So, Michael Bay made some ruffles around the internet a couple of weeks ago when he confirmed that the titular characters in his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, which he's producing with Jonathan Liebesman directing, would no longer be sewer turtles but instead straight-up aliens. That was a bad thing to say, considering the reaction to the statement; it's something that could easily work well enough, if you don't mind disregarding the fact that mutants != aliens (although I guess aliens could also be mutants...), but is still a seemingly unnecessary change. The other shoe dropped today, though, with Bay confirming that the title of the film will no longer be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but simply Ninja Turtles. Here's what he said:
Paramount marketing changed the name. They made the title simple. The characters you all remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers. Everything you remember, why you liked the characters, is in the movie. This script is being developed by two very smart writers, with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles. They care VERY MUCH about making this film for the fans. Everyone on this team cares about the fans. Just give them a chance. Jonathan the director, is a major fan of the whole franchise. HE'S NOT GOING TO LET YOU DOWN.
Generally speaking, when the shepherds of a licensed property start saying stuff like "Don't worry! We're not going to let you down!", that almost always translates to "Brace yourselves, because this movie is going to totally shit over this thing you love!", doesn't it? Note that Bay's already using the new title in his messageboard postings.
Paramount would obviously love to get back into the genre stuff after losing Marvel's movies to Disney, but they'll have to be careful that they don't run roughshod over the real fans of these movies. Of course, the Transformers films were absolutely horrible and still made a billion dollars each, so at this point Hollywood probably doesn't exactly care too much about the million or so people to whom TMNT still means something: their goal is to reach the ten million people who will show up opening weekend and spend ten bucks a pop.
Did anyone see the CGI TMNT movie from a few years ago? Worth checking out?