Home Blog Peter Laird Isn’t Entirely Pleased With TMNT Movie

Peter Laird Isn’t Entirely Pleased With TMNT Movie

by Justin W


Although we just heard Kevin Eastman re-assuring us that Michael Bay and Jonathan Liebesman's new TMNT movie was alright, it would appear that his friend and co-creator isn't too happy with what he has seen. To be fair, this is nothing new, as Laird and Eastman have frequently had disagreements about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the past. In other words, it shouldn't come as a shock that one of the creators of the Ninja Turtles is pleased but the other is not so happy. That being said, some of the concerns voiced by Laird are similar to the concerns voiced by many fans of the franchise.
In an interview with ComicBookMovie.com, Laird had the following to say anout the design of the turtles in the new movie:
“It may just be a personal preference of mine — and one informed by twenty-five years with the Turtles as co-creator working on those green dudes — but the extra "stuff" added to the Turtles' outfits just seems extraneous to me, and a bit silly in spots (I mean, thin bamboo armor for a Turtle's shell?). Maybe it will work, but right now, I don't see it. I prefer the simpler versions.”


Yup, Peter Laird just referenced his 25 years of experience with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when calling out the design of the new turtles. Like many fans, he believes the added flair is unnecessary and doesn't really add anything to their design. In addition, he went on to discuss some of the fan made changes revealed via Reddit, which gave the turtles back their characteristic beak:


“It's interesting, and well done, and I think it points up one of the big problems (for me, anyway) with the new look created for the upcoming movie — with those noses and very expressive lips, their faces look too human. Perhaps it is just my own personal preference, but the "noseless beak" look for the Turtles which Kevin and I used in all of our comics, and in pretty much all of the licensed material during the Mirage days (and which was really there from the very beginning, when Kevin drew that first "ninja turtle") is, in my opinion, a great way to immediately show that these guys are not human — they're mutated reptiles. Creatures.


Of course, I could be wrong about the new design — maybe in the context of the movie, it will work fine. From what I have seen so far, it is an excellent example of state-of-the-art character CGI. Perhaps it will become more popular than the noseless style which was used for the first twenty-five years. I guess we'll have to wait and see.”


While he ultimately comes to the conclusion that we should wait and see what comes of these design changes, it's pretty clear that he feels some of these changes simply aren't necessary. He once again returns to the turtles origin for inspiration, stating that they have always looked a certain way and it doesn't necessarily make sense to change that. Laird is ultimately supportive of the film, as he stated earlier in the interview when asked about the involvement of April's father and the possible origin change in the film:


“I can't quite fathom your reasoning here. What does one have to do with the other? Why couldn't April be an investigative reporter while at the same time her father is colluding with the Shredder? I don't see these elements as being mutually exclusive.


That being said, I am not sure there is enough revealed so far to allow a conclusive judgement on what connection, exactly, there is between what the Shredder (with or without the involvement of April's father) is doing and how the Turtles became mutated. Something is suggested, but it is not entirely clear what.


I do have to say that my gut reaction to having what MIGHT be such a close connection between April and her father and the Shredder and the Turtles's origin is that I am not crazy about it. However, I am open to being surprised by a plot which makes that odd (to me) twist make sense. I guess we'll see if it does when the movie opens.”

Laird also went on to talk about The Shredder's involvement with the creation of the turtles. It's clear that he's not necessarily happy with what he's seen so far, but he's still hopeful foir the best:


“I think you are perhaps making some unwarranted assumptions about what the Shredder is doing, because the very brief snippets of dialogue released so far do not — to me, at least — necessarily lead to that conclusion. For one thing, is it the "civilian identity" of the Shredder (in our comics, and in the animated 2003 series, for example, that "civilian identity" would be Oroku Saki — I don't know what he is called in this new movie) speaking to April… or is it the "evil ninja clan leader identity"? Depending on which one it is, the meaning of his words could take on quite a different nature. Is he lying, or telling the truth?”

