Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A few musings on "Turtles as aliens"

I have had several requests from TMNT fans during this past week to comment on the idea of the Turtles being "reimagined" as aliens for the upcoming TMNT movie to be produced by Michael Bay. A few people -- who don't seem to understand that I am no longer in control of the property -- want me to stop this, somehow. Obviously, I can't do that, even if I wanted to.

But I would actually encourage TMNT fans to swallow the "chill pill" Mr. Bay recently suggested they take, and wait and see what might come out of this seemingly ill-conceived plan. 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.

However, as I have pondered this further, I have realized that in one way it IS truly a genius notion. Let me explain…

Over the years, I have made no secret of my distaste for what I consider to be the weak, facile, creatively bankrupt idea which can be summed up like this:

"If FOUR Ninja Turtles are good, then FIVE (or more) Ninja Turtles MUST be better!"

It was in large part this brain-dead notion that led to the creation of the execrable "Venus de Milo" character in the blessedly short-lived live action TV series  "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation". And I can't tell you how many times we got mail in the early years of the Turtles from people who thought it was simply an amazing idea to do a "fifth Turtle", and how many times those same people suggested that this fifth Turtle be named "Picasso". And many times, the brilliant idea to explain this extra Turtle was that, instead of there being just four pet shop turtles in that glass bowl in the origin story, there were really FIVE.


I'll admit -- I have played with the idea of more Turtles myself, a few times. There was the character of "Kirby", the "fifth Turtle" that Kevin Eastman and I came up with for one of the several movie ideas which never came to fruition. And I created the "Super Turtles" in Volume 4 of the TMNT comics published by Mirage… and they eventually appeared in one episode of the 4Kids animated TMNT TV series.


… in both those instances, I was careful to make these Turtles not just MORE  of the same, i.e. just extra TMNT. In both of the above cases, the extra Turtles were from other dimensions… and the Super Turtles, especially, were VERY different from the Ninja Turtles. I don't remember all the details of the work we did on that "Kirby the Fifth Turtle" thing, but I DO remember being adamant that if we were going to agree to the idea of a "fifth Turtle", it would have to be something other than the harebrained "there was an extra Turtle in the bowl, etc." idea.

Is that too fine a line? Yeah, maybe… but to my way of thinking, anyway, it is a CLEAR line.

Anyway, to get back to the "TMNT are aliens" thing -- the reason I say it could be a "genius" idea is that -- for the first time -- someone has come up with a way to have as many freakin' Turtles as they want. I mean, if the TMNT are actually members of an alien race, there could be a whole PLANET of them!

Joy. -- PL


  1. Hi Pete!

    Thanks for writing about this. I've been thinking about it too, and while I'm trying not to let the possible "turtles as aliens" idea bother me until I see how things pan out, I thought about how it would be cool if this somehow tied to the canister of ooze coming from the Utroms and the possibility of seeing CGI exoskeletons walking around in the movie at some point. Perhaps that is too ambitious (it would certainly be more interesting than the TGRI subplot in the second movie, though).

    As I was paging through my copy of TMNT issue #4, I got to the part where Don uses a puppet to help the Turtles get past the TCRI HQ security cameras. I loved how in the 2k3 cartoon interpretation of this story, Mike says the line, "I don't know what bothers me more, that this thing actually works or that Don carries around a pigeon puppet." That was one of my favorite lines in the series. Casey's "distraction" when entering the building also made me laugh. But I digress.

    I detect a hint of irony in how you end this post, but I also see the humor in it (if it's intentional).

    1. Chad, the pigeon puppet thing was one of my all-time favorite bits from the original comics, and I was so happy that it made its way into the 4Kids series episode which adapted that issue of the comics. And I agree -- Mike's line is priceless! -- PL

  2. Hey Pete

    Thanks for commenting on this topic. I think that the difference between what they are doing for this new film and the Super turtles you guys made is that the ones you guys made are not THE Turtles. They are from another dimension. If this movie was about our boys meeting those alien turtles from another dimension then that would be less upsetting to fans.

    I think this making them aliens thing disrupts who/what they are. I know the ooze itself is a byproduct of what the utroms were doing, so why not just put the utroms in? Apparently Krang is supposed to be in this film. Whats gonna happen with Splinter, April, and Casey? How do they fit into this world? Those three characters and just observing people in the city they live in adds that bit of humanity about the Turtles. Them being on Earth helped a lot of people (in the real world) relate to those characters.

    And where does the ninja stuff come in? Having that as part of their actual "family" background is important. I know people will mention Star Wars at this point. Yes, I know that samurais and Asian culture influenced the Jedis. In my opinion I think that was overshadowed by the light saber weapons and effects. Then there was that whole midiclorians thing, so it kinda diminished the whole spiritual aspect of the force. If they are from space, why would they use such primitive weapons? They probably wouldn't.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that if that one thing changes its like dropping a stone in a pond. Lots of other things will change to something unrecognizable. They would be better off calling it something else or just say its inspired by TMNT. Don't get me wrong, I like space and aliens and sci-fi as much as the next guy. But, Bay's take just makes it seem like it will be too cold and unnecessarily flashy to me I guess. So I guess we will all have to wait and see what comes of this whole thing come next Christmas. Just my 2 cents.

  3. Hrm... Never considered about the whole "Planet of Turtles" thing. Oh boy...

    I'm usually up for different interpretations in different medium and all that (so long it turns out good), but you're kind of missing the point when the title of the series is Teenage "Mutant" Ninja Turtles, unless they'll end up being mutated aliens or whatever. Then again, nowadays, people try to use mutations, radiation and the like less and less to explain how anybody ever gets powers or changes any more in a more "realistic" manner. Only time will tell how the concept turns out in the end.

  4. it is entirely possible that michael bay was only referring to the alien origin of the utroms who presumably create the mutagen, and that the turtles themselves are still earth turtles mutated by ooze.

    1. "it is entirely possible that michael bay was only referring to the alien origin of the utroms who presumably create the mutagen, and that the turtles themselves are still earth turtles mutated by ooze."

      "These Turtles are from an alien race." That is Michael Bay's exact quote. Now, I suppose if you look at it sideways, with your eyes half-closed, through a glass, darkly, and from a distance in low light, you MIGHT be able to interpret "These Turtles are from an alien race" in the manner you suggest. if that IS, in fact, what Mr. Bay meant, it has to go down in history as one of THE most poorly articulated statements EVER.

      However, it IS remotely possible, and I still think TMNT fans really should wait until their worst fears are confirmed (or not) before getting up in arms (or not). -- PL

    2. I honestly hated Bay's name attached to this project from the get go. After being pigeonholed for ruining Transforms he just wasn't a good fit, even as producer, to attach himself to another classic animation/comic. If Paramount really wanted to capitalize off this they should have JJ Abrams, Christopher Nolan, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Ron Howard, Mel Gibson, John Woo or even Kevin Smith do their own TMNT movie and release it the same day. Any of those name would put this project in a better light and probably destroy Bay. Fans don't want a box office hit, they want a classic they will enjoy over and over again. Just cut pages out of the comic and there's your storyboard. No reimagining necessary for the fans. They've been wanting to see Bebop and Rocksteady since Tokka and Rahzar. PS thanks for the comics from your personal collection I got on eBay a few months back and all the extras!

    3. I think that's, if nothing else, way too complicated. And the studio certainly wants a box office hit. But I was tired of Michael Bay after Transformers. And pretty much nothing's changed since then.

  5. I think a planet of turtles, although a cool concept, would make the four turtles less unique. I think that would take away from the story! That's just my opinion. My opinion and a nickle will get you five cents!
    The TMNT alien drawing is really great. It gave me a chuckle. Did you draw that? Love the expression and, the beady little eyes!

    1. Yes, I just drew it on the back of an envelope at the kitchen table so that I could have some kind of graphic to go with this post. Glad you liked it! -- PL

  6. Bay's shocking comment was immediately abrasive, but his wording was a little vague. I hoped the "alien race" thing could reference the Utroms' alien science, or to a general sense of alienation, but since Bay didn't deny extraterrestrial origin in his follow-up comment that hope seems less plausible than it was a few days ago.

    If indeed the turtles are extraterrestrials, it's an ill-conceived and, more obviously, totally unnecessary idea. And let's be honest, it really is just too close in concept to Transformers.

    One of the great themes of the TMNT is their isolation, which --and could this be more ironic?-- is the source of their alienation. That theme was front and center in "Sons Of The Silent Age" when April realizes they are doomed to extinction. The turtles become a lot less unique if there's theoretically more of them out there.

    1. I just hope Bay does not turn Michelangelo into a Chevy Camero! (Transformer fans know what I'm talking about!)

  7. On the plus side:

    Michael Bay's involvement does significantly raise the profile and budget of the project. Imagi's TMNT, despite its quality, somehow snuck through theaters and never got a fair shake; that's not as much of a concern this time around. It's also a good bet that the TMNT will finally rise out of PG hell and make something a little edgier.

    It's also worth noting that as the producer Bay's actual involvement and knowledge of details may be limited so we just have to take a wait-and-see approach.

    Another plus, the trailers for Wrath Of The Titans are giving me a very positive vibe about director Jonathan Liebesman taking the reigns.

    1. Somewhat agreed. Just hope that the turtles or Planet of the Turtles will be the main focus vs humans.

      Still love to hope that a sequel to Imagi's TMNT is in our future.

  8. Bay has just responded with "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."

    Any idea who he might be working with?

