Producer Michael Bay, who drew criticism last week after he said the heroes in a half shell in Paramount Pictures' upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot "are from an alien race," has confirmed reports that the film will simply be called Ninja Turtles.
"Paramount marketing changed the name. They made the title simple," Bay wrote overnight on his website. "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."
Jonathan is, of course, Wrath of the Titans and Battle: Los Angeles director Jonathan Liebesman, who earlier addressed the backlash over the "alien" Turtles, telling ComingSoon, "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. 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 apeshit when they see it."
For his part, Eastman endorses the reboot, telling fans, "I'm officially on board." However, his Turtles co-creator Peter Laird wasn't quite as effusive about the "alien race" concept, writing, "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." He later emphasized his comments weren't an endorsement of the idea, but rather sarcasm.
Written by Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol screenwriters Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, the $100 million Ninja Turtles is scheduled to arrive in theaters Dec. 25, 2013.