He makes an excellent point here, as we really don't know what The Shredder's motivation is in the scene we have seen in the trailer. He is known for being a lying, manipulative and downright evil character, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he could be lying about creating the turtles, as he did in the original series when he told the turtles themselves that he had intentionally created them. Of course, the Ninja Turtles didn't buy that story then, so maybe we shouldn't buy it now.

In the end, Laird made one statement which perfectly reflects the possible issues of an origin change such as this:

“I have always found that accidental, somewhat random series of events culminating in the creation of the TMNT to be a significant part of the charm of the story. Somehow, retconning it to make their origin the result of deliberate action seems like a mistake. However, perhaps the writers have found a clever way to make this seems more palatable. We'll have to watch the movie to find out.”

Even in this case, the co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had to admit that he didn't know enough to say for sure whether the possible change would be a good thing or a bad thing. He remains hopeful that the writers found a way to make it work, if in fact that is what the trailer revealed. However, he is also concerned about a change from an accidental creation story to an intentional one, as are many Shellheads out there.

Laird's final comment was once again focusing on the new design of the turtles, offering a stern warning and a reminder of what could have been possible had the creators of TMNT signed off on it so long ago:

“When I watched that trailer for the first time, and came to that bit near the end where Michelangelo takes off his bandana, revealing his full face to April, complete with human-looking nose, I immediately flashed back to the early days, back in 1984 or 1985 when we were living in Sharon, CT and just beginning to take steps into the world of licensing the TMNT. It was during that time that we received a letter from a small movie company — I think it was New World — offering us a deal to do a live-action TMNT movie, wherein they suggested that the way to go was to choose some (at that point in time) "hot" young comedians, dress them up in Turtle costumes, but leave their faces bare… except for a layer of green paint, so their zany comic expressions could be easily visible.


As you probably know, we turned that one down. Remember, this was well before the first animated TMNT series was  even a glimmer in anyone's eye. It's intriguing to contemplate what the history of the TMNT might have been had we accepted that first live-action movie offer.”

What do you think? Is Laird right to be concerned about the new movie? Whether you agree or not, feel free to sound off in our forums or in the comments below.

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Billy Bob Throrton April 11, 2014 - 2:13 pm

“in the original series when he told the turtles themselves that he had
intentionally created them. Of course, the Ninja Turtles didn’t buy that
story then, so maybe we shouldn’t buy it now.”

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? That never happened. He dumped mutagen onto Hamato Yoshi with the intention of hurting him,and INADVERTENTLY created the turtles,he never once claimed what you’re saying.

Jarrod84 April 12, 2014 - 1:23 am

Yeah, I don’t know, I thought the reason the turtles took on a human form in the cartoon was because they came in contact with splinter in his human form, and I assumed in the original movies it was from the shop owners or whoever touched them last, and in the comics I assumed some of Daredevils DNA got in with the mix seeing as it was supposed to be the same canister, but yeah I thought it was a good mix between human and turtle. The lips were hard for me to accept at first and it’s been mentioned that they have a hyper-grotesque aesthetic to them which I thought fit mutant turtles quite well rather than the cute-ish muppet look. You gotta give Laird props for adding to the original idea, but pretty much every turtle franchise he’s been majorly involved in has failed, because they aren’t that great. The Fox series was probably his best attempt and it was probably because there was a team involved, but even that missed a bunch of opportunities. Utrom Shredder was lame, there wasn’t much depth to the characters, and I felt initially it lacked the action and sci fi elements I remembered from the original cartoon and comics, it might have gained it later on but I’d stopped watching by then.

