Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Venice Review: Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'Beasts Of No Nation' Starring Idris Elba Venice Review: Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'Beasts Of No Nation' Starring Idris Elba Review: Netflix's 'Narcos' Starring Wagner Moura And Boyd Holbrook Review: Netflix's 'Narcos' Starring Wagner Moura And Boyd Holbrook Joaquin Phoenix Says He Doesn’t Think Making A Blockbuster Would Be "Fulfilling," Calls Chris Pine "F*cking Genius" Joaquin Phoenix Says He Doesn’t Think Making A Blockbuster Would Be "Fulfilling," Calls Chris Pine "F*cking Genius" Watch: Chloe Moretz Fights The Others In First Trailer For 'The 5th Wave' Watch: Chloe Moretz Fights The Others In First Trailer For 'The 5th Wave' James Bond Author Says Idris Elba Is "Too Street" To Play 007, And Bond Is "Weak" In 'Skyfall' James Bond Author Says Idris Elba Is "Too Street" To Play 007, And Bond Is "Weak" In 'Skyfall' Cary Fukunaga Says He "Wasn't Involved" With 'True Detective' Season 2, Explains His Departure From 'It' Cary Fukunaga Says He "Wasn't Involved" With 'True Detective' Season 2, Explains His Departure From 'It' Watch: Eddie Redmayne Is 'The Danish Girl' In First Trailer For Tom Hooper's Transgender Drama Watch: Eddie Redmayne Is 'The Danish Girl' In First Trailer For Tom Hooper's Transgender Drama Andrew Garfield Talks “The Pressure To Get It Right” for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Films & If He'll Do Another Franchise Andrew Garfield Talks “The Pressure To Get It Right” for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Films & If He'll Do Another Franchise Fall 2015 TV Preview: Our 25 Most Anticipated Shows Fall 2015 TV Preview: Our 25 Most Anticipated Shows Make It Happen Weinsteins: David Robert Mitchell Wants To Have Beer With Quentin Tarantino And Talk 'It Follows' Make It Happen Weinsteins: David Robert Mitchell Wants To Have Beer With Quentin Tarantino And Talk 'It Follows' On The Rise 2015: 15 Cinematographers To Watch On The Rise 2015: 15 Cinematographers To Watch Ridley Scott Says 'Prometheus 2' Is His Next Film Ridley Scott Says 'Prometheus 2' Is His Next Film 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite Looks Like That Black-And-White Version Of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Isn't Getting A Blu-Ray Release After All Looks Like That Black-And-White Version Of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Isn't Getting A Blu-Ray Release After All The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far 17 Copycat Films Spawned From Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction' 17 Copycat Films Spawned From Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction'

Michael Bay On 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle' Alien Controversy: "Fans Need To Take A Breath, And Chill"

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist March 20, 2012 at 10:41AM

Hell hath no fury like a fanbase scorned. From Bryan Singer's "X-Men" abandoning their traditional yellow spandex to Jennifer Lawrence being too blonde and pale to play Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games," internet fandom is not one to lay down silently when a filmmaker tinkers with iconic elements of their beloved franchises. Most recent to attract the ire of a group of fans was Michael Bay, who gave an interview over the weekend where he said that his upcoming live-action/CGI reboot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" would reimagine the reptilian heroes as members of an alien race.
10
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Jonathan Liebesman

Hell hath no fury like a fanbase scorned. From Bryan Singer's "X-Men" abandoning their traditional yellow spandex to Jennifer Lawrence being too blonde and pale to play Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games," internet fandom is not one to lay down silently when a filmmaker tinkers with iconic elements of their beloved franchises. Most recent to attract the ire of a group of fans was Michael Bay, who gave an interview over the weekend where he said that his upcoming live-action/CGI reboot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" would reimagine the reptilian heroes as members of an alien race.

As soon as NinjaTurtlesAreNowFromAnotherWorldGate broke, the internet exploded, with several petitions appearing from outraged fans who are horrified at the change in the origins for the new film, which Bay is producing. Jonathan Liebesman ("Battle: Los Angeles," "Wrath Of The Titans") is directing the script, written by "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" scribes Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec. Even Robbie Rist, who voiced Michelangelo in the original live-action movie, weighed in, describing the change as "the rape of our childhood memories" (can we please, please call a moratorium on that insensitive fucking analogy already? There's honestly no better way to get us to disregard any opinion you might ever hold than by using that rape in this context).

Well, Bay's never one to fail to appease the fans, and has taken to his Shoot For The Edit messageboards (via Movies.com) to defend the decision, and to ask fans for a little faith. The director wrote "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."

Bay raises a decent point here. Over-protective fans are frequently horrified at any changes to their beloved source material, even when there's a valid reason for making them. To whit: McG's bold, surprising ending to "Terminator: Salvation," which would have been by far the most interesting thing in that disaster, leaked to the internet while the film was in production, and the resulting uproar persuaded the helmer to reshoot an alternate version as half-baked and compromised as the rest of the movie. Bay is at least sticking to his guns, and it's possible that fans might be won over when they discover exactly what the filmmakers have planned.

That being said, while it pains us to pass up an opportunity to make fun of grown men who get this angry about a group of pizza-eating humanoid turtles, we do sympathize. Messing with an origin story this heavily is a little like having Batman becoming a crime-fighter after being bitten by a radioactive bat, and doesn't bode well when it comes to an understanding of the material. But you know, we'd cross the street to avoid a theater showing this movie, so we're perhaps not the best people to ask. After all, where was the outrage of TMNT fans when they hired the guy who made "Battle: Los Angeles" to direct? Get your priorities straight, people... Like it or not, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" will hit theaters on December 25th, 2013.

This article is related to: Michael Bay, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jonathan Liebesman


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates