It would be fair to say that fans did not respond favourably to the announcement that Michael Bay would be rebooting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as aliens. Who just happen to look like Earthly turtles. Who practice a Japanese form of martial arts. And have Italian names.
Surprisingly, one person who appears to be drinking Bay’s kool-aid though is artist Kevin Eastman, who co-created the Heroes on the Half Shell back in 1984. In fact, when speaking to MTV at Comic-Con he had some rather high praise for the reboot.
“From what I’ve seen, it’s easily the best ‘Turtle’ movie yet. We’re talking ‘Raid: Redemption’-style fight scenes; we’re talking about epic ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ sort of effects.”
Now just hold on to your mutated alien horses there. Raid: Redemption style fight scenes? Either Bay and co are actually accomplishing the impossible, or Eastman is just simply a master of hyperbole. My money is on door no. 2, seeing as how nothing has even been shot for the film yet, based on the fact that Paramount Pictures delayed the release date of the film so that it could go back to drawing board.
At least that was the widely reported reason. Not so, though, says Eastman:
“A lot of people are worried we pushed the release date from December to May, but the 30th anniversary of the ‘Turtles’ is in May, so it worked out perfectly.”
Eastman also shared his feelings with regards to the very vocal outcry about the proposed changes to the franchise (such as the aforementioned ‘aliens’ bit), and how fans should learn to embrace these new changes:
“I know that Michael and his group really like that and that Paramount was supportive of that, so I think that it’s great. I grew up reading ‘Captain America’ and ‘The Avengers’ and all that stuff, and over the course of the comic book history, since ‘Avengers’ has been around, how many times has it been reinvented, reformatted, restructured, replatformed?
“Every person that’s grown up inspired by that material wants to put their stamp on it a little bit. It just keeps getting better and better, and to have that opportunity is pretty awesome.”
As much as I’m loathe to admit it, he does have a point. Kind of. The Captain America in today’s comics is a far throw from the walking propaganda and cheese machine that he was when he was first created. The difference is that Steve Rogers is still the same skinny kid from Queens who through some experimental drugs got turned into a super soldier. He didn’t suddenly develop the urge to call home or ride in the basket of 9-year old boys’ bicycles.
For what it’s worth though, if the Teenage Mutant Alien Ninja Turtles gets released and it turns out that Bay and friends have somehow managed to convincingly portray their alien heritage without much eye-rolling on my part, I’ll be the first to give them their due. Until then though, I’m treat all this alien talk with a whole heap of skepticism.
Last Updated: July 18, 2012