My beloved franchise when I was a kid was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was a little too late for Thundercats and too early for Power Rangers, and for this I am grateful. In retrospect, TMNT is just as goofy, but the turtles still have a place in my heart. Keeping this in mind, I’m trying not to get too upset over producer Michael Bay‘s recent revelation that the turtles in the upcoming live-action movie will be aliens, not mutants. Hit the jump for what Bay had to say about the change along with my thoughts about it.
[Note that this project is separate from the new animated TV series that's airing on Nickelodeon in the fall. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is due out on December 25, 2013.]
Here’s what Bay said at the Nickelodeon* upfronts [via StuffWeLike]:
For those who don’t want to watch the video, here’s the quote:
“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. These turtles are from an alien race and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable.”
I can understand tweaking out some of the old elements. I can live with ditching the ooze that made the pet shop turtles into full-sized warriors. But the word “mutant” is in the name. The title is basically a checklist. The characters must be teenaged, mutated turtles that are skilled in martial arts. Otherwise you could change all of the elements, and may as well make them Geriatric Alien Karate Lizards.
I’m not really outraged about all of this. I’m simply confused by the change. Why do kids need to believe the turtles “actually do exist”, and how does make them aliens accomplish that?
*For those who may be confused, Nickelodeon isn’t just a TV network anymore; it’s also Paramount’s family films division.