Today, Michael Bay has spoken out on his site Shoot for the Edit and had the following to add about the name change to Ninja Turtles:
“Paramount marketing changed the name. They made the title simple. The characters you all remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers. Everything you remember, why you liked the characters, is in the movie. This script is being developed by two very smart writers, with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles. They care VERY MUCH about making this film for the fans. Everyone on this team cares about the fans. Just give them a chance. Jonathan the director, is a major fan of the whole franchise. HE’S NOT GOING TO LET YOU DOWN.”
Is this all to calm the furor or is it just misguided Michael Bay talk to justify doing whatever the hell he wants with the franchise? I expect the updates on this to slow down quite a bit, as Bay begins filming Pain & Gain this week.
Ever since Michael Bay famously announced the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would involve the turtles’ background as alien life forms. Ever since, fans of the property have been unable to shut up on the subject, even after Bay’s second public announcement for fans to take a “chill pill” and wait to see where they are going for the reboot. Both creators of the original comic have spoken out, and while Kevin Eastman says he has no control over what they do with the film, but he also said:
“I had been invited to check out the TMNT film development by my friend Scott Mednick over the years, and a while back had a full look behind the curtian at what writers Appelbaum and Nemec, director Liebesman, and producer Bay are doing–and trust me–it IS AWESOME. I’m officially on board, and will share more as I’m allowed…”
The other co-creator, Peter Laird said:
“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.”
While not endorsing the idea, he doesn’t come out to support it either. I think both men are jaded by the fact that their dark, edgy comic was turned into a Saturday morning cartoon, and every attempt to get back what they started with has come under scrutiny of former child fans.
Now, Bleeding Cool says the title will simply be Ninja Turtles, with possible significance to the dropping of the last two words, but possibly it’s just marketing.
“We haven’t been able to get a definite statement as to why this title change is occurring, and our sources are not 100% clear on whether or not the Turtles will indeed be adolescents. One of our sources has said: “It seems to be driven by marketing. Think of John Carter and how Disney wouldn’t allow for a title with either “Princess” or “Mars.””
This could be an indication that they are indeed ditching the kid-friendly aspects of the Turtles and moving on to something with more edge. This is the team that made Texas Chainsaw Massacre a slick, gory thriller as opposed to what the original was. Still, not many are privy to what the script is actually about, and director Jonathan Liebesman is best known for his work on the underwhelming Battle: Los Angeles which still earned enough money at the box office for sequel talk.