I am a child of the 90′s. And with that comes certain responsibilities. It is of the utmost importance to support Titanic 3D. Whenever a Spice Girl’s song is on, I have to turn the radio up. I must shake my head at all the new Pokemon that have been created, thinking how impossible it is for a kid to memorize and catch all of them. Playing my Nintendo 64 is still more fun than any fancy motion capture doohickey. And when Michael Bay decides to re-make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it is my solemn duty to show outrage. Especially when he seems to want to make it into something that it is not – a serious movie.
Let me start at the beginning. While at the 2012 Nickelodeon Upfront Michael Bay started to discuss his new project, a re-boot of the popular cartoon and live-action franchise. And then he says 7 little words that instantly changed the fan’s view of the new movie: “These turtles are from an alien race”. Now anyone that has seen the show knows that, while they were mutated by an alien radioactive substance, they are NOT aliens but just lost little turtles living in the sewers. I’m sure that all of you are feeling the same anger and surprise that they would change something so vital to the series. And why would they announce it so early on in the production? So that we can be forewarned that the film will be different? I mean, as many fans have pointed out, the series isn’t titled “Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles”.
With the backlash so swift, Bay tried to assuage the fears that the movie would turn the beloved series into something unrecognizable to the original. But he didn’t really try that hard to make us feel better, instead telling us to “chill”. Which is always the worst thing you can possibly say to an angry person. He points out that we “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”. When you have pizza loving teenage ninjas who happen to be mutant turtles, do you really need something more complex?
As if that weren’t enough, now they are announcing that the movie will have now be known simply as Ninja Turtles. So in addition to making them aliens, now they are taking away their adolescence? Does Michael Bay have some grudge against my childhood? It’s the fact that they are pizza loving teenagers who can kick some Shredder ass that makes them so awesome. Apparently the title isn’t so much Bay’s bright idea but Paramount’s marketing scheme. According to Bay they did it to make the title “simple”, but it doesn’t mean that the characters will be changed to match the shorter moniker. He is quoted saying, “the characters you remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers. Everything you remember, why you liked the characters, is in the movie.” I think that remains to be seen when the movie is in theaters.
The funny part about all this anger is that it is centered on that good old Transformers director Michael Bay. While he’s the one making all the public statements, he’s also only the film’s producer. The director is Johnathan Liebesman who is known for the flop Battle Los Angeles and the new Clash of the Titan’s sequel Wrath of the Titans. So he seems to be in the same vein as Bay, with all the flashy action movies under his belt. But considering Liebesman has never played around with a popular child’s cartoon before, it’s understandable that most people would want to point fingers at Michael Bay. As it stands now, I don’t really have much hope for this new re-boot with these two on board. Let’s hope that the heroes in the half shell have enough turtle power to withstand a terrible movie.
What do you guys think about all the changes being announced for the re-make? Are you still optimistic for the franchise or do you think this will be a big sewage smelling flop?