Michael Bay says 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' are aliens, reinvents origin story

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Image Credit: Everett Collection

UPDATE (3/20): Michael Bay responds to fan outrage about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles alien back story

ORIGINAL STORY: At the annual Nickelodeon upfront presentation last week, über-producer Michael Bay revealed details for Platinum Dunes’ upcoming live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, including a new origin story for the half-shell heroes that is sure to raise the ire of diehard fans.

“When you see this movie, kids are going to believe one day these turtles actually do exist when we are done with this movie,” said Bay as he took the stage to discuss his new vision for the reptilian reboot. “These turtles are from an alien race, and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely loveable.”

In the original mythology, four baby turtles fall into the sewer and come into contact with glowing radioactive ooze, which mutates them into four bad-ass warriors trained in ninjutsu by astute rodent Splinter. But could the rewriting of the Turtles’ origin story dissuade some fans from embracing the newest incarnation? A comic book-to-movie adaptation’s worst nightmare is bad pre-publicity, and Bay may have generated that in about 30 words.

On the flip side, it might seem outrageous to non-fans of the series that Teenage Mutant Ninja purists are offended by the new mythos of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo. Truth, we might sound a wee bit ridiculous when we cry out, “I can’t believe Bay says they’re aliens when they’re obviously derived from radioactive slime!” But Bay is essentially erasing almost 30 years of love for transmogrified adolescent reptile ninjas by claiming each turtle is less of a fearsome, fighting toxic anomaly and more of a forest green E.T. with nunchucks. What would Shredder think!?

PopWatchers, how does this new origin story make you feel? Are you a purist for the original backstory, or will you embrace Bay’s vision? And who would you cast for this live-action TMNT reboot? Personally, I think Splinter’s a toss-up between Morgan Freeman and Kate Upton.

(And please enjoy this hearty throwback to the original 1987 series’ theme song, since, let’s face it, we really don’t get many chances to write about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.)

Read more:
Why does every movie hero need a freaking origin story?
Who is the coolest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?
Sean Astin voicing Raphael in new ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ — EXCLUSIVE

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