The ball is finally rolling on the set of the new Ninja Turtles movie, as major casting choices are finally being revealed. About a month ago, we received the news that Megan Fox would be playing April O’Neil in the film, but it wasn’t until this week that we got more information about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themselves. Despite a cast listing being offered for the project on IMDb late last year, it would appear that those were only rumors, as the filmmakers have chosen quite a different group of actors for the roles of these beloved brothers. The new cast is definitely interesting, but also rather questionable, considering just how little experience some of these performers seem to have.
Oh, who are these actors, you may be wondering? Well, a few days ago, Deadline let the cat out of the bag when they announced that Alan Ritchson would play Raphael, Pete Ploszek will play Leonardo, Jeremy Howard is set to play Donatello and Noel Fisher has been given the role of Michelangelo. Chances are that none of these names are easily recognizable for most of you fans, but some will be more noticeable than others. While Pete Ploszek doesn’t have much credit to his name, someone like Jeremy Howard is notable for roles in geeky films like Galaxy Quest and Men in Black II. In other words, these might seem like odd choices at first, but in reality they’re probably pretty good for the characters they are playing. With the nerdy guy playing Donatello and the buff guy playing Raphael, I’m fairly sure they’ve got the right idea with these guys.
Regardless of their experience, these casting choices highlight the fact that our heroes in a half shell are going to be portrayed mostly via CGI. All indications seem to suggest that they are going for more of a Motion Capture style of animation, in the vein of Avatar or Rise of the Planet of the Apes. These actors will be wearing motion capture suits and performing the role of the TMNT, but as of yet we don’t know whether or not they will also be voicing said characters. Considering that the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie featured both the men in the turtle suits and separate voices for each individual turtle as well, we could be looking at something fairly similar for this film. That being said, some reports indicate that they will be playing the voices, but others do not.
Alongside the news of casting choices this week, we also received reports that the new film is actually shooting on location at a closed down ski resort in the Adirondack mountains. This might seem like an odd choice of location to shoot a film about a bunch of mutated turtles from the city, but apparently the resort is being used mostly for the parking lot. Mayor of Tupper Lake (the jurisdiction of the ski resort) had the following to say about the film:
“They are going to film part of the movie here then more in New York City…They are filming action scenes: two in the parking lot and one on the mountain. Their people (Paramount) will be here filming through the end of March.”
In other words, there’s no need to get worried that we’re going to get some random scenes of the Ninja Turtles skiing down a mountain while fighting crime. If they’re truly filming three scenes there and the rest in New York City, chances are we’re going to be just fine. Who knows why they chose to shoot at a closed down ski resort? It’s not as if the entirety of the original TMNT movie was shot in the city, either. Regardless of how you choose to look at it, none of this is really bad news. Still, we would like to hear back from the fans and get their perspective. What do you think? Is this movie going to be totally radical? Or are we about to be shell shocked? Let us know in the comments below.