Also has anyone else noticed it looks like there’s someone in the shredder suit? Maybe Shradder or whatever his name is created the foot and Shredder to be the heroes, and the turtles are still an accidental byproduct. Knowing Bay and his use of USA governments flaws as an undertone, maybe this is supposed to mirror how the states pretty much funded and armed Al qaeda. The elements I’m excited to see haven’t really been seen yet, like yoda size splinter, or if there’s any krang or dimension x, are they gonna have other mutants to battle, are those actually foot soldiers or maybe krang droids or people being mind controlled by them. My reasoning behind this which I know is probably wrong is when the “foot?” are getting tossed around in the subway it seems like the one thrown against the wall has either some red light or something on her face. The other reason being the foot was essentially a boys club, and the only time we really saw females as enemies was in the purple dragons, and usually they side with the turtles. And this is way out there, but when Shradder is talking to april there is some kind of building on the mural behind them that looks like the old krang body, so I though maybe the Krang body is a building in this. I assume the best and hope the lame duck story line everyone is assuming isn’t what it turns out to be.

One missed opportunity I feel the turtles have missed is the Krang origin. There was a hypothesis of what a living creature would be like from Jupiter back in the 50’s or something before we started sending out satellites. Scientists concluded that the most likely creature living on Jupiter would be bodiless brains floating around in the atmosphere, because gravity would be too much on a body. And I could totally see Krang getting his attitude from being a sociopath in this environment. Also in the old cartoon, I was always led to believe Krang had a previous body and when they transported him to earths dimension they gave him the brain one, and I always wondered if initially he was a rock soldier or what. But yeah I’m looking forward to the first blockbuster budget Ninja Turtles movie. It wasn’t that long ago that I thought the franchise was dead, and all that was left were nostalgic memories of how cool they were.

Also the add-ons to the turtle design (Sorry for writing an essay) I’m for it. If you were a turtle would you be running around bare ass in the sewers with no foot protection? Laird to me seems like if he had a twin, they’d be the type that dressed the same, but the turtles all have very distinct personalities that I feel are reflected in the add-ons. They might have went a little overboard with Don, but common Laird would you want your shell scratched up from battle? Raph probably wouldn’t care but Leo’s the anal leader, and in my point of view a perfectionist so yeah, Leo just doesn’t want his shell messed up.

I don’t know I still admire laird for making millions upon millions for a coffee table sketch, but yeah I think he lost sight of what the turtles are supposed to be back when they made the Next Mutation, then Teenage Mutant Super Turtles I think it was called. Totally missed the point of why the turtles rocked in the first place. Everyone was ragging on Nickelodeons designs at first too, and it revitalized the franchise along with IDW’s comics, so I’m putting my faith in them and I hope they don’t prove me wrong.

Billy Bob Throrton April 13, 2014 - 3:34 pm

comment:the novel

Serena Bergstrom April 13, 2014 - 6:26 am

glad to hear Splinter and Shredder are in it like the peter laird guy said what makes so powerful is the origin story being a random series of accidents!

Serena Bergstrom April 13, 2014 - 6:27 am

But depending on movie fee I might see just to either say I was wrong or that it was total shit!

Serena Bergstrom April 13, 2014 - 6:28 am

I’m still pushing to find the 80’s and 2003’s on DVD in local stores which is much harder!

Serena Bergstrom April 13, 2014 - 6:29 am

I have the complete season 5 3 disc set which was not supposed to be on a shelf but it was so I bought it bit pricey!

tvmoviestuff April 15, 2014 - 9:24 am

That’s awesome @serenabergstrom:disqus

Mervee4 April 13, 2014 - 6:33 pm

Just checking, when is Peter Laird ever pleased, unless he’s looking at nature on a motorcycle or Segway of some kind?

tvmoviestuff April 15, 2014 - 9:23 am

Laird is entitled to his own opinions but he not giving himself a chance to be optimistic.

Billy Bob Throrton April 13, 2014 - 11:29 pm

o on the ball webmasters,the first tv spot for Bay Turtles is online.There’s new footage,it’s the first that looks good.

Sammy Lane June 28, 2014 - 2:51 pm

I am still not convinced into seeing this tripe.No sir,thank you!

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