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Random Thoughts: Villain Casting

It’s time for another Random Thoughts Voice Casting, and man did we go overboard. We started this series with the premise that we were casting the upcoming Mutants in Manhattan video game, but we’ve moved on to a full fledged tv series based on the IDW continuity. And if you’re going to have a long form series, you need a good roster of villains. So Bryan has extended his casting out to include some old and new favorites from the comic run. He’s got my seal of approval on all but one, but I don’t want to spoil it. Take it away Bryan:


Alright, round 4… selection D… whatever.  There was some super terrific response to this concept initiative launched last month so we figure why not keep going?  To regroup: Dan and I covered our essential 4 turtles, Splinter and April, and the villains Shredder, Beebop, and Rocksteady. Dan effectively freshly cast everyone based on contemporary voice actor merit, while I used our premise of voice casting the Mutants in Manhattan video game  as an excuse to assemble my dream team of prior TMNT portrayals… I.E. the voices I hear in my head when I read the IDW series which the game is obviously based upon.

To disclaim: I really cannot poo-poo upon anyone’s prior portrayal as I, as well as the majority of you I assume, are just die-hard TMNT fans and have some semblance of love for even the less savory endeavors (*cough* Holiday Special *cough* Next Mutation).  There are so many tremendous portrayals spanning the generations and it really is hard picking a true favorite. That being said, my choices are just the ones that stuck to my ribs for whatever reason; a mish-mash of pie-in-the-sky potentials.
However, in the next batch we will be covering some characters that have either NEVER been portrayed before in live-action/CGI, or RARELY realized off the page, or simply in need of a refresh due to the characterization within the IDW books.  Remember: the whole original concept that was in the back of my brain was “what if IDW made a new movie instead of Michael Bay”… so on that note, here we go again:
Koya – Katherine McPhee (American Idol, Scorpion)KOYA
A bird should be able to sing; this bird should also be a perfect combination of disciplined and unpredictably ruthless.  Plus that timbre she has.. the slight rasp… its sultry and authoritative all at the same time.

Bludgeon – Danny Trejo (Machete Kills, From Dusk til Dawn)BLUDG

Do I really need to explain this one?  Both are men of few words, both unstoppable forces of nature, both brutally bone chilling, but not without a redeeming level of monk-like tranquility.

Karai – Jamie Chung (Hangover{s}, Sin City)KARAI

Shredder’s Chunin is not a conventional choice, but isn’t that kind of the point of Karai? She is supposed to have a lot more under the hood than her outward appearance would suggest.  Granted, I believe she would need a severe amount of training to get up to speed, plus dial up the ‘ice-cold-bitch’ attitude, but this was a good start…

Kitsune – Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Tomorrow Never Dies)KITSUNE

I fell in love with her in TND, and while she wouldn’t really need to fight in character (…yet), her intensity yet motherly qualities would make her a strong candidate for this role.  Not to mention her strength in bilingual dialogue and age-appropriateness to Ken Watanabe work well… plus the deepness of her voice gives her a really mysterious quality.

Hun – Tom Jane


Hun runs the streets, similar (yet very differently) to how the Punisher does.  Yet the character isn’t without (albeit misguided) sympathy.  Tom Jane deserves a good comic-book role, he’s proven he has the chops  (it wasn’t his fault that the first Punisher wasn’t fantastic), however this little follow up proved his fortitude at least to me:

Rock soldiers, General Granitor & Captain Traag
Kevin Michael Richardson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers Prime)
Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Legends of the Hidden Temple)ROCK SOLDIERSTwo veteran voice actors playing two dominating and intimidating characters LONG overlooked in the TMNT realm.  Kraang’s true right-hand men, one portrayed by the man currently responsible for the Shredder animated legacy and the other the voice of A GIANT STONE WARRIOR.  Fate.

Rat King – Troy Baker (Uncharted, Bioshock, Arkham City)

The only man who could uphold the Mark Hammil Joker legacy, and a hard character to truly place in the mythos.  The sinistry of the Rat-King would translate well via Troy Baker’s daunting versatility.

Baxter Stockman – Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Do the Right Thing)STOCKMANThe man exudes poise and proper etiquette.  It would not be hard to imagine Stockman’s pretentious conniving words passing through Gustav’s lips.

Krang – Jim CummingsKRANGBelieve it or not, his portrayal of Winnie the Pooh was NOT my motivation for the choice, rather his bone-chillingly bi-polar take on Dr. Robotnik. A little warp and phasing effects to translate it through the android body and I think we have a truly frightening and memorable Krang that doesn’t drift toward the sillier ‘exorcized warlord’ territory.

BONUS: Frank Welker as Quanin (Krang’s father) and Pat Fraley (OG Krang) shows up as supporting Utrom voices.

Null – Rose McGowanNULL

Now originally I was imagining Null being portrayed by Clancy Brown because of his Lex Luthor on Superman The Animated Series, however when I first imagined this list it was during the debut of The Mutanimals micro-series (just as Null is being teased in shadow).  Learning that Null in this book was female took me a different direction.  Her body language and look hinged the bulk of this casting, however this was also a factor:


Those are some impressive choices, right? Like I teased at the beginning, I have one exception to this list. Tom Jane as Hun. It’s not that I think he’d be bad, I just have the ultimate choice for TMNTs resident crazed strongman:


That’s right. Henry Rollins. The punk renaissance man is perfect for Hun. He’s visceral and aggressive. His quiet and tempered voice is scarier than his full volume scream. He can ooze menace but could totally find the core of Hun’s twisted sense of loyalty and family. His physicality is perfect. Plus it gives me the opportunity to post a clip of his work as Mad Stan from Batman Beyond and that’s just awesome.

There you have it. Another installment of voice casting from Bryan and myself. All of this talk of voices has been a lot of fun, especially with such a special episode of TMNT coming up this Sunday. It’s awesome that we’ll get the chance to hear the original voices reunite again. Plus, with another episode dependent on dimension hopping, it might inspire some more Random Thoughts! We’ll have to wait and see!


The Author

Dan Spitaliere

Dan Spitaliere

Dan Spitaliere is a sound designer and engineer, voice over artist, and a lifelong shellhead. He grew up on a healthy diet of Turtles movies, comics, cartoons, and toys, and can recite the first movie in its entirety from memory. He is excited to be a part of such a great team in the middle of this current Turtle Renaissance!

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