The net is blazing with talk in response to Michael Bay’s admission that he plans to change the origin story of the four beloved main characters in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reboot… and not all of it is good.

In an interview last week at the Nichelodeon Upfront 2012 in New York, Michael Bay stated that for the upcoming TMNT reboot, the origins of the turtles will change and now they will be aliens who come to our planet, instead of four little turtles who met with some toxic ooze in the sewers of NYC and mutated into crimefighters (something which seemed to fit in perfectly with the 1980s paranoia of nuclear waste flowing under the streets of the Big Apple—think of the origins in C.H.U.D., and the death of Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.)

Talk about dropping a bomb!

Now for the sake of full disclosure, the overzealous, SFX heavy Bay will not direct the film. The company Platinum Dunes is currenting trying to acquire director John Liebesman, who has crafted such recent projects as Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Battle: Los Angeles, and Wrath of the Titans (and I don’t know if that really is a good thing for our beloved heroes in a half-shell), and will be penned by Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol writer Andre Nemec.


It seems fans aren’t as head-over-heels as Mr. Bay would hope.

If I can interject a small slice of personal opinion: I for one was a huge fan of the Transformers franchise, until Mr. Bay turned that into a Shia-Labeouf-screaming, unrecognizable-robot-having,  jive-talking-rasict-black-faced Autobot-tooting (see twins “Skids” and “Mudflap” in Revenge of the Fallen), ‘Generation Me’-music video montage that was the disaster we now now as the reboot of the Transformers he put out the last couple of years. I’d rather watch the 1986 animated film on IMAX than any of Mr. Bay’s any day (and that could be a post into itself!).

Getting back on-topic, I think that this will really muck up a lot of other core story origin concepts within the world of TMNT. First, if the quartet is not born out of a radioactive substance in the depths of NYC’s sewers, then how do they meet their sensei Splinter (who was born out of the same ooze), and learn the way of the ninja? You going to tell me we’ll have a clever plot device where the four turtles just watched the Kurosawa/Mifune canon over and over again in space, learning the ancient Japanese arts? This also throws out the entire Japanese angle, which for me, seems to be clutch in the TMNT lore.

What about their arch nemesis the Shredder then? Maybe he is also thrown out with the baby and the bathwater and instead we have Krang? How about the army known as the Foot Clan? Or how about the slew of other animal hybrid characters, heroes and villians alike, that were spawned from this toxic waste?

I know, some of you are saying I’m putting the cart in front of the horse here, but I just wish Hollywood would learn not to mess with good, proven ideas and material. Aside from maybe Watchmen or V for Vendetta, ask Alan Moore if he likes them ‘rebooting’ source material. Didn’t really work with the Transformers in this humble Podwit’s opinion. I subscribe to the old adage that if you respect the source material, with an attempt to explore it seriously and respectfully, you could come out with a pretty badass movie or show (see Richard Donner’s Superman, Bryan Singer’s first two X-Men films, or Tim Burton’s Batman. For not so good revisions, see the three Punisher incarations, or the recent Bionic Women television reboot.)

Say what you like, but I kinda feel this is like maybe taking Krypton out of Superman’s world; or changing Batman’s parents’ death to, say, a car crash instead of at the hands of violent crime.

I’m not really even a huge TMNT fan. I loved Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s comic book series in the ’80s, and I was a fan of the cartoon series and the first film. But I can see why the diehard TMNT fans would be up in arms about this.

Like I stated before, look what the Michael Bay factory did to the Transformers franchise. Yeah, they made dumptruck-loads of money, but as a lot of my friends and I fould out, you won’t get your money back after shelling out (no pun intended) almost $20 for IMAX tickets to find out the movies sucked. It’s a shame, because nowadays, I feel like films are considered a success just because of monetary gains, but not because of critical acclaim (yet another topic for another day).

Though I guess we’ll have to just wait for the film. Hell, it could be great. But… but, because of prior track records of late, I have my doubts for these heroes in a half-shell…

 I’ve got an idea, why not just make an alien movie and drop the turtles altogether! Oh well—

Turtle Power.

  1. donna sweat says:

    Why do they always have to get movie stars to play the rolls? May be someone like me whom isn’t totally movie star body but has an infatuation with Raphael would like to have a scene with him.