’s worth, here is Bay’s statement about the title change to Ninja Turtles (verbatim and as originally typed):
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.
To clarify Bay’s comment(s): the “two very smart writers” in question are Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), who are working on the project with TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman and director Jonathan Liebesman. Judging by Bay’s comments, Liebesman (Battle Los Angeles, Wrath of the Titans) is indeed essentially set to helm the project right now – though, an official announcement has yet to be made.
That’s all to say: even if you tend to distrust any project featuring Bay’s involvement on principle, there is some additional worthy talent working behind the scenes to make this “Turtles as aliens who behave like teenagers” plan actually work.
As to the matter of whether tweaking the Turtles origins so that they’re not only genuine extraterrestrials (and not just “born” by alien-produced ooze), but also creatures from another world who behave like contemporary human adolescents – perhaps, by imitating them when they arrive on Earth – will actually work? That question isn’t going to be answered by this back-and-forth verbal duel ongoing between Bay and TMNT fans.
Perhaps it’s for the best we all should just take a (metaphorical) step back to wait and learn more about exactly how these various ingredients are going to be mixed together in the TMNT reboot. That also goes for Bay, who frankly comes off as too defensive in his statements about the controversy – simply providing fans with more in the way of justification for their anger.
Ninja Turtles remains scheduled for a theatrical release in the U.S. on December 25th, 2013.
Source: Michael Bay