Michael Bay Confirms the ‘TMNT’ Reboot is Titled ‘Ninja Turtles’

Published 3 years ago by

michael bay teenage mutant ninja turtles reboot Michael Bay Confirms the TMNT Reboot is Titled Ninja Turtles

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.

teenage mutant ninja turtles reboot jonathan liebesman Michael Bay Confirms the TMNT Reboot is Titled Ninja Turtles

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

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  1. Why do I get the impression that if Chris Nolan did the exact same thing, he’d be getting praised. I don’t think the idea is horrible and I really like TMNT growing up. I do think Michael Bay is an over the top, below average director who cant cast well so I’m not sure how good this movie will actually end up. But you guys HAVE to get over this nostalgic trip you’re on.

    • @Vic

      The fact of the matter is that Christopher Nolan would NEVER be involved in such an ill conceived and creatively bankrupt project.

    • Christopher Nolan adds his own twists to popular characters without completely raping the franchise. When Nolan rebooted Batman, he didn’t make it to where Batman is an alien from another world sent to protect Gotham from criminals. He changed a lot of things, but he didn’t take away any of the things that makes Batman such a cool character.

      Bay is just going to do to Turtles what he did to Transformers.

    • Christopher Nolan is a pretty good director in general, and the only well established property he has actually done is Batman. But if this came from any writer, producer, director combination it would catch some flak, maybe Bay gets a little bit more because he is just that polarizing to movie-goers.

      For me it just comes to Bay not being a good director or producer in the sense that he makes his movies like he is still shooting music videos. They still manage to make money so, the formula works for him. That said when anyone in Hollywood takes something that has been done before and “tweaks” it or whatever for their own creative purposes they open themselves up to criticism.

      The idea that an old idea is silly, outdated, whatever and needs to be changed kind of flies in the face of the reason why they take those known properties and re-use them in the first place, name value. This sounds like it could turn into one of those situations where they plug in some other screen-play ideas into a known property, partially to sell it and partially because the original idea was so weak or similar the Ninja Turtles the studio that owns the rights probably just figured it was easier to slap the name on it and call it a day.

      • “and the only well established property he has actually done is Batman.”
        Err, Inception?

        • Nolan wrote Inception himself, it wasn’t based off of something that was created by someone else years or decades beforehand.

          • Sorry, seems I misunderstood your comment.

            • No problem, I think we have agreed on this point before though. In the case of Inception and even something like Sucker Punch those directors took a chance with their own original material, with mixed results depending on who you ask. It takes guts and a bit of confidence to do that with a bigger budget movie, and Hollywood is fickle about what they gamble on (granted they back a lot of junk).

              The trend of remakes, reboots, whatever is here and that’s just a fact. But situations like this with Bay just remind me of some musicians who sample and remake other people’s work or even cover bands. They complain about people not giving them artistic freedom, but they are not going out of their way to even try and create anything new.

              • “something like Sucker Punch those directors took a chance with their own original material”

                Sorry, I don’t mean to sound like an arse but so far as I know Sucker Punch is basically a re-boot of Alice in Wonderland. It’s not exactly original, but it’s bloody good.

          • Well to be fair ‘A Dream of a Lifetime’ came out years before Inception and was about the same thing. So really he has only done well with other people’s work.

    • It’s not a nostalgic trip – it’s the fact that there is absolutely no logic behind this move. If he is going to keep the entire rest of the story true to the original, why would he change this extremely fundamental detail? Sounds to me like someone stressed that they do not want it to be put out there that there is toxic waste under NY.

      There is no reason for this change – and it’s going to hurt the film more than it will help it. I know a LOT of people who would watch a TMNT film, and almost every single one of them are not going to watch it merely because of this fact. Maybe pirate it, but no – they won’t be supporting it in theaters.

      There is no reason for this change, and it’s an insult to the REAL fan base of TMNT. If you see no problem with this, then I highly doubt and claim you might have that you’re a fan.

      • The origin of the turtles mutation was do to the lack of environmental regulations on factories during the seventies resulting in teenage turtles in the eighties. If these new turtles are teenagers today, they would have been born in the late nineties. A different origin seems right considering the tightening of restrictions during the eighties to today. Don’t forget that the turtles were propaganda just like all our other favorite shows from the eighties!

        • The TMNT are teenage beacuse their teenage boy owner was the last thing that they were in contact with before being “Oozed”.
          They mutated into teenages they didn’t and don’t grow.
          Applicable to any time.

  2. God, why is everyone’s response “If Nolan did this, it would be okay.” Nobody is THAT obsessed with Nolan. He is a very good director, not the best, & he makes good movies. But if Nolan switched up any origin or destroyed a property, & so did Bay, I would react the same. I’m sure most people will. This TMNT reboot can be a good movie, I’m willing to give it a shot. No one is sure how Bay means to interpret the “alien race” issue; everyone should give it a chance until we hear more on it or see a trailer. But to claim people won’t get mad if Nolan took a property & switched it all around, people won’t get mad is absurd. That’s just as bad as saying “Bay produced/directed this, it’s going to suck” Give it a shot.