    1. "Any idea who he might be working with?"

      It's not me, so... -- PL

    2. Cynically, I wonder if he's just making shit up. Or maybe someone needs to tell him that the guy with the username TMNTSuperDude is not actually a creator.

      (Apologies if anyone on the board uses that nick...)

  9. If we are meant to think that the Turtles are from an alien race than my biggest concern is that couldn't be actual turtles, "mutated" or otherwise.

    oh and by the way Mr. Laird, thank you for commenting on Bay's statement.

  10. The problem I have with the whole situation isn't simply the alien thing, it's Bay. Even if he has very little to do with the picture, has anything related to his name ever been any good? This whole alien thing furthers my doubt, seems like a pathetic excuse to shoehorn more explosions into the film.

    With the proper team, the alien origins might be something interesting, with it associated with Bay's name, in anyway, very worrisome.

    As always, thanks Laird for taking your time to throw your thoughts out there. And thanks for the time you commited with this franchise. No matter how many poor movies we may get in the future, we'll always have those comic books, the first film, and the 2003 series.

    1. I enjoyed Con Air, but I'm not sure I'd use the word 'good.'

    2. Con Air is not Bay, it's Simon West. Who also brought us Tomb Raider. So.

      But seriously, Bay was -- and likely still is -- at his best when dealing with violent action with occasional comedy, as illustrated by The Rock or the Bad Boys films. If we've learned anything from Transformers, it's that Bay can't make a movie for kids. He fills it to the brim with explosions and objectified women and racial stereotypes, then adds basically some fart jokes. This is not a good film for adults OR kids. The Incredibles is a good film for adults AND kids. Toy Story. Back to the Future. Whether this new Turtles film skews towards the original comics, the 4Kids animation, or any of the newer iterations, we know that the studio is hoping to attract kids and make a franchise, so we know that Michael Bay is a bad choice. Also, not really seeing much in Liebesman's filmography that indicates that he can tell a story. I'm really curious to see what they come up with, and maybe I'll be proven wrong and this will be great, but, we're dealing with guys that are primarily known for their ability to blow things up, not to tell good stories (or even to shoot martial arts).

  11. Ah I think your concern is unwarranted, Peter. Obviously Leo, Raph, Don and Mike will be the last survivors of an advanced but peaceful Turtle race. Now on Earth they must fulfill an ancient prophecy to save Earth from Lord Shredder's giant robots which destroyed their planet.

    Seriously though I suspect this is all a stunt to get people talking and the origin while different will be more inline with versions we've had before.

  12. Michael Bay just needs to stop fucking with my childhood. Even if he flawlessly explains their alien origins, its a cheap tweak. By saying he's "building a richer world," he's implying we need more depth and complexity to a story everyone never had a problem with. Turtles, radioactive ooze, ninja weapons, Splinter, sewers, pizza. Anything beyond that is just trying too hard.

  13. The problem I have is mostly besides, Ninja, Mutant is the one word besides Turtle that was pretty much always in the title.

    Even Japan when they made this, http://tmnt.wikia.com/wiki/Mutant_Turtles:_Ch%C5%8Djin_Densetsu_Hen Kept Mutant in the title. In fact, it's almost all that they left in. And look at how they made it.

    So I guess it's mostly principal. Which seems to be most all of my complaints. The principal of the thing.

    Also, it just makes no sense with the series. Maybe anything else does just not this.

    That's what I think. Thank you, Freaking love the series ever since I was a child. And I mean born in 83 child.

  14. Were you being sarcastic or sincere when you said, I have realized that in one way it IS truly a genius notion" ?

  15. Here's what I think COULD happen. The Utrom's bring four pet Turtles from Earth to their planet, they accidentally get mutated THERE, and after their 18th birthday, are allowed to go home and explore earth. THAT idea could work. Although how the ninja thing gets into the mix is beyond me. Maybe one of them sees it in earthly transmissions beamed from space or something.

    Just so long as Megahn Fox isn't April O'Neil, and if the previews look good, I'll give it a chance..

    1. That's kind of a neat idea, Neil, though it still means they're mutants, not aliens.

      You know, I've been kind of impressed with the volume and intensity of fan reaction to this alien idea. It makes me wonder what the reaction would have been had the producer of the upcoming "Superman" movie announced that instead of Kal-El being an alien from the planet Krypton, they would be making him a mutant created on Earth by KryptoBioGenetics, Inc..

      That's almost as wacky. -- PL

    2. In the original pitch Superman was a man from the future so that's not too much of a stretch. The far more recent 'Superman: Red Son' had a wonderful model for that where Krypton is actually the future's word for Earth, our sun has burns itself down to red, etc. That model essentially posed Superman as a higher evolved ( evolution = mutation ) form of man and is shot through time rather then space to escape our planet's destruction.

      They've touched back in to the 'Red Son' characters but they haven't really explored that world yet. It's interesting to consider Superman's powers are because he's from a dystopic future with such poor lighting, poor nutrition, loud ambient noise, polluted water, shitty air, etc... that humanity evolved into something that was far more efficient in order to survive. Introducing a more efficient future-man into the modern world would be akin bringing your laptop back to the 60's and comparing it to the computers from back then.

      [ Perhaps hitting even closer to home the current 'Superboy' is a genetically modified clone which is part Superman and part Lex Luthor ( at least pre-New 52 ) made at Cadmus. So Kon-El/ Superboy is an Earth-born Lab-made DNAlien. ]

      Still when RET-CON is done right, you can play off instead of contradicts the established mythology.

      The Turtle equivalent would be interesting... like what if you keep the ooze but the ooze is actually an alien symbiote which bonds with and modifies earthbound creatures? That would make the consciousness alien but the body still mutated turtle.

      It could be something like like the alien race decides it's more cost-effective to travel as a concentrated 'essence' then latch onto a host organism once they land which is already adapted to deal with that worlds environment, breath it's air, digest it's food, etc.

      That would, in essence, introduce an entire world full of creatures which are essentially sentient ooze. The turtles teenagers. Maybe they ran away to join the circus known as Earth.

      On a logistical stand point, if the aliens had the technology to leave their bodies behind, travel as a concentrate, and then latch onto/ modify/ hijack some host organism when they get there... that seems downright practical.

      Venom meets Body Snatchers meets The Thing meets The Arrival meets the Black eye stuff from X-Files meets...

      It's 2 great tastes that could taste great together.


      This is the kind of thing which will be made or broken by the script and Michael Bay has never written a movie.

      A bad producer hires untalented people, budgets their money badly, markets a property awkwardly, establishes an unrealistic production schedule, etc.

      A bad director fails to translate the script to screen, fails to communicate with cast/ crew, fails to coordinate the shoots, and doesn't plan the shoots to fit within the production schedule with adequate time for pick-ups and enough B-roll to get it in editing.

      Michael Bay can be a hack but he's not a hack writer.. he's a hack director/ producer. We really can't blame him for this phantom script. Unless you count how he handled the fan-response, it's not his turn to let us down yet. Credit and criticism where it's due.

      This is not a defense of Michael Bay.. just a point of fact. He's not the writer and right now we're talking about the script.

    3. "It's interesting to consider Superman's powers are because he's from a dystopic future with such poor lighting, poor nutrition, loud ambient noise, polluted water, shitty air, etc... that humanity evolved into something that was far more efficient in order to survive."

      This is one of those ideas which is superficially clever, but when looked at closely reveals itself to be fundamentally ludicrous… especially as a way of explaining Superman's prodigious powers.

      "This is the kind of thing which will be made or broken by the script and Michael Bay has never written a movie.

      Michael Bay can be a hack but he's not a hack writer.. he's a hack director/ producer. We really can't blame him for this phantom script. Unless you count how he handled the fan-response, it's not his turn to let us down yet. Credit and criticism where it's due. 

This is not a defense of Michael Bay.. just a point of fact. He's not the writer and right now we're talking about the script."

      Producers and directors often have a HUGE influence on scripts -- from choosing the writers to establishing the basic premise to working out all the details of the plot and dialogue.

      And really, we're not really talking about the script yet -- we're talking about the premise. -- PL

    4. "This is one of those ideas which is superficially clever, but when looked at closely reveals itself to be fundamentally ludicrous… especially as a way of explaining Superman's prodigious powers."

      Isn't Superman fundamentally ludicrous? Solar-powered meta-alien, who is the soul survivor ( besides the dozens of other survivors ) of his race but somehow looks like and is anatomically/ genetically compatible enough to live amongst and mate with humans.

      Golden Age Superman's powers were first attributed to evolution. They were later redefined to include differences in atmosphere, environment, gravity, sunlight, etc.

      Red sun/ yellow sun wasn't introduced until the Silver Age but the specifics of that change regularly ( red depowered them vs yellow empowered them ). Post-crisis Superman fold the 2 together: Kyrptonians evolved to absorb solar-energy but their red sun only provides enough to sustain life ( compared to our yellow sun which supercharges them ). Since then it's just been cherry picking and visual conventions.

      The things which remain somewhat constant:
      - evolved human-like species
      - dystipian society that won't listen
      - red sun/ harsh atmosphere
      - brink of destruction
      - baby sent to Earth as his planet/ people die
      - child develops/ exhibits superpowers
      - powers are attributed to differences in physiology and environmental circumstances

      How is Krypton being a future Earth any more ludicrous then Krypton being an alien planet? Wouldn't Earth in the distant future essentially be an alien planet?

