Ninja Turtles Co-Creator Backs Michael Bay's Plans
It’s probably an understatement to say that fans did not react well to producer Michael Bay’s plans to change the origin story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by making them “from an alien race.” Ninja Turtles co-creator Peter Laird weighed in on the subject on his blog, stating that he’s no longer in control of the property (according to THR, he sold it to Viacom a few years back), but has encouraged fans to “swallow a chill pill.”
But I would actually encourage TMNT fans to swallow the "chill pill" Mr. Bay recently suggested they take, and wait and see what might come out of this seemingly ill-conceived plan. It's possible that with enough truly creative brainpower applied to this idea, it might actually work. I'm not saying it's probable, or even somewhat likely… but it IS possible.
It’s certainly an optimistic approach, and one some fans may also adopt. Laird elaborates on his support of the idea by discussing the idea of bringing more Turtles into the story, and suggesting that the alien origin may allow that to be possible...
"The reason I say it could be a 'genius' idea is that -- for the first time -- someone has come up with a way to have as many freakin' Turtles as they want. I mean, if the TMNT are actually members of an alien race, there could be a whole PLANET of them!"
This raises the topic of the Turtles' uniqueness. If they’re of an alien race, there could be more of them, which could present some interesting story opportunities. But would that be a good thing? Or does it make the four Turtles less special, if somewhere out there there’s a whole planet of other turtles?
For me, the whole subject of the Ninja Turtles’ origins triggers the memory of a scene from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze, during which the turtles learn that their present state is the result of exposure to toxic ooze. If you recall, they weren’t exactly thrilled by that revelation. Donatello expresses his disappointment by saying, “I thought we’d find out we were special,” to which Splinter responds, “Do not confuse the specter of your origin with your present worth, my son.”
Should we consider Splinter’s words and accept that where they come from isn’t as important or valuable to the story as who they are at present? Or, at the very least, that adjustments to the set-up for the Turtles won’t completely derail the story? That’s probably the optimistic approach, and it sort of relies on the idea that the alien aspect of the story won’t be a major part of the new film. Regardless, an open mind may be in order here, at least for now.
In the meantime, in related news, Conan O’Brien addressed the fan backlash on Bay’s plans for the new Ninja Turtles movie on his show last night. Check out the segment below...
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