Michael Bay Says No Alien Origin Change for ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 18th, 2014 at 9:56 am,

ninja turtles origin story 2014 Michael Bay Says No Alien Origin Change for Ninja Turtles Reboot

By now, the Ninja Turtles movie reboot – which Michael Bay (Transformers) is producing and Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) is directing – is on the rocks with its fanbase, thanks to a chain of creative decisions that have generally been regarded as ill-conceived at best, baffling at worst. Most infamously, that includes (alleged) changes to the Turtles’ backstory, based on previous comments made by Bay “way” back in 2012.

However, after engaging in a war of words with Turtles fans online for over a year now, Bay has (finally) let it be known that his original statement – which did suggest a significant change to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mythology in the reboot – was not, in fact, entirely accurate.

To refresh your memory, here’s the Bay comment about Ninja Turtles that started it all:

“When you see this movie, kids will believe one day that these turtles do exist, when we’re done with this movie. These turtles [in the reboot] are from an alien race, and they’re going to be tough, edgy, funny, and completely lovable.”

The resulting backlash online prompted Bay to issue a response a couple days later; however, rather than elaborate on his statement, the filmmaker simply assured fans that “We are just building a richer world.” Then, a few months later, TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman – who is serving as a creative consultant on the Ninja Turtles live-action movie reboot – appeared to suggest that Bay had not misspoken, and that the proposed altered origin story is a natural extension of the classic Turtles mythology:

“As soon as ['TMNT' co-creator Peter Laird] and I had freedom, we took [the Turtles] into outer space and introduced the TCRI aliens [a.k.a. the Ultroms] and then we took you to the origin of the ooze, so they [the Turtles] have alien origins, they are from outer space… ['Ninja Turtles'] has to be well-grounded in Turtle history and lore, we don’t wanna take that away from the fans.”

kevin eastman ninja turtles avengers Michael Bay Says No Alien Origin Change for Ninja Turtles Reboot

Jump ahead to the present, and we find Bay conducting interviews to promote his new film Pain & Gain (read our review), when he offered some clarification about his previous Ninja Turtles statement (via Moviefone):

“There was that quote saying that we’re making [the Ninja Turtles as] aliens. We’re not. It’s the ooze! It’s from the original source material. These are from the original writers, and I never went out to correct myself in the press. I do listen to the fans and I do want this to be authentic. I think they’re going to be really happy with this movie. When I see the digital stuff, the turtles look great.”

Bay proved he’s not deaf to the cries of the Internet last year, when he cast Mark Wahlberg in Transformers 4 after being (in part) inspired by online rumors. The Ninja Turtles reboot has, likewise, showed signs of change that seem to be a direct response to the negative fan reactions, going back to when Paramount delayed the release date by six months in order to allow for additional development and budget reduction; that may have included script rewrites, which were carried out by Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsman).

The reports about Daugherty handling script revisions quietly emerged with rumors that, during the 2013 CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Paramount reps unveiled a banner revealing the shortened Ninja Turtles title has been dropped and replaced by the traditional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brand name. Combine the latest Bay comments together with this rumor, and it’s not a leap to assume that Paramount, Bay and Liebesman are, in fact, changing course with this reboot.


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    • Yeah like the military operative foot soldiers and the name change of shredder to col. schredar. Stupid.

  1. I just feel bad for the actual director. Y’know, NOT Michael Bay but Jonathon Leibesman. If this movie does turn out well he won’t even get credit as people seem to be under the impression that Bay is directing given the way his name is thrown around.

    • What happen when the movie bomb? He’s totally screw. Plus Wrath of the Titans wasn’t that good anyway at least I thought it was better than Clash of the Titans tho. Still Leibesman is just another cheap expandable director who does silly summer action movies.

  2. Megan Fox is the main thing that will hurt this movie imo.

    • Dude,No!Meagan Fox Is Cool!

      • She is hot but no one likes her. She will hurt ticket sales in the long run. I’m still going though. Big TMNT fan.

