Infuriated fans swooped down on our report about producer Michael Bay’s comment concerning how the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action film reboot will change-up the title characters’ backstory by making them aliens. To say the very idea prompted a predominantly negative response from the Turtles-adoring masses, is to put it pretty mildly.
Bay has gone ahead and released an official statement in response to the controversy surrounding the new TMNT franchise installment. In addition to that tidbit, we’ve also gotten wind of some rumors (from a legitimate source) that help explain the planned change-up to the Turtles‘ origins.
While the very idea of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles being extraterrestrials seems to directly contradict the idea that the title characters are… well, mutant turtles, many fans have already pointed out (in the comics) the mutagen which was the catalyst for our favorite reptilian martial artists’ “evolution” was created at the Techno Cosmic Research Institute (T.C.R.I.), a secret base of operations for an alien race known as the Utroms. So aliens are indeed pretty standard elements of the Turtles mythos.
It’s best you bear that in mind while reading Bay’s response to the whole TMNT/aliens controversy:
“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 [Teenage Mutant] 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.”
Yes, we know all too well that Bay’s assurance about the TMNT property being treated with respect – and that the reboot will simply “expand” on the canon alien-centric backstory for the Turtles - isn’t going to mean much (if anything) to his detractors. All the same, he’s only a producer on the Turtles film – as we pointed out in our initial report on this matter, it’s the reboot’s screenwriting duo of Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) who are ultimately going to be responsible for making this idea work.
Krang in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot?
First Showing has been informed by its sources that a classic Turtles baddie – the Utrom-like Krang – might be making his live-action debut in the upcoming movie reboot. Furthermore, the plan is supposedly for the Turtles to be “inter-dimensional beings” (like Krang) who end up making their way to Earth (presumably).
Now, although having Krang appear in the TMNT reboot seems like an obvious direction to take, given the “Turtles as aliens” angle in the story, it’s partially for that reason that this particular rumor shouldn’t be brushed aside so easily. It might be tricky to make the character’s classic appearance (as a pink, slimy, brain-shaped creature) fly in live-action form, even in a movie that features extraterrestrial creatures that look like giant turtles – so, if Krang does show up in the reboot, he could have a completely new physical design.
A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that plays up the franchise’s classic sci-fi aspects like Krang isn’t (per se) a bad approach to take – though, that plan could lend itself to a comparatively more kid-friendly and readily marketable Turtles flick. In other words, the TMNT franchise reboot may end up being modeled after Bay’s Transformers movies, when all is said and done.
Passing over the fact that many fans are really not going to like that idea (and not without good reason, if we’re being honest), such a final product would also be a far cry from the grittier and more violent martial arts movie (yes, one with giant mutant turtles) that many fans were hoping to see – especially given that Battle Los Angeles and Wrath of the Titans helmer Jonathan Liebesman is probably going to be sitting at the helm. C’est la vie, it seems…
We will see how it all pans out when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot hits theaters in the U.S. on December 25th, 2013.