Michael (Transformers) Bay’s comments at the Nickelodeon Upfront Presentation that the rebooted version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that he is prepping for a return to the big screen “are from an alien race” set off a firestorm of outrage among longtime turtles fans, who evidently don’t enjoy the prospect of having the backstories of their favorite heroes on the half-shell radically altered. Bay was referring to the new hybrid live-action TMNT film that he is producing withJonathan Liebesman directing, and which is slated to hit theaters in December of 2013 (see “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Hybrid Movie”).
Robbie Rist, who provided the voice for Michelangelo in previous TMNT movies, was not amused stating: “I know believing in mutated talking turtles is kinda silly to begin with, but am I supposed to be led to believe that there are ninjas from another planet? The rape of our childhood continues...”
Bay replied to the fan uproar on his Shoot for the Edit message boards, indicating that he thought the dispute over which explanation for the turtles existence was more believable was silly and basically irrelevant to the movie he is creating: “Fans need to take a breath and chill. They have not read the script. Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of the 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.”