Turtlegate: Take a deep breath and relax, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans - moviemaker Michael Bay says the upcoming live action reboot of the franchise is in safe hands.
The producer recently incurred the wrath of diehard TMNT fans over his apparent plans to recast the crime-fighting superheroes as aliens.
Stay with me on this one.
Speaking at the annual Nickelodeon Upfront event in New York last week, Bay revealed his vision for the revamp.
"When you see this movie, kids are going to believe, one day, that these turtles actually do exist when we are done with this movie," Bay said during a presentation.
"These turtles are from an alien race, and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely loveable."
The original back-story goes that the four turtles - Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello - mutated into masked, pizza-loving crime-fighters after they were exposed to radioactive ooze in the New York sewers.
Fans were decidedly unimpressed by Bay's extraterrestrial revelation.
'The rape of our childhood memories...'
Robbie Rist, who voiced Michelangelo in the first live-action film adaptation, was particularly incensed.
"You probably don't know me, but I did some voice work on the first set of movies that you are starting to talk about sodomising," he wrote in an open letter to Bay on his Facebook page.
He continued: "Look man, I think you have some pretty nifty action ideas (of course on the other side, the minute ANYONE in your movies starts using actual dialog I seem to catch myself nodding off), but seriously, Teenage ALIEN Ninja Turtles?"
"I know believing in mutated talking turtles is kinda silly to begin with but am I supposed to be led to believe there are ninjas from another planet? You know that ninjas are a certain kind of cultural charact....Oh what the hell am I talking to you for?"
He concluded, "The rape of our childhood memories continues."
Rist also told TMZ: "Everything I have said here could be off base and wrong ... He has made WAY more money at this than I have."
Watch a video of Bay's "alien" comments below:
Bay has since responded to the outcry, and asked fans to hold back from judging his apparent plans to tinker with the origins of the Turtles.
"Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script," Bay wrote on his website.
"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."
So there you have it, TMNT fans, straight from the horse's mouth. Do you feel relaxed and reassured? And will you go see the flick when it's released? Sound off below.
The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film is slated for release in December 2013.
Check out the trailer for the first TMNT movie below:
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