This doesn’t look like a good week to be Michael Bay as the continuing controversy over his planned reboot of the beloved ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ has taken another turn. A rumor surfaced that the title had been changed to just ‘Ninja Turtles’ and it has recently been confirmed by Bay himself that those rumors are true!
We already knew the “mutant “part of the title would not last too long after Bay’s comments that the turtles would be “from an alien race” (which I’m hoping he just means that the Ooze is from the alien race but our beloved turtles are still from Earth). When word hit that not only the origin of the TMNT may be altered, but also the title, fans once again hit the internet with outrage and disgust.
Bay heard and has once again issued a statement through his Shoot From The Edit forum:
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.
First of all, one must give props to Bay for even addressing the issue as he could have just have let Paramount’s PR people handle the whole controversy. HOWEVER, I find it a bit insulting that the title was changed to make it “simple.” After all, ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ was too complicated for us movie goers and should have just been titled ‘Captain America.’ Or how about ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2?’ That’s a bit of a mouthful! Of course the title change is not Bay’s fault but that of Paramount’s.
Which leads me to my second concern: If Paramount is going to make changes to something as basic as a trademarked name, what other changes will they make in the movie? I’m also a bit uneasy that Bay writes that the Turtles “still act like teenagers” as opposed to saying they are still teenagers.
At this point there really is nothing the fans can do except “chill” as Bay had suggested in his last blog entry. The script is still being developed (which makes me wonder how Bay can say “Everything you remember, why you liked the characters, is in the movie” when there is no final script to be seen) and everyone on the team “cares about the fans.” The only thing I can say now is that if the team truly cared about the fans, then they should dispel all the rumors and flat out say the Turtles will still be teenagers, they will still be mutants and they will still be ninjas. What do you think?
“Ninja Turtles” is slated to hit theaters on December 25, 2013.