LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Michael Bay thinks "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" fans need to chill.
The 47-year-old director-producer incited outrage among fans of the franchise when he announced at the Nickelodeon upfront presentation last week that the pizza-loving turtles would come from an "alien race" in a "Ninja Turtles" film he is producing.
Bay said in a statement posted on his site Monday that "fans need to take a breath and chill."
"Ninja Turtles" debuted as a comic book in 1984 before spawning a franchise that included toys, TV shows, films and video games. According to franchise lore, mysterious radioactive ooze transformed the turtles into a team of crime-fighting superheroes.
The new take on "Ninja Turtles" is set for release next year by Paramount Pictures under the Nickelodeon Movies label.