  3. Still waiting for Bay to explain to us how these creatures know ninjitsu, are turtles, are named after Earth Renaissance artists and how they have a 5′ tall rat for a master.

    If, as Bay claims, it will have, “everything I remember” then these should be easy questions to explain.

    • Haha! They will just reply like Prime did in Transformers. “We used the internet!”

  4. Now people will have a true reason to say that hollywood destroyed there child hood.

  5. I don’t find this latest comment condescending at all. I think he’s trying to reassure the fans that he’s not trying to change everything. How that’s going to happen with the turtles being aliens I’m not sure, but I guess no amount of whining from “hardcore” fans is going to change that.

    I loved the cartoon as a kid (never read the comics though) and own the trilogy on BR, and my friends and I always called them “Ninja Turtles” so I don’t mind the title change.

    I guess at this point I’m glad that he’s trying to reassure the fans that what we liked will still be there, and now I’m just going to wait and see how that happens. At least he knows that there’s an uproar from the fans who don’t want it all changed around so I hope the film makers will take that into consideration and try to work in the alien angle without too much change.

    • *edit* tetralogy, not trilogy.

    • I also agree it didn’t sound condescending. What it felt more like to me was him trying to placate everyone. He is basically promising everything to everyone and nothing will be changed. Sound familiar? This is what the typical BS salesman says when they are trying to pawn off that lemon of a car on you.

    • Ninja Turtles is a shorten name for TMNT. But the offical name for its games, comics, movies and TV shows is Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles. Calling the movie Ninja Turtles only is like saying that the Orange turtle is named Mikey. No! His name is Michelangelo. Call him Mikey for short. But don’t forget his real name and Bay needs to remember that it is called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Oh by the way, Bay is being condescending. Telling us to “Relax” and that ” Fans need to take a breath.” Yeah not condescending at all. He is calling the movie Ninja Turtles because he knows he cant call it TMNT or Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles becuase fans and critcs will rip him a new one.

  6. They should have gotten a director who would have adapted the original Turtles comics to the big screen. Make it dark and gritty, where Leonardo doesn’t hold any reservations about cutting off Shredder’s head.

    Am I saying that the Turtles movie needs to be a gore fest? no. I’m just saying that instead of a guy who is going to only focus on the explosions, get a director who can adapt the original comics without completely raping it.

  7. I just wanna see bebop and rocksteady live action.

  8. Its kinda funny and sad at the same time, but if Michael Bay was not the one to say that the turtles were aliens and it were, lets say the director or writer who came out and said that the turtles were aliens, I don’t think we would of seen such a back lash about this. I think it’s just the fact that immature people love to bash and hate on Michael Bay. I guess its the new internet bandwagon thing going on.

    • No.
      As people have said COUNTLESS times: It’s a stupid idea. Period.
      Whether it was Nolan, Bay, Spielberg… whoever. People would still be as mad as they are now.
      It’s not a difficult concept to grasp: this man, Michael Bay and his cronies, are ruining a much beloved franchise that people, including myself, hold very dear to our hearts.

      • But why does everyone say he’s “ruining” franchises/raping childhoods? Most of these franchises — TMNT being a particularly bad case — have had LOADS of crap produced under the name. The fact that there is money behind it makes no difference; this is nothing more than yet another incarnation you won’t care for. Why can you people not differentiate? HOW does this effect the all the things you liked about the franchise? It’s all still there, and your good memories are still good memories. Your fandom ought to stand on its own.

        That’s not to say you have to go watch the movie when it’s released and support Bay, but as “true” fans I think it should be easy to just dismiss his movie as a fanfiction and get on with your lives…

    • Humm, I’m not bashing Bay, I’m just bashing his completely stupid idea. So I guess that makes me more mature than the rest of you? :D

    • Wrong. It could be the Original creators themselves to say that and people will still be angry.

  9. I’m just thinking out loud here… but when Bay said “the turtles are from an alien race”, maybe he didn’t mean the turtles ARE aliens? Maybe the emphasis should be on the “from”: that the turtles were created from an alien race (i.e. they were created by the TCRI canisters that, in turn, was created by the Utroms).
    Probably just optimistic thinking… :P
    And if the turtles weren’t aliens, then by now, he would have made another statement saying that his previous statement was misunderstood.

    So yeah, basically, ~never mind~ ;)

  10. wHy does no one seem to remember that Michael Bay is just producing this?

    • Don’t underestimate the power that a producer holds…

    • Mate, producers get to decide a lot – too much, in many cases. They have the money, and therefore the power to make demands, lest they stand to lose money from the project.

  11. So the Movie is TANT? Teenage alien ninja turtles?

    • Maybe Alien Super Soldiers………


    • Dave Welch I am with you 300% bro. I want it to please remain original. I will always be a huge fan of TMNT and it would suck to watch them ruin my childhood memories also.

