Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles? Probably not...
As Michael Bay’s plans for the forthcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sparks online fury, Matt provides his own take on the turtles from space concept...
I saw the video clip of Michael Bay speaking about the new Ninja Turtles movie on Saturday, courtesy of the Twitter account @Ninjapizza (the best source of Ninja Turtles news on the internet, for your information). In it, Bay talks for 16 seconds about the film. In that 16 seconds, he tells us that the Turtles will look the best they ever have, and he also mentions that they are now aliens.
In other words, it sounds like the effects will be amazing but they’ve got the story wrong. Typical Bay.
Still, as news started to filter out to people who, for God knows what reason, don’t follow Ninja Turtles news as closely as I do, I started getting messages on Twitter. As a big Ninja Turtles nerd, Den Of Geek writers were approaching me like I’d just lost a relative. Mark Harrison, for example, simply sent me a message saying, “Hey champ. How you holding up?"
Elsewhere, I’m seeing angry responses from people accusing Bay of breaking into their childhood and obscenely desecrating their memories. While I certainly enjoy rage and fury, I feel like I might be able to offer some perspective on what’s going here.
First and foremost I’d like to make this clear - if you guys are just looking to get rowdy and start some shit, I’m into it. Let’s trash the place!
If it’s not that, though, here’s what I think might be happening.
Michael Bay might be trolling you. Look, the internet, you’ve been pretty awful to Bay. And by you, I mean me. I’ve been awful to Bay in the words I’ve written and the attitude I’ve taken towards some of his films. If I were Bay I would definitely be doing things like this all the time, specifically to irritate people like me. I don’t begrudge Bay fighting back. In fact, I kind of like it.
Another thing to consider is that Bay has previously advocated spreading misinformation to protect the ideas in his films. Again, for someone who has been a dick to Michael Bay at every possible opportunity, I can’t say I blame him for this, either. Of course, this would be a really strange thing to put out if it’s not true, but he’s the got internet talking about the movie. If Bay wants to protect what they’re really doing to try to retain some surprises, fair play. In fact, hell, high five.
Realistically, though, it’s most likely to be a case of clumsy wording. The mutagen that created the Turtles, at least in the comics, came from the Utroms. Utroms are small brain-like alien creatures, similar to Krang from the cartoon. Bay is probably just referencing this. The fact is, most people don’t actually know very much about the original Ninja Turtles comics. They featured a lot of sci-fi elements. (Credit to DoG’s Rory Cooper for raising this point in Twitter-chatter with me. Not too much credit – I’d thought of it too, and I’m the one writing this piece. Maybe hug me and just warmly shake his hand).
It might even be that there are aliens in it but they aren’t the Turtles. We don’t really know the extent of Bay’s involvement in the film. It’s not like he released a statement declaring it, he just mentioned it briefly. It could easily be that he said the wrong thing.
Of course, it might be that they actually are making them aliens. That sounds incredibly stupid, and my instinct is that it won’t the case. If it is, though, I’ll still give it a chance, because dumber things than this have worked in films before.
And if the film isn’t great? Never mind. The Ninja Turtles franchise has never really been about the films, anyway. It’s comics and kids’ TV shows and toys, then films. You’d also need to fit computer games in there, too.
Rather than complaining about the bad stuff that might be happening with the franchise, why not tune into some of the great stuff that’s currently going on. Have you checked out the excellent new comic book series? Anyone read about the new Ninja Turtles ride that just opened? The opening saw a new world record for most people dressed as Ninja Turtles in one place. It’s all themed after the new cartoon series that looks really cowabunga.