Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot has was met with suspicion from the get-go, and every move has just seemed to irritate fans more. The latest debacle was the casting of producer Michael Bay‘s one-time nemesis Megan Fox as April O’Neil — not really the best way to convince audiences that TMNT wouldn’t just be a Transformers rehash.

Where Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman has been vocal about his support of the film (which likely has something to do with the fact that he’s been involved all along), co-creator Peter Laird has been far more critical of the endeavor. And he’s no happier about the casting of Fox than other TMNT fans have been. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Controversy errupted when Michael Bay made a small comment about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action reboot he is producing. Bay mentioned that the Turtles in his movie are “from an alien race” which is a big change from the mythology we’ve come to know from the comics, cartoons, and movies released thus far. 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.”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creators Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman individually came to Bay’s defense. Laird said “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.” Eastman responded, “I had been invited to check out the TMNT film development by my friend Scott Mednick over the years, and a while back had a full look behind the curtian at what writers [Josh] Appelbaum and [Andre] Nemec, director [Jonathan] Liebesman, and producer Bay are doing–and trust me–it IS AWESOME. I’m officially on board.”

Today director Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: LA) has surfaced to make some peace with fans and explain what is currently going on with the project, how they plan to shoot it, and what to expect. Meanwhile, TMNT co-creator Peter Laird has come back to clarify his previous pro-Bay comments, saying he hates the idea of intergalactic Ninja Turtles. All this and more, after the jump.
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At the start of this week, Michael Bay pissed off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lovers everywhere by revealing that the new Turtles film, which he’s producing, will see the central characters reimagined as aliens rather than mutants. Predictably, a firestorm ensued, and even more predictably, Bay responded to the the outrage by stating that “fans need to take a breath, and chill.”

“Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex back story,” he assured them. That “original creator” is Kevin Eastman, and Eastman’s now making it known that he is indeed behind Bay’s vision 100%. Read his comments after the jump.

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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.

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Update [by Editor Peter Sciretta]: Variety has confirmed this earlier report. Fusco issued the following statement: “It is always exciting when you can come aboard a project that bridges the worlds of what you do with what you love.” No other new information has been revealed.

A TMNT fan blog noticed the other day that the official TMNT site had released details of the Turtles’ panel at Comic Con, and the page (since deleted) had some new info. Among the guests listed for the panel was John Fusco, noted in the listing as the writer for the live-action movie due in 2011. That’s an interesting choice for the project, and suggests that the aim is to create more than a simple cash-in that preys on fan nostalgia.

Fusco wrote the two Young Guns movies, Hidalgo with Viggo Mortensen, the recent Jet Li picture The Forbidden Kingdom and may be writing the latest attempt to remake Seven Samurai. None of them cinema classics by any means (not talking about the Kurosawa Seven Samurai, obviously) but it’s a resume that has a strong western/martial arts bent. And what is TMNT (also no cinema classic) really but a cheeky urban version of Western and wuxia tropes? Read More »


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Peter Laird confirms to MTV that the current idea for the just announced live-action TMNT reboot is to do it “Batman Begins-style”, retelling the Turtles’ origin story. The film would probably include Shredder, April O’Neil and Casey Jones, but might even include other characters from the Turtles universe.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Co-creator Peter Laird posted a blog post talking about the big announcement last night regarding Mirage Studios making a new live-action TMNT movie. Laird confirms that the inital discussions involve using “hybrid” ninja turtles:

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teenage mutant ninja turtles

Wow, I feel old. Tomorrow is the 25th birthday of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. To celebrate, a 25th Anniversary “Shell-ebration” is schedules in association with the Tribeca Film Festival. The World Financial Center Plaza will be transformed into a drive-in pizza party screening of the 1990 live-action film complete with glow-in-the-dark manhole covers, a turtle-green colored Empire State Building, an all-new Party Wagon replica, and an appearance by the turles themselves. Click here for details . But the bigger news is that The Mirage Group has officially announced that they will be making a new live-action film for 2011.

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Yes, the Kevin Eastman report was inaccurate, but it appears there was some truth behind the rumors after all. TMNT co-creator Peter Laird confirmed to MTV that he has had “several meetings with very interested people” for a live-action / hybrid Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film.

Like Alvin and the Chipmunks or Scooby-Doo, the idea of a hybrid movie is to shoot the film with live action humans on practical locations. Computer Animated Ninja Turtles (and possibly cg villains as well) would be inserted into the shots. I actually think CG turtles could allow for some really crazy action sequences. The two major problems I had with the computer animated film was that it was geared towards young children and that the story was so fantastical and unrealistic. Sticking the computer animated turtles in the real world seen in the first lie action film might be just what is needed.

When asked about the rumor that Steve Barron, the filmmaker who directed the first Ninja Turtle film, would return to the franchise, Laird said “I would be very pleased if he ended up directing the next TMNT movie.” Lets hope this doesn’t happen. I think the project needs someone with a new vision.

The story is in the very early stages, and Laird admits that they haven’t even nailed down a villain yet: “It would be fun to do something with the Shredder, but I am also excited about the possibility of creating some new characters for the movie.”

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