      Even something like the Phantom Zone falls right in step. People don't age in the Phantom Zone because it's outside of time. Being outside of time, means it can be accessed from any point in time. So someone imprisoned in the future can escape/ be released in the past.


      As you mentioned, the Turtles being aliens can be genius is done right because it establishes an entire world of similar characters that can be drawn from later.

      The problem with having a planet of Turtles out there is that it contradicts some of the key story elements that even people who have never read or watched Ninja Turtles 'knows' about the Ninja Turtles. ( Admittedly, that all sounds less like Daredevil comics and more like the Howard the Duck movie. ) That shouldn't sit well with most people.

      Having sentient ooze which bonds with and mutates a host organism seems to give the best of both worlds.
      You still have the entire race only it's a race of symbiotic ooze rather then turtles. Something like that could even play off the Venom concept ( both personalities are present within the creature with the stronger willed personality being dominant ). Why learn to be Ninjas? Internal harmony and focused will.

      That's just one of infinite possibilities but something like that would have the whole race of aliens ( and all the options that brings ) while still having a key points of the established mythology by ending up with a group of mutated turtles ( with teenaged consciousnesses ) learning martial arts from a mutated rat.

      >> And really, we're not really talking about the script yet -- we're talking about the premise.

      We're responding to the premise ( or at least one of the declarative statements of premise ).

      When you suggest we consider what 'might come of this seemingly ill-conceived plan', then the topic is no longer the premise itself.

      To consider what might come of a premise, you accept it as absolute then hypothesize possible conclusions.

      Both the post and many of the comments seem to quantify the premise's 'conclusion' as the effects it will have on the narrative. Where does the narrative play itself out if not in the script?

      Admittedly, it's all conjecture, based on this one declarative statement from the premise.. but.. that conjecture itself is about the possible script not the established/ partially established premise.

    5. Why stop with Superman? What if the Spider-Man reboot changed Peter Parker into an alien visitor from a planet of spider people?

      I'm sure everybody would LOVE to see that.

    6. TK, Spider-man gets his powers by virtue of alien blood from the last surviving warrior of Planet Spider in the Japanese Sentai version of Spider-man. That's the one where Spider-man battles weekly monsters and controls the mother ship from Planet Spider ( the Marveller ) that transforms into a giant fighting robot.

      I believe Marvel.com currently hosts all the episodes.

    7. http://www.movieweb.com/news/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-promises-to-stay-true-to-mythology

      Director ( Jonathan Liebesman ):
      Alien ooze.. expansion will be true to mythology.

    8. Peter, I'm so glad you commented on this. Could you go into detail specifically what it is about making them aliens instead of mutants that matters?

      It seems people are having trouble pinning down exactly what it is about it that changes the essence of who the turtles are, while those in support of it are stating that it doesn't change anything other than possibly the name. (They state that only a couple of the storylines had anything to do with them being mutants, and unlike X-MEN it doesn't play into who they are or the conflicts of the characters.)

      Can you express in words what many of us are having trouble doing, why it's more than just a meaningless backstory that's almost never brought up in the series?

  16. I would rather had preferred a Super Turtles movie instead of the Aliens one =: S . In any case, it would have been better if the title for this new movie was something like : Tales from the TMNT : Alien Shelltastic or something like that.

  17. Pete, as an 80s kid I've watch Bay and his respective companies destroy my childhood. Freddy, Jason, and especially the Transformers. I know it isn't just all about me and my peers, but I just don't have a lot of faith in him. I was a big fan of the 4kids series even though I had HUGE reservations when I heard it was being reimagined. So I'm taking a wait and see attitude with a heavy does of skepticism.

    Peace, Ben

    1. "So I'm taking a wait and see attitude with a heavy does of skepticism."

      I think that is an eminently sensible position. -- PL

  18. I am fairly optimistic about this because I feel the Turtles' alienation from the human race can be well transitioned into the new movie in many ways even if this happens to end up meaning somehow 'extra terrestrial' - after all the teenaged Turtles got along fairly well with the teenaged Neutrinos and it's not like Michael Bay said 'Oh yeah, and Splinter is from an alien race too.' THAT is arguably where the Turtles' biggest human connection comes from.

    I felt like an alien myself when I moved to NYC, everyone there (and almost everyone in this country) is essentially alien and you can tell this in the differences between the boroughs, I felt like April in Manhattan and Irma in Brooklyn. Casey in Central Park after dark and a lost turtle peering into the murky depths of the subways from my perch on the bench seat... but one step away from turning into an Elaine fretting about a rat while being trapped in a metal cage of beings I try to identify with even less if the lights go out... Don't talk to me. Not even about rat races. No I don't want to be a Rat Queen. Go away please.

    Even living out in the sticks can make you feel like E.T.'s friend Mac, especially if you like candy bikes and toys. For the record I have never wanted a fifth turtle, Picasso or otherwise. Punk frogs? Perhaps.

    Now if the Turtles follow Baxter Stockman's trail to San Diego and invade Comic Con searching for their space ship and they fit right in and there's a big concert where everyone takes nanobots to unite and flies to Disneyland and lives happily ever after I might be upset... but probably not for all the reasons you'd think. I don't do deathsticks but if there was a gigantic Death Star/Technodrome like ride I'd probably take a picture.

    All things considered I am not a big Michael Bay fan yet, I did not like or dislike the Transformers movies or toys but I do like shiny things so maybe I am an alien after all. I already ate my pizza tonight so if there's no room at the sushi bar I'll be standing in line.

  19. Thanks for replying to my previous message. I was wondering what you think of the rumor that Krang will be a villain in the new movie? Do you think Krang can work in a live-action film?

    1. Almost anything can be made to "work" in a movie... the more important question is whether it can be made to work WELL. I have a pre-exisitng antipathy toward the character of "Krang" -- I felt he was overused in the original cartoon -- so I am probably not the best person to ask this question of... because even if "Krang" could be made to work well in a new movie, I wouldn't really want to see him. -- PL

  20. Yes, this is only a movie -and if Viacom has their way, there will be sequels an three-quels etc...
    Sure - the thirty year old children will be very upset when it's released. You can bet that they will not be guys in suits. I would bet money that they will look VERY different from the comics - and I'll even bet that he might change their names...

    But is Peter Laird concerned? Should he be?
    Does anyone actually get the Joke?

    As a child, i had a turtle, a pet turtle named seamor - an equally stupid name for an equally stupid choice in pet -but thanks to the kids cartoons, toys and yes, role playing books, I was full on turtle crazy - as an 8 year old child.

    Often I would let my imagination go - imagine my pet as a 4 foot tall ninja, doing all the crazy stuff that a ninja might do...

    But today, I'm a man. As a man, I've read your work with different eyes. Years later, I can appreciate it's existential views, deeply sardonic social commentary. I might be reading too much into it - but when you use an oxymoron as the title, I'd say the wit is clearly on the page.

    So isn't it possible that Bay might just be the best choice to represent this property right now? The turtles are irreverent - and so is he. Sure - it won't be the same as it (n)ever was, but that might the perfect commentary on a commentary, wouldn't you think?
    Isn't a re-imagined cartoon what made it famous to start with? Isn't it this same cartoon what most 80's kids remember?
    Ipso facto, a goofier movie by a giant child of a director is, in fact, the most fitting addition possible. Of course they'll be aliens - and so what?
    The movie that could be made/should be made - based on the Mirage comics would be amazing, true. If it were up to me, and I'm sure many others, it would be a very different film.
    But really, Peter, all things considered - do you care? Should you?

    1. Wait just one cotton-pickin' minute...

      A turtle is a stupid choice of a pet?? I, and my pet turtle, Kame, take exception to that remark, sir!

      lol Sorry, with all the nerd rage going around, I needed to vent just a little. ;-)


    2. You are not alone Mary. I have four pet turtles. There names are, Beaker, DAZ, Karma and, Red. I think they are great pets. They are a lot of work to be sure but, they actually seem to become affectionate towards their owners after a while. Mine like to walk outside in the summer. They like to play in the garden while my wife tends to it. It is really cute.
      (I know it's off topic, I just don't believe a turtle is a stupid pet and, I'm a 35 year old man.) ;)
      Nerd Rage! That's funny...

  21. Dear Peter Laird,

    I'm not really sure what to say as this is my first time commenting as I had never known that you had a blog before today. I can't tell you how stupid it makes to feel that I didn't think to Google the topic.
    Either way, though, I have grown up watching the Turtles you created literally since before I could talk. They have always been my favorite movie and cartoon characters, and I would do just about anything to get my hands on the original comic books by you and Kevin Eastman, which I have only ever read online. Even today, the first movie makes me happier than anything else.
    I am sorry to hear that there is nothing you can do to stop this atrocity from taking place and perhaps you may like the idea of there being an entire planet of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but to me Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael are the real Ninja Turtles and the only ones that really matter.
    I promise I will pray that Michael Bay does not make a cinematic disaster out your and Mr. Eastman's creations.
    Thank you.

    Your Adoring Fangirl

    1. "I am sorry to hear that there is nothing you can do to stop this atrocity from taking place and perhaps you may like the idea of there being an entire planet of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but to me Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael are the real Ninja Turtles and the only ones that really matter."

      Did you really get out of what I wrote that I in any way, shape or form LIKE the idea of a planet of Turtles? If so, I guess I have to re-think how I express myself.

      Just so it's absolutely clear -- I think a planet of turtles is not, in and of itself, a bad idea for some kind of science fiction/fantasy story. But as a way to explain any aspect of the backstory of TMNT, I think it is awful and unnecessary.

