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We heard you guys loud and clear when we wrote yesterday about Michael Bay's suggestion that the turtles in the upcoming movie he's producing will be teenage ninjas, but not mutants-- they'll be aliens. Comments ranging from "Don't ruin my childhood" to "Michael Bay needs to die already" popped up suggesting that if anyone is going to tweak with the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles formula, it shouldn't be Bay. He's not directing the upcoming live-action Turtles film, just producing it through his company Platinum Dunes, but by giving that speech on behalf of Nickelodeon, Bay seems to be establishing himself as the face of the project-- and a face that the fans really just want to punch.
But Michael Bay is used to people being mad at him, particularly people on the Internet, and he's responded to all this criticism with a pretty typical, blase and slightly condescending attitude. On his own forums Shoot For The Edit, Bay had this to say to the outraged Turtles fans:
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.
What's not explained here at all, of course, is how building up the original world of the Turtles involves them being aliens, not regular turtles mutated by a toxic ooze. Something tells me that when he says "expand" he means "change for my own purposes." On some level, sure, he's entitled to do that-- he's a successful filmmaker who clearly knows what audiences want to see, and it's not like changing the origin of the Turtles changes their entire story. And yet, he's still not giving a convincing argument for why the change needs to be made at all.
A few posts down from Bay's comment in the forum is the promise, "Michael, I trusted you with Transformers, I trust you with this." For a lot of us, that might be the problem-- the Transformers movies were frequently garish, loud, and aggressively dumb, while the original Turtles series could be clever and all the right kinds of weird. Even if you did trust Bay with the Transformers, do you really want to see him give the Ninja Turtles the same treatment?