Last week, producer Michael bay stirred up the internet equivalent of a hornets’ nest of trouble when he announced that the titular stars of a new film adaption of the classic 80s indie comic book Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would not be mutants so much as they would be aliens. It is now look as if Bay has chopped another adjective off of the title as Bleeding Cool is reporting a rumor that the film may now be titled simply Ninja Turtles.
We haven’t been able to get a definite statement as to why this title change is occurring, and our sources are not 100% clear on whether or not the Turtles will indeed be adolescents. One of our sources has said: “It seems to be driven by marketing. Think of John Carter and how Disney wouldn’t allow for a title with either “Princess” or “Mars.”
Now I understand that the kneejerk reaction is to criticize such a move. I’m not even a fan of the franchise and it sounds pretty stupid to me. But this simply might be a way of testing the waters on certain potential elements of the film’s story. It has happened before and will happen again.
Or it could just be a way of stirring up interest in the project before even a frame of film has been shot. And considering that the most recent screen appearance by the Turtles was the poorly received 2007 computer animated TMNT, Bay and company certainly have a tough road ahead of them on that front. But is even negative publicity good publicity? Or is Bay being even more Machiavellian by floating some rumors about big changes in the film and then placates fans by saying that said changes will not happen after all. Considering that his films aren’t that complicated, I would doubt it.