      Of course, we have no idea at this point if the plan is to have a planet of Turtles. It's probably a good idea to wait and see. -- PL

    2. ...oh dear god, for a second I just flashed back to the end of "Muppets from Space." Someone check to see if Bay's tried to license "Celebrate!"

    3. Dear Peter Laird,

      I apologize for the misunderstanding. I simply assumed that since you had referred to the idea as "genius" that that must have meant you liked it.
      Again, I apologize for not picking up on the sarcasm, but it was my first time reading your blog and I generally tend not to pick up on things like sarcasm over the interweb.
      I am glad to hear that you agree that the change to the Turtles' back story is not a good one. It is good to know that it is not just us fans who are outraged at the idea.
      Again, I apologize for the misunderstanding.

      Your Adoring Fangirl

    4. Hey do not feel to bad, I had a feeling he he was not completely in love with the idea, but I as well was under the impression that he did like it at least on some level.

    5. The best way to look at it is that it is just it own little thing, at least that is how I plan to see it, I can not see it as a new canon version, or as a main story, it might be a good story and good action, and that is about it, it helps deal with this.

  22. I love the sarcastic tone of your reply.

    I linked to it on my new blog about the subject: http://tmntnottant.blogspot.com/

  23. Im glad to hear it's not you he is working with. That leaves Kevin....but what does it matter, neither of you guys have anything to do with TMNT anymore.
    Viacom owns it now, they can do what they want to. Even destroy the wonderful world of four unique characters their the old man....rat...ratman. haha

    This whole aliens thing rips their whole being out from under them, their personalities, their expertise in martial arts, their anxieties, just everything that makes them who they are. Part of their myths is being the 4 only males of their kind with no future, no females and no legacy to leave behind. With a whole freaking planet full of humanoid turtle like beings....that goes out the door.
    I think it's silly some planet had ninjas just like on Earth unless they're actually from Miyamoto Usagi's universe! Hehe!

    Bay's attitude towards fans is lame. He says "Im not going to crap on the turtles"....dude, you already did by this whole alien thing.
    Yours & Kevin's awesome creation is a classic with a great origins story! Why would anyone want to rewrite such great stuff? I just don't get it. Anyways...


    1. Kevin is involved right now. He's quite heavily involved with the new IDW comics and has said he's met with some of those producing the new movie.

  24. So basically we should think outside the bowl?

  25. Another creator selling out to fill their pocket, a planet of Turtles; thats pathetic for a person who cried about a 5th lady turtle to say...Pete, you'll be dead soon; is this how you really want your legacy to end is in the hands of Bay?

    1. Hey Dimnuggitz,

      Pete no longer owns any rights to the TMNT. How is he filling is pockets?

      He has no input into this movie unless hes asked and get no dividends out of it.

    2. Bitter? It's a movie, not the cure for cancer. Wow, people are taking this way to seriously. I don't know what taking shots at Peter or Kevin will accomplish. Viacom own TMNT, not Peter, Kevin, or Mirage. Let them do what they will with it. If we don't like it we don't have to watch it. I grew up a fan of the TMNT. I have just about every comic Mirage released. If I don't like what is done with the new films or comics I just wont pay attention to them. You have no clue what you’re talking about when you attack Pete for the "Planet of Turtles". He is an observer now, just like you and I. All he was doing in this blog posting was stating his opinion. Some people need to get their priorities worked out. Getting so upset over pop culture is ludicrous. The thing’s we enjoyed about the TMNT in our childhoods are still present. You can still read the old comics or, watch the old cartoon. If the movie sucks then so be it! It really won’t ruin my life or, my childhood.

    3. "DimnuggitzMar 22, 2012 01:46 AM
      Another creator selling out to fill their pocket, a planet of Turtles; thats pathetic for a person who cried about a 5th lady turtle to say…"

      I am trying -- and failing -- to parse the meaning of that line. I think you may win the prize for "Most Incoherent Comment of the Day".

      "Pete, you'll be dead soon; "

      Well, hopefully not TOO soon.

      "is this how you really want your legacy to end is in the hands of Bay?"

      Unlike you, I believe that the TMNT property is ultimately strong enough to survive the depredations of anyone assigned to work on it. -- PL

    4. "Unlike you, I believe that the TMNT property is ultimately strong enough to survive the depredations of anyone assigned to work on it. -- PL"

      I couldn't agree more. However, I REALLY hope this doesn't bomb. It'll be 23 years between the first live action film (1990) and this one in (2013). If this tanks i'm not sure I can wait another 23 years for a re-do.

  26. I think it's bullshit! They are TURTLES, not ALIENS! Michael Bay is going to screw this up! I'm one fan that is not going to see this movie!

  27. NO!!! And Please don't tell me to chill.
    I am 31 years old and the turtles have been a part of my life since single digits of age. My brother and I knew what time the show would come on, what time it would go to commercial, and what time it would come back from the break. I remember seeing the 1st live action movie in the theater like it was yesterday. I know I saw it 3 times in the theater and I saw TMNT 2 five times in the theater. 3.. well, I only saw that once. (I think we know why)
    I have followed every cartoon series, animated and CGI movie, I even saw "Turtles on Ice" as a kid. This is where I will stop. If this is where you are taking my childhood, my heroes and my friends... Then Michael Bay.. Fuck You.

  28. It could be that the movie is set on another planet and the Turtles arrive there... space travel is by no means unknown to the Turtles (Planet of the Turtleoids, etc.), and if they were on another planet they would be 'aliens' to the residents of that planet. Turtles would be an 'alien' race.

    I highly doubt it would be something like this, but it would be really cool. TMNT invade the Planet of the Utroms or 'Rise of the Planet of the Turtleoids' or something along those lines. Heck, they could even include Cowlick from the Archie Comics series as a means of travel!

  29. Holy cow... Just reading through the comments, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who feels the way I do.

    Mr. Laird, I think it's all been said, except one thing: I'd like to personally thank you for the ongoing joy you brought, not just to my childhood, but to my life, with your creations. Through the TMNT and fansites like Fanfiction.net, I have met some of the closest, dearest friends a gal could have. I've been reminded about the principles I learned from Splinter, which has in turn, affected the way I parent my children. He was always so calm... something I had never before seen in an adult/father figure. It was Splinter who inspired me to take parenting classes and learn to be a better mom.

    Friends I've met through the fandom, who share the values emulated by the tmnt, have encouraged and supported me through some very rough patches. They have meant the world to me, and we would not have met if not for your mutated Turtles.

    Just entertainment? I don't think so. Maybe that's what they were intended to be, but to those of us who grew up with them, they are a representation of everything we long for; family, loyalty, honor. They are more than just characters to us. They are everything we want for our kids with their strength, confidence and compassion.

    Whatever this new franchise looks like, in whatever direction the TMNT go next, we have 25 years' worth of dvds, comics and legacy, and for that, Sir, I thank you.

    Take care.

    1. Mary, your comments are greatly appreciated -- thanks! -- PL

  30. I don't care if there are extra turtles that come from a different dimension or different planet, but, even if you are co-creator and the originals are partially your idea it still seems wrong. How can you even call them TMNT if they're from a different planet? I've heard talk of them being adolescents, which doesn't necessarily mean teenagers, so that adds another issue to the name. I own all the turtle movies, including the newest one, but this one...I'm sorry. It just seems like he's going to tarnish the turtles like he did Transformers and the fact you seem pro for it makes it hurt even more. I know you can't stop it really, but still, it'd be nice to know we, the fans, weren't just being brushed off by you people. That sounds extremely lame, childish even, I know that, but those are fond memories of my childhood and it just seems like Bay is out to destroy it all in the name of making himself richer. I won't be buying tickets for this movie. I don't know that I'll even rent it. I may just wait to see if it gets on Netflix and possibly consider watching it there. I know I'm not the only fan that feels this way. I can understand your point of view, yes, this does open the door for more turtles, but it takes away from how special the originals are. I'm done with anything new as far as turtles go. I see comments telling us we're taking it too seriously, but you know what, we really aren't. People think it sounds dumb,but when you watch something for so long, follow it, know its characters inside and out...they become a part of you. Its not just entertainment, its a huge part of your life. I'd never have the creativity I have now if not for the turtles. They are what made me really start to use my imagination.

    1. Of course I could be reading it wrong and if so, I do apologize to you, but this idea....it extremely bothers me. Why Bay of all people? Ugh...

    2. "MilankoMar 22, 2012 07:56 AM
      I don't care if there are extra turtles that come from a different dimension or different planet, but, even if you are co-creator and the originals are partially your idea it still seems wrong. How can you even call them TMNT if they're from a different planet?"

      Well, in the case of the "Super Turtles", I never referred to them as "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". And if I am correctly remembering the character of "Kirby" as Kevin and I worked it out when we were helping to develop that movie idea years ago, I don't think we referred to HIM as a "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle", either.

      "It just seems like he's going to tarnish the turtles like he did Transformers and the fact you seem pro for it makes it hurt even more."

      I think you need to carefully re-read my post before you jump to the conclusion that I am "pro for it".

      "I know you can't stop it really, but still, it'd be nice to know we, the fans, weren't just being brushed off by you people."

