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Of Remakes, Reboots, and Retcons. TMNT = TANT?

It’s been a while since I properly did a blog post. I was overwhelmed by maintaining the cartoon reviews, although I still intend to get that going again. If anyone wants to guest review something (either current or classic) please give me a holler through the Contact Form!

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A few days ago, I was reading information about the new Michael Bay TMNT project and was hardly surprised that there was a huge backlash of Ninja Turtle fandom against the rebooting of the origin story to eliminate the radioactive ooze and instead make the turtles part of an alien race. I decided to try a Twitter-xperiment and see what type of reaction I’d get from my followers.

I tweeted: “People upset cause Michael Bay TMNT project makes them aliens. #YUMad? Magical evolution ooze too realistic a backstory?”

A Few Responses:

@ERMcKeon: @toonopolis Because they’re no longer Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles. :-p
@smurfwreck@toonopolis I would consider myself mad, but then again why bother changing the origin when the original is still relevant?
@SheenahFreitas@toonopolis That ooze is the epitome of realism. XD But, it’s a classic. Don’t mess with a classic. Don’t turn turtles into aliens.

My friend Chris from GeekScholars Movie News gave me my favorite response over on Facebook: “This wouldn’t be a problem if the source material was TANT…but it’s not.”

Personally, I was only trying to incite a little nerd rage amongst people, but there is some truth in my ambivalence towards the idea. I have stated before that I am not scared of remakes and reboots, my take on the new Thundercats remake covers that. Some remakes end up better than the originals (The Karate Kid, the Ed Norton Incredible Hulk). Some don’t and the world still spins.

I guess the whole point of this little rant is to just tell people to chill out, the same way Michael Bay is asking them to do. (Granted, the confidence level of a Michael Bay project is already pretty low for most people, so that’s not helping things.)

I know it doesn’t look good. A retcon of this magnitude is usually reserved for the comic book industry (of course, that’s where our beloved turtles got their starts anyway), when a new creator decides they dislike the history and want to write their own. I, for one, like to try to remain optimistic. Hey, even co-creator Peter Laird offers us the following words of encouragement: “It’s possible that with enough truly creative brainpower applied to this idea, it might actually work. I’m not saying it’s probable, or even somewhat likely… but it IS possible.”

Oh… *fingers crossed*

Thoughts?

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  1. when a new creator decides they dislike the history and want to write their own. I, for one, like to try to remain optimistic</em
    This reminds me of how I felt about the
    Star Trek/em> reboot. It was a good movie for what it was (I particularly loved Chris Pine and Karl Urban), but they lost me when they blew up Vulcan. I don’t care if they’re reimagining the series and taking it in a whole other direction, there are some things you just can’t do and blowing up Vulcan is one of them. 🙂

    1. Meh, the Vulcans were asking for it. They wear hoodies.

    • Jon on March 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm
    • Reply

    Michael Bay first said this: “These turtles are from an alien race, and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny, and completely lovable.”

    He later said this: “Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script. Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex back story. Relax, we are including everything that made you become fans in the first place. We are just building a richer world.”

    The thing I think of is, who’s to say that the Mutagen isn’t of alien origin? It could be a change as simple as making Peter Parker’s spider genetically altered instead of just irradiated. Different times call for different approaches.

    Like you said, Jeremy, people need to calm down a bit and maybe wait until they actually know what it is they’re raging at.

    1. Pretty much. I mean, I don’t have high expectations but let’s wait to #nerdrage until we actually see the movie.

      Reminds me of the rage over Catwoman’s “costume” in stills on the set of Dark Knight Rises and it turned out to be Selena Kyle wearing a motorcycle outfit, not Catwoman’s actual suit.

    • Charles Dubya on March 26, 2012 at 9:07 am
    • Reply

    My take is this: If he has been given the okay by the originators (and from the looks of him working with them, that seems to be the case) then, cool. From a creative standpoint though, I never really have much respect for people who takes an original idea and try to make it their own. It never really is their own, regardless of how much better (or worst) the new concept is. There are very few exceptions to the rules (i.e. Nolan’s Batman) but even those exceptions tend to ultimately follow the original creation rather well and brings out the the things we like most about them.

    But really, this is a generation of copycats and no original ideas. It isn’t just the movie industry, its the music as well and even the gaming industry with their endless sequels. I think we’re almost in what I would like to call the “dark age of creativity” these days. People are either remaking classical movies or stepdubbing music but there isn’t a lot of original ideals out there these days, or rather, there are, but people are too afraid to take a chance at something that may or may not pan out and would rather just rewash the old clothes but try a newly scented detergent.

    I guess what I’m ultimately saying is that it doesn’t surprise me one bit that Bay would do something like this. Even though we bitch about his movies, They still garnish hundred of millions of dollars, so maybe that says more about ourselves than anything else. If we continue to accept mediocrity, we going to continue on getting it. How many times we have all said that “Oh, I think this remake of [insert movie here] is going to suck, but I’ll go watch it anyways?” Yep, we’re the handiwork to our own problems with all of this…

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