It’s not often that a filmmaker finds himself in the position of having to defend his film before a frame of it has even been shot, but that’s the unenviable position Michael Bay is in following the recent news reports that the new live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film he is producing will have its title truncated down to simply Ninja Turtles.
You can almost feel his frustration over the turn of events as he responded today on his website to the rising tide of criticism over the shortened title.
Paramount marketing changed the name. They made the title simple. The characters you all remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers. Everything you remember, why you liked the characters, is in the movie. This script is being developed by two very smart writers, with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles. They care VERY MUCH about making this film for the fans. Everyone on this team cares about the fans. Just give them a chance. Jonathan [insert last name] the director, is a major fan of the whole franchise. HE’S NOT GOING TO LET YOU DOWN.
Well, I can see the thinking of the marketing types who might want a shorter, snappier title that also allows them to differentiate their film from the live action ones of the late 80s/early 90s. But the recent computer animated film TMNT certainly didn’t bring in the bucks despite the name change. Does moving away from your well known title perhaps indicate a lack of faith in one’s own product? And let’s not forget that some people have blamed the rather generic title John Carter as having contributed to Disney’s adaption of Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Cater, Warlord of Mars series of novels bombing at the box office. It should be interesting to see what impact this will have on the film.