      "You people"…? How have I "brushed off" you or any other TMNT fan? -- PL

  31. Eventually, even the show runners of the old show got tired of Krang and replaced him and Shredder with another alien called Lord Dregg. A villain who looked like he'd be right at home on power rangers. The only thing that really saved him in his first year, is that he was voiced by Tony Jay...so you've got a cool sounding evil british alien voice :)... The turtles eventually wound up driving him mad from defeat after defeat.
    would love to have seen your opinion on him as a villain if you're interest had lasted past the third season ;o)..

    1. Neil, I only vaguely remember "Lord Dregg"... but what I do remember is how I felt that his name was somewhat appropriate. -- PL

  32. It will not let me reply and I have no idea why. As to the things you pointed out, that was failure to separate my thoughts there. I wasn't trying to say that -you- had referred to other turtle characters as TMNT. I just let all of my thoughts run together. I've been up for 24 hours, I probably shouldn't comment when I do that.

    On the comment with me saying you're 'pro' for it, yea, I re-read. I clearly didn't read it properly the first time through. Again, I blame lack of sleep. So I apologize for that and the 'you people' comment. I'm just angry over it. Its misdirected rage. I should find Bay's blog because most people have them anymore, famous or otherwise.

    1. Thanks for re-reading and re-evaluating my original post... I appreciate it! -- PL

  33. Hi pete,

    My name is Chris Forney and i was the person who started the first petition against this idea and film. I do understand that you no longer own the rights to the TMNT franchise and i do understand your thought processes regarding the idea, i think if you were a staunch supporter of our cause things may be different in terms of this alien idea.

    Michael Bay has a terrible habit of taking franchises and properties (IE Transformers) and turning them into utter crap. Ive already reached out to Robbie Rist to help support our cause. Mr. Bay also makes the claim that he is working with one of the creators (obviously this is not you, which leads to the idea it is presumably Eastman). This is my childhood Mr. Laird, everything i hold dear in my heart. If Bay were to make this film with the original story in mind then i wouldnt be as adverse to it. But completely altering the origin is both an afront to fans like myself, but also towards you and Eastman. I hope you can take some time to read everything ive written here and maybe come to my petition and sign it. I know with you backing us there isnt anything we cannot accomplish.

    Thank you for your time.
    Chris Forney

    1. Chris, first off -- where is your petition? I'm not saying I will or will not sign it, but I have to see it first!

      Second, I don't think anyone outside of Michael Bay and the people working on this premise know exactly what he meant when he said "these Turtles are from an alien race"... and until we DO know exactly what that means, it is hard to get behind a specific argument against it.

      Also, I have to take issue, gently, with the notion that you and others have expressed, a notion summed up in your quote:

      "Michael Bay has a terrible habit of taking franchises and properties (IE Transformers) and turning them into utter crap."

      He may have made "Transformers" movies which are not to your taste, but he hasn't turned the properties themselves into "utter crap". I have no particular interest in "Transformers", but it seems to me that -- like TMNT -- it will be around for a long time, well after Michael Bay's involvement with it is done. -- PL

    2. I agree with you, and i do apologize. i never intended necessarily that the franchise as a whole was crap, but i did mean the films were nonsense. I only meant to convey that whenever Mr. Bay makes a film (in any capacity) it turns into alien/explosion film, nothing more.
      I'll post the link for my petition as well for you. ill understand if you dont want to sign, it was merely a hope of mine.


      Like i said just take some time and read the comments left by the other fans on the petition page.

  34. Could this alien thing just be what people would freak out about to raise awareness of the movie? I feel like the most stereotypical Bay thing that could happen is him messing with the origin story, and really the only change will be that the Ooze came from another planet (or Dimension X) I'm hoping this was all just for publicity and there isn't a planet full of mutated turtles. I'm really enjoying the back-story of the current TMNT comic books.

  35. http://blip.tv/nostalgiacritic/why-the-ninja-turtles-should-be-aliens-6039138

    Just thought I'd share this with Peter and you guys. It's a hilarious take on the whole situation that'll have you laughing out loud. As for my thoughts, I'm cautious and skeptical because it sort of goes against the whole concept of them being "Ninja" Turtles. If they implement the Ninja stuff correctly and logically, I can see this working...but that's really hard to do given the absurdity of the premise. I know that TMNT has a lot of sci-fi and alien influences, but to radically change the origin like that is weird. Don't get me wrong, I love fresh takes on an old story...like IDW's recent reboot for example. The origin story of the Turtles there were excellently implemented, combining originality with classic influences and even some stuff from the 80s cartoon in a smart manner.

  36. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Peter Laird supports the project:


    1. That's pretty funny...

      ... in a really sad, stupid way. -- PL

    2. How many people can misunderstand what you have posted? I'm happy that you can at least see the "funny". Even if it is a sad, stupid kinda funny.

  37. Mr. Laird,

    I thought you might like to read these "News Scoops"



    1. I remember being at this horror convention and the guy in front of me in line was pitching his idea to one of the guest.

      The guest responded, 'Well, I suppose it could be a great movie, if you get the right backing, you reread/ revise the script again and again, you get a good cast and crew, and that your time so it's done right.'

      The next year the guy had a booth at the very same convention and a stack of shitty looking self-produced DVDs. On the back of the box, he quoted the guest as saying 'A great movie...done right.'

      What's really going to be funny is if [ 'Genius' - Peter Laird ] ended up on the box/ in the trailers.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Well, I couldn't hold myself from replying even if 5,5 years have passed. It's very laughable that mass media take everything out of contest just for their sake and purpose, hah

  38. The problem with BAY being involved with an adaptation is that he has no respect for the original art or story. He merely views it as a costume he can lay on top of doing whatever-the-hell-he-wants.

    I've heard people say that since it's a comic, a cartoon, etc... it doesn't really matter. No way! Art is art. There should be an inherent honor when approaching someone else's art and stories no matter how commercial they've become. Bay has never demonstrated an iota of that.

    The turtles aren't aliens! They're mutants! That means they came from earth, from turtles!

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. As shallow as the Transformers movies were it was faithful to the very basics of the stories as depicted throughout their various media.

      Whenever a long running franchise is reimagined for a new what is generaly viewed as the fundamental elements are always kept intact.

      Whether it was the Adam West, Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher or Christopher Nolan Batman always lost his parents at age 8.

      Whether it was the the Fleischers, Richard Donner, Bryan Singer or Zack Snyder Kal-El is always the last survivor of Krypton.

      A change like making the turtles ALIENS is pretty drastic and if you're going to mess around with one of the fundamental elements of the story for no clear reason then Bay may as well not make a TMNT movie and just make an original movie with that story.

      If the script is that good then it'll make a good movie without the TMNT branding. Look at Watchmen, it probably ended up even better than it would have done if Moore had used the Charlton characters instead of his own original ones.

  40. I learned long ago that, even if a movie is a bastardized version of a beloved series, it pays to spend the 7.50 and go see it because, in the long run, it helps support the series as a whole. It encourages other developers (whether film, television, or video game) to pay attention to the series and continue to create mediums in which we can enjoy them. Therefore, with skeptical eyes, I will likely pay to see this in theatres, and then we can all rant about how horrible it is together. You must admit, this "controversy" does help continue to keep our childhood heroes in the news, and alive in our hearts :) -Meg

    1. Well said.

      Take Transformers for instance - the reason we got the Generations toyline full of G1 homages/updates is because of all the money they got from making the films.

  41. What a cop out. Whether or not you could legally do something to prevent such a bastardization, Peter, I expected more of you as a godfather and originator of the legacy. Your voice is an important one, and you seem to be saying to all those who've grown up with TMNT, that the Turtles origin and history shouldn't really matter.

    1. 63d11238-744c-11e1-b864-000bcdcb471e, to read my lengthy reply to your comment, go here:


      -- PL


  42. I'm sorry but I just cant accept the idea of them being aliens, sure if we did that then we could have a whole planet for them, but I believe there are other ways to have more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    We already have a multi-verse of them, like in Turtles Forever where there was 12 turtles.
    Venus, from the next mutation, not four but five turtles in the jar then separated.
    There also the Dark Turtles from fast forward, clones of the real turtles.

    There are other ways of coming up with new turtles. Who's to say only one canister broke open, maybe one broke elsewhere in the world and mutated turtles there. There could always be more than one TGRI factories.

    The Ninja turtles are unique, making a who planet of them they lose that, they're no longer special there's a who planet of them.

    I would only appreciate four female turtle. Adding four female turtles still make the four original turtles unique, but making a whole planet i don't think so.

    I'm sure someone can come up with a better way of creating more turtles without changing them into aliens.

    1. Yeah I agree completely. After reading the part of there has to be a better way of making more of them than there just happen to be an extra in the bowl, the first idea I had was that there could be other factories, and some how it broke on some other turtles. Since I am not the only guy to come up with that idea it has to be great, just kidding, but it is completely plausible though.

    2. Yeah I forgot to say I as well would like to see opposite gender turtles. Any way, the idea of a whole planet of them does kind of make them less special, and feels like a different story I feel. Any way, like before, more factories in other parts of the world would work real well.

  43. Just gotta take a minute to give a shout out to Peter for taking the time to answer so many of these comments, even the ones that seem, shall we say, troll-esqu?

    He does NOT deserve your vitriol, people.

    I would argue that none of this does until we see the finished product.

    1. Most definitely. If I were him I think I would have started to ignore any comments I got on this page. He's very clearly devoting time to reading all these comments (Even the painfully ignorant ones!) and replying to many with thoughtful responses.

      Be nice!

