CliqueClack Flicks

Michael Bay thinks the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are aliens

There are certain bits of movie news that feel like a joke or something out of an alternate universe where moronic movie decisions are made on a whim. But it isn't an alternate universe ... it's ours.

So last week during the big Nickelodeon press conference, Michael Bay came up to talk about the upcoming live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie he’s producing. Just the mere idea of his taking over one of my favorite movie franchises from my childhood was frightening enough, but then I heard this nugget of stupidity:

“When you see this movie, kids will believe one day that these turtles do exist, when we’re done with this movie. These turtles are from an alien race, and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely loveable.”

I mentioned this in passing in my CartoonClack post yesterday over on the TV side of CliqueClack, but my frustration bears repeating: how in the hell do you mess up the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ back-story … the word “mutant” is in their name! Next you’ll be telling me Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants are actually robots … edgy, funny and completely loveable robots! From space!

Even in the darker, original Ninja Turtles comic series, the backstory was more or less the same as the original cartoon and the original movies — a toxic spill turns these ordinary turtles into the anthropomorphic karate heroes of New York! In a lot of ways, one of the great things about these characters is that they are essentially horrific freaks of nature — brought on by our own carelessness —  that just happen to be noble and on the side of good. They aren’t able to interact with many people in society (except for the occasional hot-shot reporter, vigilante hockey player or up-and-coming rapper), but while Raphael might have a bad attitude about their situation, the four brothers refuse to have bitterness towards the humans they protect. On the surface this is a very silly universe with pizza-eating, skateboarding reptiles, but there is some real heart in their story, too. All of those wonderful things about the characters I grew up loving would be ruined if they were just aliens without a real connection to Earth.

And what really frightens me is that Bay might actually think the Turtles have always been aliens. And if he thinks the Turtles are aliens, what else is he going to mess up in this movie?

Actually, I can tell you exactly what he’s going to mess up with this movie: April O’Neal. Say what you will about the sillier, easily-put-in-danger versions of April over the years, but at least she’s been written with a little more respect and intelligence than a good many cartoon heroines. April is smart, pro-active and not treated like a piece of meat by the Turtles (even if they each have major crushes on her). Now remember Michael Bay’s track record for female characters … his last heroine was introduced by pantless ass shot. Later she was directly compared to a car … by her boss. I shudder to think how Bay is going to “reboot” April’s iconic yellow jumpsuit. I’m getting a rage headache just thinking about it.

Bay did send a response to the fans telling us to “chill” and that he and the writers are “creating a richer world.” Yeah, I doubt that, Michael. Sorry to be a pessimist, but I’ve seen enough of your previous work. Your reputation precedes you and I don’t trust you to enrich any project you work on. While I’ve highly disliked your Transformers movies, I was never a die-hard fan of the original series and never felt that you insulted my childhood (just my intelligence). I am, however, a huge fan of the Ninja Turtles.

Now as I’ve moved farther into my 20s, I’ve come to accept the fact that movie adaptations are rarely, if ever, going to be exactly how I envision the characters in my mind, and reboots are no different. If a production has a competent filmmaker guiding it, I try to keep an open mind, even with a reboot where the origin story is changed so drastically. But this isn’t a competent filmmaker … it’s Michael Bay. The man who put humping dogs into a Transformers movie (you know, for kids!). The man who doesn’t understand that explosions can’t replace basic character development. The man who gave us the line, “I’m standing directly beneath enemy scrotum.”

It’s important to note that so far Bay is only producing the movie and very little is known about the project besides that and Bay mentioning that at least one of the original creators is involved. However, if the bit about aliens is included, I don’t see myself going to it for that alone … and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bay screws up much more than their origin. Hell, the fact that he uses the word “edgy” isn’t a good sign, either.

All that being said, the cartoon coming to Nickelodeon in 2012 looks to be a totally different project. I mentioned over on CartoonClack that I approve of the art style and the voice casting so far, so I hope TMNT fans won’t be dissuaded from trying out the TV show just because the Turtles movie could be Bay-ified. And if the Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles does get made … the best thing for us to do is just not go to it.


Photo Credit: Paramount Television

Categories: Features, General, News

5 Responses to “Michael Bay thinks the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are aliens”

March 20, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Michael Bay should not be allowed near the film industry ever again. He writes the worst form of “humor,” has barbaric views on women, and has no safety standards at all for the people working on his films. The fact that he gets to use franchises that are loved by people, is a cheap way to sell people down the sewer. You can not even argue his films make “a lot” of money, because they don’t. His movies never turn a profit because of the astronomical production costs and post-production costs afterwords. The only person who robs the movie goer worse is Adam Sandler.

March 21, 2012 at 1:08 AM

Mike B, I am officially in love with you :)

March 22, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Michael Bay does what he wants, scripts and logic only hold him back.

March 22, 2012 at 9:58 PM

This is a man who thought having robots humping Megan Fox’s leg and giving his giant robot villain a visible scrotum was improving the world of Transformers.

His judgement on how to improve things is not to be trusted. Also he might secretly be a 9 year old boy.

March 30, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Not my beloved Turtles!!! Stay away, you bad man!

*shakes fist in Michael Bay’s general direction*

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