March 21, 2012 6:18am PT by Jordan Zakarin
Michael Bay Gets Ninja Turtles Alien Origin Backing From Original Leonardo
Just like in the beloved original films and comics, there is some dischord within the ranks of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Following Michael Bay's announcement last weekend that seemed to indicate that his reboot of the iconic series would change the origin of the heroes in a half shell from toxic ooze-induced mutation to birth on an alien planet, media outlets and a few select fans raged at the proposition; Robbie Rist, who voiced Michelangelo in the original movies, went as far as penning a letter to Bay accusing him of "sodomizing" the franchise.
Now, speaking out on the director's behalf is Brian Tochi, the actor who voiced Leonardo, the blue-masked leader of the Turtles. Reached by TMZ, the voice actor said, "If Michael Bay wants to do a different take on the turtles origin story ... mazel tov!"
It's the latest round in damage control over the bizarre saga. On Tuesday, Bay penned his own note to fans, assuring them that they need not worry about his stewardship of the pizza-loving reptilian crime fighters.
"Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script," he wrote. "Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex backstory. Relax, we are including everything that made you become fans in the first place. We are just building a richer world."
Half a week's worth of furor all comes from a seemingly inocuous presentation at the Nickelodeon upfront event, where Bay said, "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."