  44. It's far less about making them aliens than it is about Michael Bay and his (well-earned) awful reputation.

  45. Mr. Laird, thanks for this post. But if I may be so bold, I must ask: what is the EXACT reason that you hate Venus? Was it because of The New Mutation itself? Her character being ridiculous and underdeveloped? Cheap insert into the series? Not fully materialized. We know you hate her, and most of us agree (I'm actually indifferent. If she's in, cool. If she isn't, cool.) We just need the WHY. So... WHY?

    1. The character of Venus de Milo, the female Turtle, epitomizes for me all that is stupid and shallow about Hollywood: In lieu of actually coming up with something new and different, something showing real creativity, one just has to say "Hey -- let's do more of the same! If four Turtles are good, surely FIVE would be even better!" And while I won't go into details here, the circumstances surrounding the inclusion of this character in the mercifully short-lived "TMNT: The Next Mutation" are also personally painful to me. -- PL

  46. Over the last four days I've been absorbed in this story as only a fan can, but it never occurred to me until today to see what your thoughts were. I knew that you haven't had much to do with the series for quite some time so it didn't cross my mind that you would be able to actually DO anything about it, but it is nice to read your opinion. I tend to agree with you in general about waiting to see what happens. As usual in these situations my hopes are high, but my expectations are low.

    I actually run a (strictly for fun) TMNT blog where I draw (terrible) Ninja Turtle pictures related to whatever is going on in my life. I posted my thoughts on it yesterday because friends kept asking what I made of all of this. Basically I'm sad that this movie probably isn't going to be the amazing blockbuster that the fans want or deserve, but neither can it destroy the things we have come to love already; the comics, cartoons and movies exist independently of whatever comes after.

    However I confess I did have a little bit of fun with my action figures and staged a mock protest with the Turtles speaking out against this outrage.

    My feelings are a bit long winded but the pictures are funny (at least I thought so).

  47. Apparently you called Michael Bay A genius:


    Some people don't get sarcasm.

  48. taking away the accident that made them kinda takes away from the heart of the story, random chance made them more than what they are. I remember that great scene where Donetello tells Splinter "there has to be more to it," the fact that they were an accident is a huge part of what makes them tick.

  49. Hi Peter,

    Me being one of the biggest fans of the Ninja Turtles. I have watched all of the movies, invested thousands into my TMNT collection, which I'd like to send you a picture of sometime. Anyways, I have seen the planet of the turtles thing done before in the 1987 series. However, the concept was an annoying and boring one if you look at the whole picture. Having said that, what made the episode good was the idea of Kerma being the leader of the planet and the four turtles being the visitors. What made the turtles series so successful in 1987, in my opinion, is their childish and humorous nature. I know you liked the idea of the 2003 series but in all honesty, that was evidence of your lack of interest with the Turtles. They weren't as funny, fun loving, pizza loving or as bright or creative in the drawing of them. I know you wanted to model the comic books, but it didn't work. The only time the turtles EFFECTIVELY modelled your comic book was in TMNT forever where the Turtles were black and white and mean as can be. IT WAS AWESOME!!!! Anyway, I know you like the idea of the turtles being aliens because they always had someone calling them aliens in the 1987 series. Here's what made it funny, they had to constantly reassure that they are turtles. E.g. There was an episode in the 87 series called, Unidentified Flying Leonardo, in this episode Leonardo was mistaken for an alien, but in fact it was a misunderstanding and a hoax. The space ship wasn't actually a space ship. I loved the idea of April as a reporter and bebop and rocksteady, but for some reason you thought it would be better to create utrons and stuff because you like the idea of having more rather than less. Having said that, the best live series you had aside from the movies, which TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze was my favourite because of the corky attitudes of the turtles was the next mutation for the EXACT same reason. Although, their voices are different the turtles still maintains their SAME personalities and jokes in the next mutation series. The only thing that sucked was everything else, shredder, the foot, etc because they looked face. Why not keep the costume of shredder from the movies. By the way, I'm in a program called Radio & Television Arts and it would be great to have a radio interview with you. I have always dreamed of having a ninja turtle related conversation with you ever since I seen the VHS Tape behind the mutation. One more thing, why would you EVER sell the turtles? You're obviously not sick of them because you still blog about them, write about them, and you stay connected with the franchise. I don't believe for ONE SECOND you gave up with the turtles because you don't enjoy them. You just drew one above. We gotta talk...email me at freshnewflow@gmail.com (ONLY FOR PETER LAIRD) and I'll call you from my radio studio at school. I have a major project I must do and this is the subject in the world that i am MOST interested in talking about.


    Jazzy Fresh

  50. I actually got here from the AV Club, which at least has some good reading comprehension: http://www.avclub.com/articles/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-cocreator-peter-laird,71365/

    I feel a little like Elvis Costello with every new thing about the movie: I used to be disgusted but now I try to be amused. There have been so many good adaptations, if this one sucks it's annoying but certainly not a catastrophe. (And your picture just about killed me. LOL.)

    1. Hi Peter: I wish you still have control over the TMNT. The idea of turning them into aliens is ridiculous. I just signed the petition to stop Michael Bay for doing that. I wish there's another director to direct this movie. Peter Jackson, James Cameron or Guillermo del Toro are great movie makers.

      The second of the Transformers' movie was nominated for a Razzie as one of the worst movies. I don't want to see our beloved heroes in a half-shell in that category.

      I wonder what Kevin thinks about this. I prefer Venus (like you, Peter, I consider her ridiculous) back or to watch the TMNT 3, these two are the lesser of the two evils than this crazy idea of turning them into aliens.

      If the movie is a complete failure then the TMNT will be doom.

    2. Glad you liked the picture, Bridgett... and thanks for the link -- I'm happy to see that at least SOME people "get it". -- PL

    3. Why would you sell such an AMAZING masterpiece like the TURTLES:( I read why you did it, but it's still hard to believe because it was such a work of art. You don't know how many times i wished that I could meet you and buy a share of the turtles myself, just for the sake of it. I live and breath ninja turtles. You just don't understand the effect that your creation has had on so many people's lives including my own.

  51. This could all just be a misinformation campaign by Bay, to get fans riled up. He did the same thing with Transformers 2, by saying Megatron wasn't in the film.

  52. As long as he doesn't turn "Ninja Turtles from Space" into something like "Biker Mice from Mars", I'll give it a chance. If we get to see a little more serious side of the Turtles like we did in the original comic and the first live-action movie, that'd be great.

  53. Has anyone seen how much fun Jim Lawson is having with this Alien TMNT concept? Shredulonian Foot Soldier! That is brilliant. I love the humor behind some of the sketches he has been posting. The turtle spaceship is actually really cool looking.
    Michael Bay has nothing on Jim!

    (BOOM!!!! Awesome Jim Lawson!!!!)

    Jim Lawson's Facebook Page

  54. Thanks Pete, you beautiful bastard. I knew you couldn't be for your beloved turtles being aliens! This is just the cheering up I needed. The turtles being aliens takes away who they are. Even if we can't stop this just knowing that you don't agree, even if you admit it could be possibly alright, makes me feel much better about this situation.

  55. Maybe they were the last survivors of their planet, put in a rocket by their father, Tort-El. I put nothing past Michael Bay...now I'm just wondering which Turtle will be a racist caricature.

    1. "Tort-El" -- I love it! And maybe he was a turtle lawyer. -- PL

  56. You know it's hard to swallow the many lows of Hollywood... But, every remake, stolen idea or re-imagining does not remove the magic of the original material, to those who remember it. For me I was never a fan of the original cartoon. I thought the material was wasted on a cereal bowl cartoon that in my opinion could have been amazing. However it did open the door for people younger than myself to embrace characters that might have remained obscure to them otherwise. It created merchandise that was not possible before. If any one recalls the only way to get a TMNT figure was to buy small pewter sculptures of the characters, that were really pieces for an role playing game (yes I owned a few). It was nice to go into a big box store and get the original toys to display next to other beloved characters like Spider man.

    I may not have loved the cartoon, but my little sister did. It gave us a common interest where we could play, get excited and share. I took her to see the first live action movie. She loved every minute of it. For me it was superior to the cartoon but still not what I would call accurate. I was glad that the Turtles got a Film at all. Something that seemed like a impossibility years before. Years later I was able to share the original comic books with her... Her response was like I had opened a new world in a property she loved.

    What is my point? Aside from rambling about what the TMNT have meant to me? Or to my sister?

    It's simple... No matter what Hack tries to recreate, tarnish or rape an idea, the original is still there to enjoy and be shared with new generations and new fans. If Bay's ego driven celluloid masturbation, is the doorway for a new fan. Then I could care less, as to where the Turtles come from. It's not my TMNT. And Peter is right, the TMNT will stand the test of time as all good creations and art do.

    Be happy that there is still that original that you fell in love with. Cause that is not always the case, I hate to say it but I will Star Wars, anyone? Can I run out and get the original trilogy like I saw it in the theater? No... I can't.

    Now if you don't like what Hollywood does... Then don't support it. Put your money where your mouth is. It's simple.

    On a side note: I did love the 2k3 series... Most of it ;)

  57. I'm sure George Lucas approves of these changes.

    1. Yes, since that's how it was originally intended... ;)

  58. Hello Mr. Laird,

    I have been following this thread and am quite please to find you open and a gentleman. As a note TMNT openned my eyes to independent comics. The artwork was different from the generic comic art I was used to seeing and the humor and edginess was great, esp. to a young aspiring artist. this is an interview with the current director of the TMNT project. I hope it answers some questions and alleviates some fears :) http://io9.com/5896013/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-director-speaks-out-on-the-alien-origins-controversy?utm_campaign=socialflow_io9_twitter&utm_source=io9_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

    Thank you and blessings Mr. Laird :)

    Wen of E22W

  59. http://www.facebook.com/TheNinjaTurtlesAreNotAliens

  60. Peter, I'm so glad you commented on this. Could you go into detail specifically what it is about making them aliens instead of mutants that matters?

