‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Creators Eastman and Laird Weigh In On Alien Rumors
If you were one of the many Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans outraged and appalled not only by plans to turn the giant pizza-eating martial artist reptiles into alien giant pizza-eating martial artist reptiles as part of their upcoming live-action movie reboot, but also by executive producer Michael Bay's suggestion to "take a breath and chill," then I've got some good news and some bad news for you. The good news: One of the two creators of the Turtles feels your pain. The bad news: The other creator thinks that the changes are AWESOME. And, yes, he uses the upper-case himself.Peter Laird, who co-created the characters with Kevin Eastman in 1984, addressed the idea earlier this week, and came across as cautious but unimpressed. Although he agreed with the suggestion for fans upset about the changes to calm down, writing that "[i]t's possible that with enough truly creative brainpower applied to this idea, it might actually work" his cautious optimism was immediately undercut by the next sentence:
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!" ...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!
He added that "a planet of turtles is not, in and of itself, a bad idea for some kind of science fiction/fantasy story," he went on to admit that "as a way to explain any aspect of the backstory of TMNT, I think it is awful and unnecessary."
That's an opinion co-creator Eastman doesn't share. Writing on his Facebook wall that he has had the chance to have "a full look behind the curtain at what writers Appelbaum and Nemec, director Liebesman, and producer Bay are doing--and trust me--it IS AWESOME," Eastman announced that he is "officially on board" with the movie.
It's possible that Eastman's confidence comes from knowing what Michael Bay was actually talking about. Talking to Collider while promoting his new film Wrath of The Titans, director Jonathan Liebesman hinted that maybe the turtles themselves won't be the aliens after all. "Look, it's so funny-if everyone was such a die-hard fan, they would know that the TCRI canisters where the ooze comes from. That is alien ooze," he explained, adding that Eastman's involvement in the movie means that "whatever mythology we're building on or expanding is coming from that guy, Kevin Eastman's head, who created the Turtles in the first place... A lot of it is stuff he's wanted to do for a long time, but just hasn't had the opportunity."
Personally, I don't have a particular horse in this race; I never really got into TMNT - in part because I missed the original cartoon because I was too old, and in part because the cartoon was renamed Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the U.K. because ninjas aren't for kids over there (I only wish I was joking) - and I'm also not one of those people who thinks that Michael Bay ruined Transformers by adding Megan Fox and Shia LeBeouf, even if the second one made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever when I watched it.
To me, an alien turtle is as ridiculous/believable/awesome as a mutant turtle, but I think we can all agree that, as long as the new movie turtles still skateboard and eat pizza, everything will be okay in the long run, right? Right...?