Michael Bay, who helmed all three Transformers films, has officially signed with director Jonathan Liebesman for a new movie based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. But this one won’t be quite the same as the original cartoon from the ’80s and ’90s — in fact, the turtles won’t even be mutant. The original characters were regular turtles that came into contact with radioactivity whereas these new characters are going to be from an “alien race,” according to Bay. “They’re going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable.” The title for the film has thus been left at just Ninja Turtles. Many fans aren’t happy with Bay’s plans to change such an integral part of the backstory and one of them is Robbie Rist, who voiced Michaelangelo in the 1990 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In an online letter to Bay, Rist wrote, “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 sodomizing,” adding, “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? The rape of our childhood memories continues … ”
Bay has since responded to the outcry from fans by posting the following statement on his Shoot For The Edit online forum: “Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script. 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.” Ninja Turtles is expected to be released in December 2013.