We haven’t written much about the upcoming reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles here, mostly because there’s been so much misinformation out there that we’ve been waiting until the film got closer so we could print things that are actually factual, instead of just posting wild speculation or dumb paparazzi set photos. Now that we’ve seen the first trailer (which you can check out again at the bottom of this article) and the movie is about to gear up for its marketing push, the picture has straightened out a bit and some new information has come to light.
Deadline reports that Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shalhoub will be providing the voices of Leonardo and Splinter, respectively. We knew actor Pete Ploszek was playing Leonardo and “Seinfeld” alum Danny Woodburn would be Splinter, but with this recent casting it’s now certain that those guys were just providing the physical movements for the characters in motion capture suits and the audience won’t be hearing them. (The way Deadline makes out the story, the actors knew this may happen from the start and were only promised the ability to provide the physical performance.)
In the decision to choose Knoxville as Leonardo, I’m slightly surprised Paramount didn’t go with someone a bit more dramatic, since Leo has always been the serious leader of the group and more of the straight man compared with the antics of Michelangelo, the brainy Donatello, and the brooding Raphael. Shalhoub makes a certain amount of sense from a business standpoint – he and producer Michael Bay worked together recently on Pain & Gain – but he doesn’t make a ton of sense when it comes to the standard TMNT mythology. Then again, this production has already thrown out some of the classic history and rewritten things to the point where Shredder teams with April O’Neil’s (Megan Fox) father to create of the Turtles, so we’re basically in uncharted territory here anyway.
What do you think? Do you like the additions to the cast, or would you have rather heard what the other actors could have done with the roles?
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