  13. micheal bay still reading the script,saying there will be more back story,so may be he is invoiding krang fom dimension X ,who created the ooze which made the turtles.

  14. Im very displeased with the name change, and with the fact that they are now aliens. They’re not aliens. They’re turtles who were bought from a pet store, fell into the sewer, and there they fell into alien ooze and were turned into human sized turtles that were taught by splinter. Splinter also fell into this ooze. Im very disappointed in the reboot, i will not be watching it and i strongly urge others not to see it in protest

  15. Turning the teenage mutant ninja turtles into aliens is akin to turning superman into a mutant-experiment military weapon. It’s just wrong. @MichaelBay We know you’re good; but please don’t change everything just because you can.

  16. *facepalm* Great and I thought Transformers movies was bad. He’ll probably put in more things about sex rather than the fighting like he did in the TF movies. I’m not going to see this movie and will not consider it canon. I’ll just watch the four TMNT movies instead.

  17. This should not be happening at all. A remake of the movie I would understand because nearly all movies these days are remakes of the originals, but changing the title and the background completely is just plain wrong, especially since these are the characters we have grown to love for all these years. This is just terrible.

  18. I sat and wept through every transformer movie it even took 2 years to watch muscle up the courage to watch transformers 3 michael bay is the worst thing to happen to hollywood since well… he is “THE WORST”

  19. I sat and wept through every Transformer movie it even took me almost a year to muscle up the courage to watch DotM. Michael Bay is the worst thing to happen to Hollywood since well… He is the worst thing to happen to Hollywood period. You know what the best thing about the fist TMNT movie was? It was the emotional drama it took you through, sons rebelling against their fathers brothers rebelling against each other the triumphant return of Raphael, action took a backseat to character development. that is why the first TMNT movie was the best and why a Michael Bay produce “Ninja Turtle” movie will suck.

    Micheal you wanna make a good movie get Tarintino to write your dialogue for you then people will go to see a movie for something good instead of how you fail again.

  20. Guy’s bad news, bays also directing the daredevil reboot and it doesn’t look good, his suit is know pink his dads a prize fighting Alien and there from Mars.

  21. Im one of the most die hard, original turtle fans. I grew up with them, when they were originally aired. Stop all the whining and give the movie a chance, like real fans. The revamp of the animated series was the hugest piece of crap, ever, and the so-called fans are worried what Bay is gonna do? Rediculous!

  22. Name Change = Unnecessary. Its like Michael Bay is saying; “The original title is a real mouthful even Megan Fox would have trouble swallowing.” It’s like second guessing the original creators.

    As for this Alien business, lets face it. Its not actually that far from the real story anyway. Reptiles injest an alien fluid that causes cell mutation that turns them in to man sized fighting experts with incredible strength and intelligence. If Michael Bay can somehow integrate the actual alien backstory to the origin of the ooze and maybe our TMNTs have to fight these creatures and protect New York or even the rest of the world if Michael Bay sees it fit to do so, then it could work. If you flat out say “basically these turtle like creatures landed on Earth learned our language “Through the World Wide Web” (…oh Michael) and decided to kick ass of people they deem ‘naughty’, then what a waste of time.

    Bottom line, us true TMNT fan are going by very limited information, building our own negative misinterpretations from it and coming back with all this fear about how its “destined to fail”.

    If you’re SO sure of that, which SO many of you appear to be, then clearly you know the exact story Michael Bay intends to project and all the intrisic details involved. If that’s the case, please share it with the rest of them running around like headless chickens.

  23. Quit the belly-aching. It’s a movie. It will be great. What is TMNT. It’s a group of turtles that wreak city wide damage if not more dueling it out with Shredder. What are the Transformers? They are metal objects that transform into transportation that wreak city/state/country/world damage dueling it out it with other metal objects. How can you possibly screw any of these movies up. All the Transformers were great. Action packed. Lots of damage.. just like the cartoon. The TMNT will be the same thing. Maybe the turtles are not coming from space, but the goop/toxic waste does. I can not see how this movie or any movie Bay has done can ruin your childhood. I like Bay’s work. If you don’t, then don’t watch it. The movie will be huge.

    • dude, have you even watched the cartoons?! If you didn’t, go back and watch them THEN comment, Michael bay has messed up Transformers and is going to mess up TMNT. I don’t know how or why you would defend his movies, do you get paid or something?!?!

      as a fan of the old cartoon,I know this is going to suck. tmnt stands for teenage MUTANT ninja turtles, if their aliens…just…what the hell?

  24. Secrets of the Ooze was absolutely terrible. As a die hard fan, I’m willing to bet that this reboot will be just a bit more enjoyable than Secrets of the Ooze. How anyone can defend that piece of s*** is beyond me. Nostalgia goggles are always in style, I guess.

  25. Alien turtles? Yeah, because, we have found that turtles exist beyond Earth. Or maybe he will use the “we adopted this form to mix between humans” because giant turtles waliking in two feet is totally normal this days.