Sunday, May 30, 2010

Michael Bay to Reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Franchise

First off, here’s wishing each and every one of you a happy Memorial Day weekend. I should also add that I apologize for the relatively sporadic updates as of late. I’ve been settling into a phenomenal new job, and I’m trying desperately to maintain some semblance of a work/life balance. Nevertheless, I’m going to try to update two or three times a week, provided that the nerd news is juicy enough to comment on. I think Deadline.com’s report that Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes is rebooting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie franchise certainly qualifies.

According to the article, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon have enlisted Bay’s Platinum Dunes to produce a live-action reboot of the TMNT series, which New Line Cinema launched in 1990. So, Cowabunga? Well, maybe not. The Internet is already up in arms about this news, with many claiming that Bay will “ruin” the Turtles as he did Transformers. Pee jokes and racial stereotypes anyone? How about exploding pizzas?

All jokes aside, I’m less worried about Bay’s involvement than most people. After all, it’s not like he’ll be sitting in the director’s seat. What does worry me is the fact that Platinum Dunes has pretty much cornered the market on mediocre remakes of classic horror franchises (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, for example). Thus, there’s little indication that they will steer this property in the right direction.

If you troll a few message boards, you’re likely to come across more than a few children of the 1980s hoping that this Turtles reboot will take the franchise back to its gritty, black-and-white comic book roots. Sure, while it would be nice to see a faithful adaptation of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s independent comic book series, the reality is that the pizza-lovin’ goofballs introduced in the cartoon and the live-action movies were far more marketable. It's likely that Turtles movies will always lean in that direction, but how about a PG-13 relaunch that brings some edge to these characters without alienating the kids?

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