Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, had a chance to respond to the new reboot due out in August. Unlike some old school fans, Kevin is actually excited about it.
"It's been a four, almost five-year journey to bring the next "Turtles" movie to life since the time we pitched it. I know everybody is like, "Oh, Michael Bay, Michael Bay, Michael Bay, he's gonna ruin it! He's gonna destroy it!" But everyone I have encountered has been nothing more than incredibly sincere to try and bring the Turtles back in a way that's new, fresh and exciting, but with total respect to everything that's come before. I've read the script. I have a cameo in the move. It's awesome -- really fun. What they've done with the film is going to make fans incredibly happy, including myself. The vision is awesome, the effects are incredible and the story will be something everybody can relate to and like. I'll leave it out there for the fans to let us know what they like in the end, but I'm very proud to be part of it. A lot of people are going to be surprised."
Eastman has a cameo! How cool. But what about Laird, the other half of the Turtle's parents?
I was impressed with what I saw of the production values -- if nothing else, it looks like the new TMNT movie will have a lot of stuff going on and looking good (that toppling tower, for example) -- but the changes to the basic design of the Turtles seemed to me to fall into the "fixing what is not broken" category. It's altogether possible that, in the context of this new movie, these designs will work well and not seem so odd, but I still point to what Jim Henson's "Creature Shop" team did with their rendering of the Turtles in rubber and paint as the best translation (in live action, anyway) of the Turtles as Kevin Eastman and I created them.
That being said, so far I have only seen this short trailer with just a few brief glimpses of the Turtles. My opinion could change. One thing that comes to mind if how cool it would be if someone did CGI versions of those same Henson designs, with all the incredible flexibility and seamless action potential available with today's CGI.
So the courts out with one half of the Turtle's creators. Laird was obviously not completely happy with the variation from the old Hensons Turtles. He also spoke out on what some see as 'over stlyization' on the Turtles gear.
It may just be a personal preference of mine -- and one informed by twenty-five years with the Turtles as co-creator working on those green dudes -- but the extra "stuff" added to the Turtles' outfits just seems extraneous to me, and a bit silly in spots (I mean, thin bamboo armor for a Turtle's shell?). Maybe it will work, but right now, I don't see it. I prefer the simpler versions.
As to the Turtles origin change, Laird had a response also:
I have always found that accidental, somewhat random series of events culminating in the creation of the TMNT to be a significant part of the charm of the story. Somehow, retconning it to make their origin the result of deliberate action seems like a mistake. However, perhaps the writers have found a clever way to make this seems more palatable. We'll have to watch the movie to find out.
Indeed we will, Mr. Laird. Indeed we will!