Saturday, March 24, 2012

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ director defends alien twist

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Last week, while speaking at Nickelodeon’s annual Upfront presentation, Michael Bay announced that his upcoming live-action production of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would present the beloved characters as extraterrestrials, effectively re-writing their sacred origin story.

Predictably, Bay's comments resulted in a stinging backlash from Turtles fans, who quickly took to online message boards and accused the filmmaker of violating their childhood memories (don’t take it personally, guys, that's just Bay's 'thing').

Anyway, took the opportunity yesterday to talk to the movie’s director, Jonathan Liebesman, and ask him what he made of ‘Turtle-gate’.

Liebesman had this to say:

"I heard about it, and I'm glad there's such a passionate fanbase – I think that was good news for everyone – but literally, I've just been locked in a room with Kevin Eastman [original co-creator of the Turtles]. I think what we're developing, the fans will love. I'm a fan, and I love what we're doing. It's a lot of stuff Kevin's been thinking about for a long time and just hasn't done. Anything we expand will tie right into the mythology, so I think fans will go apesh*t when they see it...”

Jonathan Liebesman
I think we can all agree with Jonathan that Turtles fans most assuredly will go “apesh*t” when they see his movie. The director then added, apparently with a straight face:

“We worked so hard on this. You just don't want to f*ck it up and you don't want to disappoint people who pay money... out of respect for the people who are paying money to see the movie – you feel those people are the reason why we have these jobs."

This from the man who gave us Battle: Los Angeles (2011). How Liebesman still has a job after that plotless, excruciatingly bland military recruitment campaign is a bigger mystery than the real life Battle of Los Angeles. And Liebesman made that one without Michael bay... the thought of these two men working together is the stuff of cinematic nightmares. Turtles fans, abandon all hope, ye who enter the multiplex December 2013.

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