Hmmm, maybe it is time for us Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans to chill out? Kevin Eastman, who co-created the TMNT comic with Peter Laird, seems to be very involved in the movie Michael Bay is producing (and apparently co-writing) that has devotees riled because of the altered origin story. And now he's saying that this movie, to be directed by Jonathan Liebesman, is "easily the best 'Turtles' movie yet." My soul feels torn in half, pulled in one direction by Eastman and another by Michael freaking Bay.
Indeed, Eastman has been working on the screenplay for this movie with Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, which puts him squarely in the eye of the origin-story-changing storm. For those of you just joining us, the decision was made to turn the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into aliens from another planet, relabeling them -- and the movie -- just Ninja Turtles. An uproar ensued. Bay told everyone to "chill out." And now, Eastman is giving this thing his blessing. Speaking with MTV at Comic Con, he said the following:
"From what I've seen, it's easily the best 'Turtle' movie yet," Eastman said. "We're talking 'Raid: Redemption'-style fight scenes; we're talking about epic 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' sort of effects."
And on the different origin story:
"I know that Michael and his group really like that and that Paramount was supportive of that, so I think that it's great," he shared. "I grew up reading 'Captain America' and 'The Avengers' and all that stuff, and over the course of the comic book history, since 'Avengers' has been around, how many times has it been reinvented, reformatted, restructured, replatformed?"
Because changes to origin stories in comic books always go over great with fans, right?
He also mentioned that the new May 2014 release date actually coincides with the 30th anniversary of TMNT, so that's why it was pushed back from December 2013, and not because pre-production was going so badly. Ummmm... sure. Fine.
Okay, Eastman. I guess if you're cool with this, and you're this close to the production of the movie (which, he said, is still mulling the use of motion-capture for the title characters, whoever they are), then I will just have to take your word as well as this huge leap of faith.
Since this is my second week at Boing Boing and this is already my second post about Ninja Turtles, it's no mystery that this is a subject pretty dear to my heart. So this project is causing me a decent amount of agita, and I'm positive that I'm not alone. Will some of my fellow TMNT fans continue to rage and refuse to see the final product? Yes. Will some of them give Eastman the benefit of the doubt and see what's up his sleeve? Yes.
But Michael Bay is still Michael Bay, and there is no reconciling that.
Kevin Eastman talks Ninja Turtles movie [Superhero Hype]