    It seems people are having trouble pinning down exactly what it is about it that changes the essence of who the turtles are, while those in support of it are stating that it doesn't change anything other than possibly the name. (They state that only a couple of the storylines had anything to do with them being mutants, and unlike X-MEN it doesn't play into who they are or the conflicts of the characters.)

    Can you express in words what many of us are having trouble doing, why it's more than just a meaningless backstory that's almost never brought up in the series?

  61. Personally the ONLY TMNT movie I have ever loved was the first live action movie. The reason why it was good was because it took a lot of ideas and imagery directly from the comics. They switched around a few things like having Raphael get the rooftop beat down instead of Leo and in the context of the movie that was a great idea. The best thing about the movie was that it had its funny parts but it never sold itself out for cheap laughs. The gags in the antique shop battle worked.

    I agree with your comment that the TMNT property is strong enough to withstand an occasional misfire. If it hadn't it would've died with TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze.

    Thank you for creating such an awesome universe. I have always thought that all of the comics you wrote were better than anything Marvel or DC was doing at the time. There have been occasional misfires but they were only on things that you weren't creating such as the Live Action TV Series, the aforementioned TMNT 2 movie, etc. But everything that you clearly had a direct hand in creating has maintained a high level of quality.

    1. Hey Peter: I found this article about the issue.

      Exclusive: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Director Addresses "Alien" Backlash
      Source: Edward Douglas
      March 23, 2012

      This past week was a crazy one for fans of the popular comic book, cartoon and movie characters, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, when Michael Bay, producer of the upcoming reboot told press at the Nickelodeon Upfront that they plan on introducing a new element to the characters by making them an "alien race," something that he and others involved with the characters began to backtrack on when the internet exploded in an uproar.

      Bay's exact words were:

      "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. These turtles are from an alien race and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable."

      (And if you missed it, you can read that story here.)

      It just so happens ComingSoon.net was talking to the project's director Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles) this morning for his upcoming Greek myth epic Wrath of the Titans and we asked him if he had been hearing about any of this backlash and what he thought of it. He was suitably diplomatic.

      "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 apesh*t when they see it."

      Since they are still developing the movie, he wouldn't really address whether this movie was going to be bigger in scale--something we'd assume from Liebesman's previous two movies and the involvement of Bay--whether it would break away from the family audience leanings of the previous movies or whether the Turtles would be men in costumes or done via performance capture. (Who knows? Maybe they'll get Andy Serkis to play all four Turtles. That would be something, right?)

      Incidentally, later on, we attended a press conference for the movie and Liebesman mentioned having walked by posters of his new movie while walking around New York City and what that meant to him. While he was referring to Wrath of the Titans, he may as well have been referring to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because he's clearly not on board the project to make a movie the fans are going to hate.

      "That's why we worked so hard on this. You just don't want to f*ck it up and you don't want to disappoint people who pay money," he said, before paraphrasing something his star Sam Worthington told him about having a chance to do a second movie as being "out of respect for the people who are paying money to see the movie--you feel those people are the reason why we have these jobs."

    2. I forgot about this, Peter!! I love your drawing of the "alien turtle".He looks sad, Awww!! Poor thing, but he is a cutie. :)

  62. Dear Peter Laird, and Executives

    My name is Steven P. Andrade and I’m from Toronto Canada. I have an amazing concept for the new upcoming Ninja Turtles Adaptation to film. I am taking a chance sending this email as it very hard to get in contact with individuals within the movie and film industry. If this email address and web site is legitimate and NOT a “ 3 rd or 4th party “ site, I would kindly wish for my email to be passed along and considered.

    I cannot disclose details of my vision for security purposes but I do have something prepared if a higher level executive gets in contact with me or preferably Michael, Kevin, and Peter directly.

    My concept is very simple and it flows. I already have the new Turtles movies parts 1,2,3 with option of a 4th thought of and almost ready to go. I believe that with my vision and utter love for the Turtles ; Kevin and Peters detailed knowledge and shared love of the Turtles; Michaels talented vision, new found love for the Turtles. Brilliant directing skills, coaching and adaptations abilities, we can make a brilliant film! Our combined visions most likely will brand this green machine like never before and possibly break box office records by bring the Turtle brand back from its absence.

    I know what you are thinking, and I know these all get filtered and screened before they actually get placed on the executives’ desks, but please know that we all take chances in our lives and this one could be the next multi Billion dollar chance. All I wish is for 15+ minutes of your time or even possibly a 1 on 1 with someone with direct contact such as an assistant or PA that can pass along my message.

    I hope that this contact that I found through the web is legitimate and genuine. If so, pass along to someone that can action and I will forward my information for contact.

    Please take a chance and hear what I have to say. I can assure you that it is worth your time.

    I can be reached at the following address below

    Thank you kindly

    Steve P. Andrade

    Internet : sandrade2009@live.ca

    1. Steve, I am not involved with the new TMNT movie, so if you have a great idea for it, you should contact those who are in charge of it. -- PL

  63. Hey how is it going. I have never really made a blog before or post stuff so this is kind of a first, so I have to apologize for rambling on and on if it gets that far. Not even sure how to begin.

    Guess for starters, altough hate to sound just like every body else, in saying thanks for creating this franchise or property or what ever, it has always been a favorite.

    And sorry to read some of the criticizm on here, especially the guy wishing death up on that creative mind. That was a little bit much.

    Any way I have developed a sort of when ever they make a movie of a franchise that I like it will probably suck sort of attitude. So when I heard of the turtles being aliens the first thought I had was crap, an other long wait to see if they can do a great turtle movie.

    I guess it might not seem like the best attitude but it helps. Cause I do have hope it will come out good, it is just that if it does not, well take the last movie. I heard about it and like what I saw especially the teaser. But then heard the story line. In end felt like to could come out real great or real bad. Long story short, it was pretty good. It was not as good as I hoped it would be, but it was not bad either.

    Any way, while they may be aliens, there is some hope that it can come out to be pretty goo, I sure hope that origin does not become the main origin in the future, such as shows, games, future movies, and so forth.

    So as far is the origins are concern, the original, as that creative mind may stated might not be the be the best out there, it has to be among the best. I do not read a lot of comics, but I do own some and most of them are ninja turtles. I could not believe it when I found the first issue on the shelf, even though it was on line just had to have it. Any way back to the point, I felt the origin while did not have a lot to do with their adventures story wise, it was a foundation, their foundation, or the beginning of their story.

    Any way, sorry did not mean to write that much, but like every fan, there is so much to ask and express opinions on, and ever since i was a kid i wanted to meet the creators and express opinions and stuff, but this is the next best thing. Again sorry for rambling, and congratulations on making such an impact on pop culture and the comic world.

  64. Sorry last post for the night, then i am done, i hope, if not, at least for the night.So I can not speak for every body else, but when I want to see a movie based on some thing, I want it to be as close as possible.

    Like I am okay with them starting movies from the beginning, especially if they plan to make a series, but only cause they can make movies better now then they can before, by that I mean they can do things now they could not do before, such as action fights, and expressions on the face of a character that is not a normal person, back grounds, physics and so forth.

    And I realize I put goo and meant good, even though they are aliens this movie might come out to be good. But I hope in the future they start the series over and keep to the origin in the comics.

    Man I could go on and on of how it should be done, but for the sake of every body, I will stop here for now.

  65. Peter, (we're on a first name basis, right?)

    You're right. It doesn't matter what awful incarnations TMNT has to go through. The idea is forever.

    If "Ninja Alien Turtles" is to be Schumacher'd, then let's hope there's a Nolan version down the line.

    Yours in tubulartude,

    -A 22 year old who still watches the 1990 film.

  66. I know your rules regarding HER. Yes, you KNOW what I'm talking about. As a longtime fan of the show, I really must ask.

    Why, exactly, do you hate Venus so much? I mean, yes, the Turtles are the absolute last of their kind, fine. But why the extreme hatred that is simply inexplicable?

    Just curious.


