The Michael Bay-produced, Jonathan Liebesman-directed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot has already been met with contempt from fanboys the world over. When we first heard that Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael were no longer Ooze-fuelled mutants but instead going to be aliens, we were angry. Like, nearly stomping to Tinseltown and slapping Michael Bay in the face kinda angry.
But let's all take a breather, grab a great big sloppy slice of pizza, and consider why Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles might not be so bad after all. I've an inkling that this movie might be the comic book movie reboot we've all been waiting for...
Chill Out! The TMNT are Not Aliens!
Michael Bay has no intention - I repeat - no intention of making your favorite comic book turtles into aliens. Bay said:
There was a quote saying that we're making [the Ninja Turtles into] aliens. We're not...It's from the original source material...I do listen to the fans and I do want this to be authentic. I think they're going to be really happy with this movie.
Phew! He added:
Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex backstory. Relax, we are including everything that made you become fans in the first place. We are just building a richer world.
So, he's NOT dropping the Ooze-based origin story: You can all now strike this from your list of concerns!
The Trailer Looked Awesome!
Okay, okay, I was skeptical at first. But after watching the trailer, I'm warming up to the idea of this live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Or, at least, I'm certainly not saying "Go Ninja, Go Ninja, GO! - Run for the hills and don't surface from those sewers, not even for pizza"!
When the Turtles' got their big reveal, the designs were interesting, with the accessories representing their individual personalities. So long as the soul of the franchise is there and the characters are respected, I'm down. And Bay - on first glance - seems to have done just that with the Turtles.
On the subject of Bay, I might add that I sincerely disliked the narrative and some of the human characters of the Transformers movies. But when I saw the first one in the theater I could not believe my eyes at how well designed and detailed the Transformers were... So let's hope TMNT really knocks Transformers out of the ballpark.
CGI Turtles, CGI Times
This time around, the Turtles really do look like they've crawled out of New York's sanitary system! The new Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo are CGI creations, as opposed to the rubbery reptiles seen in the 1990's movie adaptation.
In the trailer, April O'Neil (Megan Fox) looked genuinely frightened at the sight of the pizza-eating heroes in a half-shell and hardcore fans will be pleased to note that the movie looks to be retaining the Turtles' gritty origins (go take a look at the original comics...the cartoon series was cleaned up to sell toys).
I'm down with the dark new look and - as much as I loved the original live-action Turtles of 1990 - CGI is definitely the best route to go. The Turtles weren't very ninja-esque before, as they were highly limited to what they were physically able to do. Despite all the Michael Bay hate, I think the CGI route is his best decision yet - and will capture their ninja skills better than any 100 lb suits ever could.
Megan Fox as April O'Neil
Megan Fox is famously playing April O'Neil, one of the best news reporters in New York City and the Turtles' pal (well, not at first) - and has been equally famously criticized for her decision to take on the role.
April is supposed to be the pretty girl-next-door type, not the drop-dead-gorgeous bombshell type that girls want to be and guys want to be with! Plus, in the trailer, Fox looked like she was doing her two usual facial expressions again... Nothing more.
But hear me out. Seeing as we're ALL expecting Fox's April to be baaad, then perhaps (in the words of D:Ream) things can only get better. After all, no one expected Heath Ledger's Joker to be such a hit! Adding to that, as a kid April O'Neill was one of those cartoon girls that all of my brothers and best guy friends had a crush on... So, if you want authenticity, it kinda make perfect sense to have one of the hottest women in the world play her. Amiright?
The Totally Bodacious Merchandise
Perhaps the most perplexing of 1980s superheroes, the sewer-dwelling, pizza-hoarding, skateboarding quartet of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has stood the test of time and remained one of the most popular kid's franchises of any decade. The Heroes have spawned four feature films, a slew of video games, several hit TV series and an awesome line of comic books. More importantly, the group has been immortalized in some of the greatest merchandise of all time.
Unfortunately, we can't bring back the 80s and all the Turtles lunchboxes, Turtles pencil sets, Turtles backpacks, and Shellraisers. But what we can do is look forward to seeing some of the most radical, bodacious Turtles merch we've ever seen! If the Lego goodies were any indication, we're in for some definite fun!
So, what do you guys think? Do you take back everything you ever said about Michael Bay? Are you massively pumped for the release of Bay and Liebsman's Turtles? Or does it look to you like a Transformers movie but with four Shrek-like protagonists instead? Hit me up in the comment section below and let me know what you think!
Don't forget - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be with us on August 8, 2014!