        • she will only hurt the movie if she does a bad job

  3. People keep saying things like “Olivia Wilde would be a great April O’Neil” or “Olivia Munn would be a great April O’Neil!”, but what they really mean is “______ would be a HOT April O’Neil!” The thing about April O’Neil is that she’s not glamourous. She is, depending on the version of the story, either an intrepid reporter or a skilled computer programmer. The proper casting would be an actress who is, most importantly, a GOOD ACTRESS. Her appearance isn’t really important, but supermodel looks will be more distracting than appropriate. Also, April clearly Irish. Olivia Munn, really?

    • Well idk about u but i have ALWAYS wanted to bang April O’neal & Olivia wilde & Olivia munn are pretty decent unknown actors. & so wat if their not irish Turtles aren’t racist bro. . .

    • Olivia Thirlby from Dredd she certainly got the hair down and just need the yellow jumpsuit. lol.

  4. I remember a TMNT cartoon back in the day(early 90′s) where they had come in contact with a purple ‘super-ooze’ that transformed them even further. If memory serves correctly, Donatello had been the first to be exposed to it, and eventually it got to the Shredder. I wonder if this remake will be the continuation of this, seeing as how the show got cancelled before there was a conclusion.

  5. Personally I would be happier if Michael Bay didn’t have his hands on TMNT movies at all. I haven’t enjoyed one film he has ever made.

  6. It’s not the story that worries me, but the mishandling of characters that Bay is known for. Bayformers is a classic example of this. Over-elaborate explosions, along with third grade humor and a lack of any substance in regards to the generation and fans who have cherish these characters for many years. Also, Bay is just down right a terrible director and producer and needs to stop. He’s a A-lister Uwe Boll.

  7. i feel the best apirl o neil would be ema stone shes cute corcky can play a dork and looks great with re hair plz tell me im wrong i think shed be best fit for april

  8. Anna Kendrick is the best choice or April, followed by Emma roberts

    • Michelangelo: “And I thought everybody loves Vanna?” lol

  9. Hey Michael Bay I appreciate your not ignoring fans with Alien themed ideas but now you’re totally changing every thing about the Shredder himself including his name and race and I don’t understand why you feel the need to change things that are obviously loved by so many
    How ever I believe that you’re not certain of the theme of TMNT so here is direct advice

    the tone is a properly placed balance of action (A really good and EXPENSIVE Martial Arts Choreographer on set), seriousness, distinctive personalities for each turtle and if you haven’t read the orgin book vol 1 then just watch the first movie for references on this (light dramatic music) and silent moments, Self Narrative, light humor, you’ll have Michelangelo is pretty suiting for comic relief (when the film calls for it), Shredder is not military nor is he the crazy guy who works next to you at work, Shredder is a well trained, not to be taken for a joke serious, humble, business man and leader of the New York Foot Clan. Think 1989′s version of batman mixed with Steven Sigal and you have a no non sense eye capturing Shredder don’t worry about borrowing from TMNT part 1 because that movie is successful so keep what worked in that movie and add your film budget in the mix and every body is happy

  10. Leave the original back story ALONE! Get the chick who was Dredd’s partner in the Judge Dredd film (2012)- to play April O’Neil. She looks so much like her, just get her to dye her hair and done. Majority of the people who’d go see it, and or bring their kids to see it; were people who grew up loving TMNT’s

  11. you all need to know that bay and writer’s are keeping true to the original graphic novels and not to the cartoon’s that we grew up with i have a lot of the old graphic novels and they are keeping true to it and if you are really die hard fans you would open you eyes and see that he is going to be making it the way it is suppose to be and also shredder was only a little piece of the original graphic novel story he died after the first 5 of them so look into it more before these loyal fans which are not. so see the bigger picture if he is and i hope he is going to make it the way every one hates to see i am going to love it and fyi the turtles in the novels actually stabbed people and cut off limbs when they fought aliens and humans!!!!!!!!