The retorts, opinions and angry rants have been flying fast and furious ever since Michael Bay made his controversial remarks about the origin of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles being re-imagined for the upcoming reboot. Now the director of the movie has weighed in as well with his own message to the fans.
While doing press rounds today for his new movie, Wrath of the Titans, director Jonathan Liebesman spoke with us about the furor raging around producer Bay's revelation that the new Turtles would be aliens, and not normal Earth creatures mutated by radioactive ooze. While Liebesman said that Bay's comments were "taken out of context," he also said, "The fans can rest assured that what we're doing is extremely exciting to me as a huge fan of the Turtles and to Kevin [Eastman, Turtles co-creator] also."
That sort of jibes with what Eastman himself said earlier about the project, and in fact Liebesman seemed to suggest to us that the former is now directly involved with the film. "I've just literally been locked in a room with Kevin Eastman and the two writers [Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec]," the director said. "I think firstly, the fans are gonna love what we come up with. It's all stuff that Kevin, who co-created the Turtles, has been wanting to do for a while. Everything we come up with will tie right back in with the mythology."
Liebesman appears to be on board with the "alien" origins of the Turtles—although he clarified the concept a little more in an interview also done today with Collider: "If everyone was such a die-hard fan, they would know that the TCRI canisters where the ooze comes from, that is alien ooze."
While Liebesman's comments may placate the fans or enrage them even further, he told us he's glad that the debate is happening: "What's great about it is, what filmmaker is going to complain when you have a passionate fan base like this?" he asked. "I mean, seeing articles on CNN and the Washington Post—it just shows that these guys care. I think that's fantastic, and I promise you that the filmmakers care as much, and we're creating something we think the hardcore fans and the new fans are going to love."
Production will begin this fall on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with the movie slated to open on Christmas Day 2013.
What do you make of Liebesman's remarks? Do you think they'll do the Turtles justice, or will the mythology be twisted beyond recognition?