Future generations will mark the passing era as when our turtles were mutants and the coming one as when they became aliens.
Just days ago Micheal Bay announced that his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be aliens, sparking the internets equivalent of a riot (snarky messages on boards, repetitive memes and, misplaced references to inner child interference.) Voice actor Rob Rist even chimed in with a sodomy reference. Rallying behind Bay’s vision, actress Judith Hoag and Asian stereotype Brian Tochi both managed to get their names printed on at least five websites when they voiced their support for contradicting the second word in the properties title. Boy, this is really starting to get heated, and by heated mean redundant.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think it is a terrible idea. I know that because it is a Micheal Bay idea, those are always bad (and soul crushingly always end up making butt tonnes of money.) With all do respect to the above mentioned actors, if this really is that big of a deal where are the big names attached to the heroes in a half shell, why haven’t they spoke up yet?
Well, co-creator Peter Laird has with a rather lengthy and rather interesting post on his blog. Hit the jump for more.
I was going to post just a few high lights, but honestly I think Mr. Laird’s words should be read entirely, however I will post the tl;dr version first.
It is a genius idea compared to what has been done and at least someone is doing something. (at least I think that is what he’s getting at. Full text below the pic.)
I have had several requests from TMNT fans during this past week to comment on the idea of the Turtles being “reimagined” as aliens for the upcoming TMNT movie to be produced by Michael Bay. A few people — who don’t seem to understand that I am no longer in control of the property — want me to stop this, somehow. Obviously, I can’t do that, even if I wanted to.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.However, as I have pondered this further, I have realized that in one way it IS truly a genius notion. Let me explain…Over the years, I have made no secret of my distaste for what I consider to be the weak, facile, creatively bankrupt idea which can be summed up like this:“If FOUR Ninja Turtles are good, then FIVE (or more) Ninja Turtles MUST be better!“It was in large part this brain-dead notion that led to the creation of the execrable “Venus de Milo” character in the blessedly short-lived live action TV series “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation”. And I can’t tell you how many times we got mail in the early years of the Turtles from people who thought it was simply an amazing idea to do a “fifth Turtle”, and how many times those same people suggested that this fifth Turtle be named “Picasso”. And many times, the brilliant idea to explain this extra Turtle was that, instead of there being just four pet shop turtles in that glass bowl in the origin story, there were really FIVE.Sigh.I’ll admit — I have played with the idea of more Turtles myself, a few times. There was the character of “Kirby”, the “fifth Turtle” that Kevin Eastman and I came up with for one of the several movie ideas which never came to fruition. And I created the “Super Turtles” in Volume 4 of the TMNT comics published by Mirage… and they eventually appeared in one episode of the 4Kids animated TMNT TV series.But…… in both those instances, I was careful to make these Turtles not just MORE of the same, i.e. just extra TMNT. In both of the above cases, the extra Turtles were from other dimensions… and the Super Turtles, especially, were VERY different from the Ninja Turtles. I don’t remember all the details of the work we did on that “Kirby the Fifth Turtle” thing, but I DO remember being adamant that if we were going to agree to the idea of a “fifth Turtle”, it would have to be something other than the harebrained “there was an extra Turtle in the bowl, etc.” idea.Is that too fine a line? Yeah, maybe… but to my way of thinking, anyway, it is a CLEAR line.Anyway, to get back to the “TMNT are aliens” thing — the reason I say it could be a “genius” idea is that — for the first time — someone has come up with a way to have as many freakin’ Turtles as they want. I mean, if the TMNT are actually members of an alien race, there could be a whole PLANET of them!Joy. — PL
So… he’s cool with this? I am very glad that he reminded us of the sheer whorish nature of the property. In the 90’s TMNT was slapped on everything and anything. The toy line alone was responsible for some of the most laughable and insane attempts to survive via gimmicks (ToplessRobot.com is THE internet source on this action figure madness FYI.)
From the comments on his blog, his coy nature came through. Was he being sarcastic or serious when he called it genius? His response to ComicBookMovie.com was “Both!”
However, I think there might be some tongue in cheek action going on here, since he also had this to say:
“You know, I’ve been kind of impressed with the volume and intensity of fan reaction to this alien idea. It makes me wonder what the reaction would have been had the producer of the upcoming “Superman” movie announced that instead of Kal-El being an alien from the planet Krypton, they would be making him a mutant created on Earth by KryptoBioGenetics, Inc.. That’s almost as wacky. — PL”
So, what do we know now? They are aliens, they will be from some other planet (to bad, I was still hoping it was just the ooze that was alien in origin) and it’s really just another iteration of a property that has bounced around from one crazy idea to the next. On a personal note if I want ninja turtles that are in their teenage years, they will be mutants. They will also all wear red masks, and as luck would have it I still have all those comic books so I am good regardless of how this pans out.
Still waiting to hear from Casey ‘Elias Koteas‘ Jones, btw. Dude, seriously, hook me up here.