Michael Bay, why do you hate my childhood so much?

After being regularly criticized for his three "Transformers" films, Michael Bay has now switched his sights on ruining the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles".  Bay's production company Platinum Dunes is working on a live-action reboot to the TMNT franchise, reportedly directed by Bay, and due out in 2014.  During a speech to Nickelodeon on Monday, Bay explained his idea for a new twist on the classic TMNT story,

“When you see this movie, kids are going to believe, one day, that these turtles actually do exist when [we] are done with this movie. These turtles are from an alien race and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable."

Hearing that the four turtles would now be aliens has caused a huge outrage among fans.  Originally, the turtles were four turtles in the NYC sewer that were exposed to a toxic waste that mutated them into larger turtles with human-level intelligence, and were raised by Splinter, a rat who was also exposed to the toxic waste.  Splinter raised the turtles as his sons, naming them after Renaissance artists, and trained them in ninjutsu which Splinter learned from his old master.  Originally a comic book, then a TV cartoon, the turtles made the jump to a theatrical release in 1990.  The first film was a hit among fans, with each film following being less popular than its predecessor.  In response to the fan outrage, Michael Bay responded on a website he frequents to make big announcements,

"Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script," he wrote. "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."

After seeing what Bay did with the "Transformers" franchise, I don't trust this man one bit.  Fans are not the only ones to speak out against Michael Bay, but also the turtles themselves... so to speak.  Actor Robbie Riss, who voiced Michelangelo in the three live-action TMNT films, wrote a letter to Michael Bay that was posted on TMZ.  To say the least, Riss is a little upset with the change,

"You probably don’t know me but I did some voice work on the first set of movies that you are starting to talk about sodomizing. I know believing in mutated talking turtles is kinda silly to begin with but am I supposed to be led to believe there are ninjas from another planet? The rape of our childhood memories continues."

With the film still two years away, we can hope that Bay will listen to the fans (you know, those people who he's planning will actuall pay to see the movie) and change the origin of the turtles back to what it used to be.  With any story, there are certain changes that can be made to the story and not kill it, but the origin story is one of the most risky things to change.  The origin of a character is almost as iconic as the character itself.  You cannot make Superman a human whose suit gives him powers, you cannot make James Bond an American from New York, and you cannot have the Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles be aliens.  Any by the way, I didn't make up those other two examples.  Those movies almost happened.  Keeping the title and making the "turtles" aliens makes as much sense as doing a film called "The Karate Kid", but teaching the kid Kung Fu and not Karate (smart move Will Smith).



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