    1. Edi, I am beginning to think you are a little more than "just curious", given that you already asked more or less this same question back on March 22, 2012, and I answered it, as follows, on March 23, 2012:

      "The character of Venus de Milo, the female Turtle, epitomizes for me all that is stupid and shallow about Hollywood: In lieu of actually coming up with something new and different, something showing real creativity, one just has to say "Hey -- let's do more of the same! If four Turtles are good, surely FIVE would be even better!" And while I won't go into details here, the circumstances surrounding the inclusion of this character in the mercifully short-lived "TMNT: The Next Mutation" are also personally painful to me. -- PL"

      My strong distaste for the character of Venus does not, in my opinion, come up to the level of "extreme hatred". And it's not "simply inexplicable" -- you simply refuse to accept my explanation. -- PL

  67. Would you sign over the rights to TMNT knowing what you know now? Any recommendations for creators on selling/licensing their creations. Specific mention of clauses to be wary of would be appreciated.
    Sandford Tuey

  68. I'm not a fanatical TMNT fan but I do remember watching them all the time as a kid. Had a few figurines too. When I heard there was going to be a reboot of their movie, I thought cool. Micheal Bay the director, he's okay wasn't too thrilled with the Transformers movies. Not that the directing is bad, it's just the plots are horrible, no debt and nothing but action. Now you're thinking of making the Turtles come from out of space instead of being mutated from ooze. The Turtles origin is something fans have loved for years. If you want to include some kind of space origin. Why not this then. Government scientist by accident open up a portal to Dimension X. Somehow while inside get a hold of Krang's special ooze and escape back to earth. Krang sends his alien goons after them. During a chase down the busy NYC streets. The surviving scientist drops the ooze down the sewers. There it comes in contact with Splinter a Ninjutsu master,his pet turtles,and the many rats. Splinter a Japanese refugee hiding in the sewers of NYC from the Foot Clan. Befriends rats and the turtles who were dumped in the sewer by a young boy. Krang decides to drive his Technodrome through the portal after the ooze. Comes in contact with Shredder where he promises world domination if he gets back the ooze. Later finding out that the Turtles are the ooze. Krang yells,"I want those turtles!" While in his human-shaped exo-suit. Not exactly along the lines of the original story but closer to it. If any one likes this plot, please express your opinion. Thanks!!!!

    1. I know I'm leaving the Utroms out so perhaps Krang wants the ooze which the Utroms created along with human scientist. Then the chase begins!!!!

  69. Wanna read a TMNT script that is WAY better than the leaked one--just to wash the taste out of your mouth? Written by a fan. http://www.4shared.com/folder/vS0s2Fu3/_online.html TMNT (fan fiction) so there will be no 'cease and desist' letter. LOL

  70. ...or try this! WAY better than what Michael Bay is producing, respectful to the original subject matter...yadda yadda yadda! http://www.mediafire.com/view/?2gqroctwd9xhcyw

  71. Random question; how could have the character Venus de milo reach your approval (even with a completely different background story),how would you have preferred her portrayed in the TMNT franchise.

    - technically that's two questions but still, I'm interested in your thought. I am not asking on why you disliked the character and whatnot but how could she have been improved/better.

    Please and Thank you

    1. I consider the "Venus de Mlo" character so fundamentally flawed and pointless that I can't really bring myself to spend any amount of time trying to figure out how to "fix" her... it seems to me that such a process would essentially require such wholesale changes that she would end up being a completely different character... so why bother? -- PL

  72. I don't see what the problem is with the 'extra turtle in bowl' approach. The brothers wouldn't remember what happened back then, and Splinter found it AFTER it was smashed and in the ooze, so he wouldn't have seen if 1 or more extra turtles from the bowl were lost prior to his arrival.

    Can someone explain what in the comics prevents this interpretation and the 'Venus' explanations?

  73. "TyciolOctober 28, 2012 10:38 AM
    I don't see what the problem is with the 'extra turtle in bowl' approach. The brothers wouldn't remember what happened back then, and Splinter found it AFTER it was smashed and in the ooze, so he wouldn't have seen if 1 or more extra turtles from the bowl were lost prior to his arrival.

Can someone explain what in the comics prevents this interpretation and the 'Venus' explanations?"

    The likely impossibility of my explaining to you what is "the problem" with the "extra turtle in bowl" approach is summed up in your first line -- you simply don't see what the problem with that approach is. However, I will make an attempt.

    It has long been the case in popular entertainments that if something is created which is very successful, and people love it, then the common next response from the people making money off it is to make more of the same… or at least more of the similar. Superman is a huge success? Hey, let's do Supergirl, Superboy, Superwoman, Super Horse, Super Dog, Super Monkey, etc. etc. etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

    It's a creatively bankrupt, knee-jerk response. And it is something that Kevin Eastman and I heard so many times in the first few years of licensing the Turtles for toys and other products -- "Hey, why stop with four Turtles? Let's do five, or six, or twenty!"

    This was almost always coupled with the great idea that the "fifth Turtle" should be named "Picasso". Really, it was amazing how many people thought that was an original and brilliant idea. Then we would hear other famous artist's names -- "Van Gogh", "Monet", "Vermeer", "Caravaggio". And almost as often as we would hear about the "Picasso" Turtle, we would hear "Hey, why not do a GIRL Turtle?" Are you starting to get the idea? No one was offering a new take on the concept -- they were just doing a "fill in the blanks" thing.

    So… yes, if all you want to do is more of the same, or more of the similar, then an extra turtle in the bowl would be no problem. Heck, why stop with one extra? How about three, or five, or ten? Hey, why not make it a really BIG bowl, and have FIFTY turtles in it? Why not?

    And why stop there? People love Splinter. Well, there are a lot of rats in the sewers… you could have dozens more characters like Splinter! Why not?

    I have said many times before that simply adding more Turtles to the team reduces the uniqueness of the four Turtles we created. I don't really know how to say that any more simply. If you can't grasp that, there's nothing more I should say, because it would be a waste of my time and yours. If the specialness, the uniqueness of those four characters is unimportant to you, then by all means, have ten Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Have a hundred! -- PL

  74. Hello Peter,

    I usually don't get into this stuff. But, Facebook *shrug*

    First, Thank you. Sadly, I never got to read the comics, but I've loved those turtles for so long. I remember throwing a fit kindergarten Christmas because my brother got a Leonardo figure. LOL, guess who was my favorite.

    I had no idea how the rights had transferred or anything and I ended up here, now I know. Sad to hear you can't put forth any input, but I at least hope someone from marketing is keeping an eye on the net, so I'm going to post some thoughts, maybe someone there will read them. But either way I'd love feedback.


    Aliens? To me it destroys the uniqueness of the Turtles. Origin defines who a character is. There are some aspects of origin that should not be tampered with, yes play with it and have fun, but there has to be some core that remains the same.

    I saw the movie Doom, once. Just once because the original storyline is a portal accidentally opening a gate to Hell. And it was reconceived Resident Evil style for a movie. Blasphemy! It's not Doom anymore.

    If the turtles become aliens, it destroys their uniqueness, and sanctity. I fear there could now be epic battles of hundreds, thousands, of "red shirt" turtles, which amount to nothing but screen filler action via turtle "extras".

    Going the Alien Turtle approach seems like a cop out easy way to solve a problem. Having limits is what makes things special, and forces creativity from writers. So a couple off the top of my head ideas, and I hope they don't trip on anything comic.

    Maybe there is a planet of turtles out there, unrelated to these 4. Then it's a huge brain buster that brings questions to the turtles' identities.
    Have an alternate dimension where there's an Earth overrun by mutagen, and all kinds of things have mutated there.
    Heck, cloning is all the rage. A Bioengineering company got a tissue sample and is cloning or attempting to isolate the mutations for it's own use.

    And lastly any movie developers. You're dealing with a population that's been exposed to mutating, alien, outer limity, twilighty (zone), wibbly wobbly timey wimey, phaserfiring, borgy stuff. We can understand more than explosions. And we horribly like it when we truly love that character you just killed off. Theatre is about the mind, not the eye.

  75. One of the reasons why I like visiting your blog so much is because it has become a daily reference I can use in order to learn new nice stuff. It's like a curiosities box that surprises you over and over again.Thanks!
    Spiritual Comic Books

  76. Hi Peter! I have a question about Venus de Milo and this is the most appropriate place I could figure to post it. I've been reading the Ultimate Visual History (and loving it) and just read the section covering The Next Mutation. Kevin's comments say that you were very opposed to a girl turtle, but not completely opposed to a 5th male turtle, ala Kirby from the aborted 4th movie pitch. Is this an accurate summary of your feelings, and if so, why specifically is the idea of a female turtle so objectionable? P.S. Thank you for all you've done! I've been a fan of the TMNT since my brain was developed enough to be a fan of anything (right about the time the tv show hit in '87), and I rekindled my love for the Turtles in my adult years by digging into your original comics.

    1. The main reason I object to the concept of the "girl Turtle" is that it is emblematic of a lazy, stupid, creatively-bankrupt way of thinking wherein, when you have a successful idea, you can extend it simply by doing more of the same (more Turtles!), sometimes with slight and obvious and not very clever tweaks (a female Turtle!).

      I've never understood why some people think the four original Turtles are not enough.

      Maybe it's partly our fault for making the Turtles so easy to duplicate (at least in the shallowest fashion) -- just give your new Turtle a different weapon, a different Renaissance artist's name, and a different bandana color, and away you go!

      As for the "Kirby" character from that never-made movie, I agreed to that reluctantly, given that (at the time) it seemed that our prospective partners in making that movie were just not interested in doing another TMNT movie without a "fifth Turtle". (I guess all of the good story ideas for movies with the four original Turtles had been used up in the first three TMNT movies). But I tried to make this silly idea seem -- at least to me -- not just a dopey gimmick, but something which had at least some kind of interesting backstory, and did not involve this "fifth Turtle" simply being another turtle who happened to be in the same bowl as the original four, but had somehow wandered away after falling in the mutagenic ooze, and was only found later on. That's how the idea of Kirby the "fifth Turtle" being a mutant from a parallel dimension came about.

      Still, it was never the greatest idea, and I don't feel too bad that that movie didn't get made. -- PL

    2. Cool, thanks for responding! Glad to hear this, I agree with all of that logic. Sounds like Venus came about for pretty much the same reasons as Kirby. The cardinal sin of that The Next Mutation, at least in my memory, is just that the turtles' faces were so ugly and lifeless. Just one of many shortcomings.

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