What do you get when you take the mutant out of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?”  That would be Michael Bay’s upcoming live-action movie adaptation of the popular pizza-loving crimefighters.

Here’s how the explosion-happy director of the ‘Transformers’ films explained the TMNT reboot, set for December 2013 release, at the Nickelodeon upfronts last week.

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.”

Once the internet caught wind of Bay’s plan to turn the heroes-in-a-half-shell from mutants to aliens, blogs and the Twittersphere exploded in condemnation. ‘Michael Bay should remake ‘Aliens’ so the Aliens are Aliens,’ read a tweet from rstevens, which summed up the outrage

Bay responded on his official forum Monday, and told everybody to relax.

Fans need to take a breath, and chill,” he wrote. They have not read the script. 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.”

Notice he stills leaves “mutant” out of the Ninja Turtle formulation. So are you buying Leonardo and the gang as extraterrestrials rather than victims of nuclear waste? Or will Bay have a “shell” of a time selling this new Turtles concept to fans?