These Are Your New Ninja Turtles

Deadline is reporting that all four roles have now been cast for the Michael Bay-produced, Jonathan Liebesman-directed “TMNT” movie; which is once again moving ahead with no word on what they’ve done about the terrible screenplay that helped scuttled the project earlier. The four will join Megan Fox as April O’Neil, and apparently the notion that the turtles will be realized through motion-capture CGI is supposed to be news – I thought that was just assumed from the very beginning…

LEONARDO: Pete Ploszek; a virtual unknown fresh out of USC, only prior credits are TV guest spots.

DONATELLO: Jeremy Howard; onetime child-actor turned recurring TV mainstay. Has kind of a DJ Qualls thing going on, that plus the motion-capture leads me to believe we’ll be looking at the turtles being somehow “matched” to their actors design-wise (re: Donatello leaning heavy on the geek/nerd angle) rather than being near-identical save for their masks and weapons. Not sure if that sounds like a good idea or not – part of me feels like the guys being differentiated primarily on personality is why they were strong(ish) characters…

MICHAELANGELO: Noel Fisher; who played the blonde high-camp Romanian vampire “Vladimir” in the final “Twilight” movie (he’s the “Dat didn’t taaake maach!” guy in this clip.)

RAPHAEL: Alan Ritchson; fashion model turned actor, best known as the “Smallville” version of Aquaman.

I assume we’ll find out whether Liam Neeson or Morgan Freeman won the knife-fight over who gets to collect the quick paycheck for voicing Master Splinter (I have no idea if that actually happened, you just kind of have to assume they were among the first guys offered the part at this point.)

Beyond that, the rest of the casting should tell us how much (if anything) of the infamous earlier screenplay has survived: Casey Jones was a teenager in that version (and the lead role, think Sam Witwicky again,) Bebop, Rocksteady and Krang all featured and Shredder was an American paramilitary leader named Col. Schrader; so hearing the word “Shredder” or the casting of a Japanese actor would be indicators of substantial change (as would an adult or non-present Casey Jones). Would like to see B&R (and Krang) survive, though – pic will probably still be shit, but getting to check seeing those two in live-action off the “always wanted to see” list would be a solid consolation prize.

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