Posted on Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 by Angie Han
On Monday, the reveal that the new, Michael Bay-produced incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would see the characters reimagined as aliens rather than mutants sent fans into a frenzy of outrage. Bay quickly shot back by advising everyone to “take a breath, and chill,” asserting that he was “working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex back story.” Now co-creator Peter Laird has spoken out, and what do you know, he agrees with Bay. To an extent.
Laird took to his blog to respond to the “turtles as alien” controversy, advising fans to “wait and see what might come out of this seemingly ill-conceived plan.” More after the jump.
Laird isn’t offering a wholehearted endorsement of Bay’s idea; actually, he seems pretty ambivalent about it. But he seems more willing than his fans are to give it a shot.
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.
Laird then goes on to explain that in fact, “I have realized that in one way it IS truly a genius notion.” You see, making the turtles aliens finally offers a good excuse to create the fifth Ninja Turtle he’s been pitched over the years, or at least a better one than “the harebrained ‘there was an extra Turtle in the bowl, etc.’ idea.” “[F]or the first time… someone has come up with a way to have as many freakin’ Turtles as they want,” he notes. “I mean, if the TMNT are actually members of an alien race, there could be a whole PLANET of them! Joy.”
If you’re a Ninja Turtles lover that’s still upset about Bay’s comments, it’s well worth heading over to read his blog post in full. And lest you think Laird’s simply being facetious, CBM followed up with the TMNT creator to ask whether he was being sarcastic or genuine about the idea being “genius.” His reply: “Both, actually.”
It can’t be easy for Laird to watch someone else playing with the characters he invented, especially when the filmmakers are changing so much about them. Given that, this is probably about as warm and measured a response as can be expected. And Laird is right that we don’t actually have any idea yet how this change will pan out. It’s doubtful Laird’s statements will kill the fury completely, but perhaps the shouting will give way to grumbling so the Internet can move on to getting mad about the next absurd Hollywood reboot. Like, say, Paramount’s grown-up, supernatural take on Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Ugh, what’s that about?