Movie Talk

Michael Bay Taking ‘Mutant’ Out of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Reboot

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TMNT

The animated "TMNT" from 2007 (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Michael Bay seems to be at it again: This time the creator of mega-blockbusters is planning to produce a new, live-action version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." But, if he has his way, he may need to change the name to "Not So Mutant" Alien Turtles. Definitely less catchy.

The "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" director told a crowd recently at the Nickelodeon Upfront New York event that instead of the series fans have loved about a mutant strain of turtles from earth who are obsessed with pizza and turn into two-footed creatures thanks to some transmutant goo, Bay's reptiles will simply be an alien race.

As first called out on the blog StuffWeLike, Bay explained his vision for the 2013 remake: "When you see this movie, kids are going to believe, one day, that these turtles actually do exist when we are done with this movie." Wha? And then, "The turtles are from an alien race, and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny, and completely loveable."

For those a little fuzzy on these "loveable" creatures: First, it was a cartoon. Then it became a live-action film franchise in the 1990s. The original story revolves around four mutant two-footed turtles who are trained by a rat on the art of being ninjas, and are named after Renaissance artists. The four fight crime from their home base in the sewers of New York City.

The comic book, then television show, and finally film franchise were popular in the late '80s and early '90s. It is, in short, the perfect vehicle to be mucked up by Bay. At least that's how fans reacted on Twitter and blogs.

Illuminati tweeted, "Michael Bay is re-making Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If Michael Bay destroys this classic, he will surely be sacrificed for his mistakes."

A fan of the "TMNT" bemoaned, "'TMNT' fans, prepare to have Michael Bay destroy your childhood the same way he's already done with mine. Three words: They are aliens." The A.V. Club opined, "Bay's willingness to reshape Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bows to no canonical authority—not even that inherent in its title."

The blog /Film agreed, arguing, "If you're going to make a movie about mutant turtles, that's what they should be, right?" Bay will produce the movie. Jonathan Liebesman ("Wrath of the Titans") will direct.

In response to the outcry from fans, Bay posted this statement on his official website:

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.

Fans can be on the lookout for the new, probably explosion-filled, action-packed alien version of "TMNT" that is scheduled to open December 25, 2013.

Watch a clip from 2007's animated "TMNT":

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