The story: Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles? Yes, if polarizing Transformers director Michael Bay gets his way. In the original '80s TV cartoon, four turtles acquire ninja-like skills after they're contaminated by a glowing ooze in a filthy sewer. But in Bay's upcoming big-screen version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the crime-fighting creatures are getting a controversial new backstory. "These turtles are from an alien race, and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny, and completely lovable," Bay said this week.
The reaction: The actor who voiced Michelangelo in a 1990 live-action film accused Bay of "sodomizing" a classic piece of childhood nostalgia. ("Take a breath, and chill," Bay responded. "We are including everything that made you become fans in the first place. We are just building a richer world.") Bay deserves the backlash, says Stuart Heritage at the U.K.'s Guardian. I mean, really, are we supposed "to believe that there's an alien race of giant turtles who just happen to all be named after renowned Renaissance artists... and who come to Earth with a giant elderly rat... to live in sewers" and fight crime? That's just ridiculous. But Bay has a point, says Oliver Lyttelton at Indie Wire. Over-protective fans routinely whine about any changes to their beloved source material, even when the revisions work out well. Still, says Jordan Zakarin at The Hollywood Reporter, judging by their severe indignation, fanboys will need "some heavy convincing" to accept this as anything less than an awful idea.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Are there too many good shows on television?
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
Subscribe to the Week