Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

Who Cares about ‘Ninja Turtle’ Changes?

The upcoming reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles directed by Jonathan Liebesman and produced by Michael Bay has been creating larger-than-average controversy online ever since it was announced.  It seems that no matter what is released about this movie, the internet jumps on it and crucifies it to oblivion.  It is absolutely ridiculous.  And the complaints are incredibly widespread having seen them on various talkback forums on sites such as Superhero Hype, Bleeding Cool, and Ain’t It Cool News.

Here is my question: why?  Were the Ninja Turtles that much of a sacred cow that any reboot was going to be met with distain?  Is it a case of Michael Bay hating?  I have seen people irritated that the movie is nothing like the original ‘80s cartoon (completely forgetting the Turtles originated in a comic book years before).  Then, others are upset that it seems like it will be too much like the cartoon.  You cannot have it both ways.

From the fantastic webcomic Our Valued Customers.

Truth. From the fantastic webcomic Our Valued Customers.

The latest “controversy” is that William Fichtner was revealed to be cast as the Turtles memorable villain the Shredder.  Talking to Screen Rant, he had this to say:

“I actually play a guy named Eric Sachs [Sounds like Sachs? Hard to understand] in the movie. And then he goes through a few stages in his existence.”

Of course, this deviates from the source material by Americanizing the villain.  And, of course, the internet lost its collective shit over it.  Who the hell cares?  After doing some light Wikipedia research, I found that the Shredder character has had so many interpretations in the different adaptations of the Ninja Turtles that there really is not only one way for this character to be done (besides, wouldn’t the most iconic version of the character be the bumbling buffoon version from the ‘80s cartoon?  Is that the version people want?).


If anything, based on the quote, it sounds like this “Eric Sachs” character will be going through some sort of changes throughout the film.  Perhaps he will evolved into the Shredder everyone knows and loves.

Plus, it is William Fichtner.  He can do whatever the fuck he wants.

I dwell on this to illustrate a point.  The movie is not out yet.  We, as an audience, know nothing about it other than some broad strokes.  And, if they make changes, big or small, who cares?  The Ninja Turtles have gone through so many interpretations over time that this film is entitled to muck around to give their own spin for modern audiences.

As I referenced above, I believe a lot of this has to do with Michael Bay hate.  I cannot help, but think that if someone like Christopher Nolan, Joss Whedon, or whoever else the internet still has a collective boner for was making this film, people online would fall over themselves saying how great it all looks.  Maybe I am being too cynical with that last statement, but it is just so over-the-top how media outlets are highlighting the fact this is a Michael Bay film even though he isn’t directing the movie – you’d be surprised how much of a difference that makes (after all, how much Spielberg was in the Transformers films?).


Yeah, this upcoming Ninja Turtle movie is making some bold moves.  Personally, I am really interested to see how it turns out. The Ninja Turtles were a part of my childhood, but I so do not care if they make changes to suit the story they are telling.  So many adaptations today such as the Marvel movies, the Dark Knight Trilogy, and the recent Man of Steel had some radical departures from the source material and those were accepted pretty readily by fans.  I see no reason why this won’t be either.

And, if the film turns out to be a fun, enjoyable romp, I suspect there will be a huge reverse/denial in people saying they ever bashed the film to begin with.

But will the Turtles eat pizza?  That is the really issue here.

But will the Turtles eat pizza? That is the really issue here.


9 responses to “Who Cares about ‘Ninja Turtle’ Changes?

  1. CultureCast-Z July 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I do not understand why the reaction to this upcoming movie has been so vitriolic.

  2. JD July 2, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I agree the internet has made too big of a deal about the TMNT reboot. It’s a style over substance sort of franchise anyways so Bay is actually not a bad choice for this project. It’s a little strange that they want the turtles to be aliens but there were already aliens and other dimensions ect in the TMNT franchise so it could make that stuff easier to swallow. I really don’t like the new turtles show, the third tmnt film or the latest cg tmnt movie so I think it’s good that they are trying to change it up.

    • CultureCast-Z July 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      I think it’s really the Michael Bay factor that have people seething. This is especially stupid considering he isn’t even directing the actual movie.

    • Nick! July 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      I think the quote was “alien origins” which does not automatically mean the Turtles are alien (in fact, going back to the original comics, the Turtles *do* have an alien origin with the ooze being from space).

      Regardless, does it really make that much of a difference? TMNT has always been goofy and a little stupid. That’s part of the charm. It would be more offensive if they attempted to make a Turtle movie “grim and gritty”.

      I think you are right on the money, JD.

      • CultureCast-Z July 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm

        I’m not even sure what people want. The original incarnation of the turtles was that it was supposed to be a parody of the super grimdark Frank Miller stuff. The cartoon and toys obviously softened their image a ton, especially the cartoon, which is fucking awful by today’s standards (and was probably awful 25 years ago as well…I was just a kid so I didn’t know any better).

        The first TMNT movie is legitimately good (and also kind of violent and dark, especially for a kid’s movie) and the Golden Harvest influence obviously helped it out in terms of kung fu/martial arts/whatever. The sequels are pure garbage, and yes I count the second one with the Vanilla Ice stuff. Even as a kid I fucking hated that shit. The third one tried to be a bit more like the first, but by then the fad had largely been over and it was like “why bother?”

        So what do the so-called TMNT “fans” even want out of a new movie? Do they want the Frank Miller grimdark shit? I doubt it, considering how much fun gets made of comic-to-movie adaptations for going dark these days. Do they want the goofiness of the shitty 80s cartoon? Again, I seriously doubt it. Do they want it to just be a straight up remake of the first film? Then why bother when the first film already exists and is good. I can’t imagine anyone would want it to be like the 2nd or 3rd movie either. Seriously, what do the “fans” want????

        • Nick! July 2, 2013 at 7:50 pm

          Just beyond that, there was the more-series-but-still-kid-friendly take of the 2000s cartoon and the extremely kid-friendly-but-adult-watchable current cartoon. Plus the numerous comic book revamps. There have been so many interpretations of the Ninja Turtles that it is impossible to make every “fan” happy (the movie will likely pull influences from all versions). That’s why I am kinda glad that it seems like the filmmakers are not giving a crap about what the internet is complaining about and just going ahead to make their movie.

          • JD July 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

            Turtles Forever (2009) is pretty interesting because it’s a crossover where the comic turtles meet the 80s turtles and the 2000s turtles and they all work together. I saw it a few years ago but I remember really liking it because there were some entertaining interactions between the various turtle incarnations. But even then there were some people complaining about it. I agree you definitely can’t make every turtle fan happy.

            I loved the first Turtles movie the most of anything in the franchise so I’m hoping the new movie will be gritty and realistic with well written characters and an interesting team dynamic. It would probably be a good idea for them to play up the sci-fi aspect a bit as well. But even if it’s really cheesy and dumb I’ll probably enjoy it on some levels because I have a life long love of TMNT.

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