An Open Letter to Michael Bay

First, you came for the Transformers, and I did not say a word. Sure, I loved the cartoon as a kid, but I was willing to overlook a cinematic faux pas. But then Revenge of the Fallen happened. And then Dark Side of the Moon. That sound you hear? That’s my childhood WEEPING, sir.

Here’s one thing I don’t get. You take a franchise with a built-in fanbase (everyone born between 1972 and 1990, toss in a few cartoon-stragglers for good measure) and you WRECKED it. Not only that, but you took on (and maimed) Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th – two of the scariest movies from my childhood. When I saw the originals, I didn’t want to go near a bed for weeks. And if I saw a girl jumping rope, I was compelled to recite the Freddy Kruger rhyme. I never wanted to go to summer camp, either, because WHAT IF THERE WAS A HOMOCIDAL MANIAC? In short, those movies were effectively frightening.

But now, sir, you’ve come for the Turtles. Yes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I watched the cartoon religiously as a kid. I spent my spare time trying to master how to draw a turtle’s head. I had the action figures. I played the videogame. I wanted to BE April O’Neil. In short, I loved the Turtles, those lovable little guys who fell into some mutagen, only to transform into odd-pizza-eating, smartass superheroes trained by a wise rat-man named Splinter. Their archenemy is Shreddar, and his line, “tonight, I dine on turtle soup” is classic.

Yesterday, I read that you’re going to alter the origins of the turtles. Bye bye, green slime. Bye bye, sewer lair (I’m assuming). Bye bye MUTANT. Now, we get…Turtles from Outer Space! Instead of “tonight, I dine on turtle soup,” we’re getting, “tonight, I dine on alien!” Not quite as effective and definitely not as memorable.

I hate to point out the obvious, but that’s a totally different movie. That makes the turtles neither turtles nor mutants. You’re left with Teen Aliens. And, let’s face, that’s a tale best left for the Syfy channel, with its campy lineup of Space Monkey and Squirrelemming vs Velocishark. I’m SURE that Shannon Doherty is available, and she has just as much range as the people you generally cast (I’m looking at you, Shia).

Mr. Bay, I don’t understand you. It seems, though, that Hollywood can’t quit you – despite the fact that you keep willfully murdering sacred childhood relics. I get that it’s important to keep things fresh and new. I understand that telling a story isn’t always easy. But I’m starting to worry that you’re going to remake every movie, or show, I’ve ever loved. I can see it now.

  1. The Godmother: A Corleone Saga. Set in the future. “Leave the laser. Take the cannoli.”
  2. Gone with the Wind: The Teenage Years. We follow a Carrie Bradshaw-esque Scarlet as she fends off suitors and pines after Mr. Wilkes, whose first name we don’t know. “As God as my witness, I will never go shoeless again!”
  3. Cheers. Except this time, Sam and Diane are vampires. The patrons are zombies. And occasionally, Buffy the Vampire stops by. “Where everybody knows your name, and occasionally tries to eat you!”

Those three things? Make about as much sense as turning the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into aliens. I don’t know if you’ve hit your head recently, but a concussion would explain this kind of decision. Perhaps you’re consumed by complete terror, after receiving a strongly worded demo song from Michael Bolton, in which he chronicles how you stole his hairstyle.

I don’t know what the deciding factor was, but quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. I just want you to stop ripping apart the things I loved from my childhood. You know what might be a good example of what TO do? The Muppet Movie. The Muppet Movie was an updated version of the Muppets that EVERYONE loved, without bastardizing it. It stayed true to the heart and spirit of the Muppets themselves. No one decided that Kermit the Frog should now be a parquet. No one tried to fry up Ms. Piggy in order to create more tension in the storyline. And no one decided that it might be cool if they turned the Muppets into aliens.

Please, Mr. Bay, STOP. It’s one thing to be innovative and fun. It’s another thing to figuratively shit on person’s childhood memories. Plus, that’s really not polite.

Enough is enough, sir. Put the CRAZY down, and back away from the turtles.


Alison, a child of the 80s

  1. Mank1nd87
    March 20, 2012 at 8:33 am

    thx for this letter! I’m agree with your opinion!

  2. March 20, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Yes! This x1,000,000!! I am appalled at this. Remakes should be outlawed, and Mr. Bay should be stripped of his director’s chair.

  3. March 20, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Can I +1m this?? This is highly upsetting! I feel the joy from my youth fading away….Taking a classic and butchering it.. shame on you, Mr. Bay!

  4. Liz
    April 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Can we send this to him? PLEASE?

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