‘Ninja Turtles’ Casting: ‘Smallville’ Actor Alan Ritchson is Raphael

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 18th, 2014 at 9:56 am,

alan ritchson ninja turtles raphael Ninja Turtles Casting: Smallville Actor Alan Ritchson is Raphael

What a difference a year can make, right? It was just over 365 days ago (at the time of writing this) that Michael Bay dropped the figurative atomic bomb that his Platinum Dunes’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie reboot – which is releasing under the abbreviated title of Ninja Turtles – is changing those heroes in half-shells’ backstory to make them aliens from another world (and not Earth-based reptiles mutated by extraterrestrial-produced ooze).

Since then, following an (admittedly, pretty terrible) early script leaking and the casting of Megan Fox as April O’Neal, the general outlook among Turtle fans has only gotten worse. Furthermore, these developments have created a firm division between the TMNT comic book creators, between Kevin Eastman not wavering in his support for the project and Peter Laird expressing nothing but his skepticism about the whole thing.

Will today’s casting update help in turning the tide, or just speed up the avalanche? Deadline is reporting that Alan Ritchson has been cast as Raphael in Ninja Turtles, which is expected to bring the title characters to life through motion-capture - meaning that Ritchson is going to be wearing mo-cap gear, a la the cast of Avatar (or Andy Serkis in nearly every one of his roles over the past decade, including the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).

ninja turtles reboot villains Ninja Turtles Casting: Smallville Actor Alan Ritchson is Raphael

Ninja Turtles director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) is reported to be looking to the martial arts fights and close-quarter combat in films like The Raid: Redemption and The Avengers for inspiration, so it appears a smart move to cast someone with athletic abilities like Ritchson for a Turtle role.

On the other hand, the actor – who played Arthur Curry/Aquaman on Smallville, starred on the Blue Mountain State TV series and plays Gloss in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire later this year - just does not read as inspired casting for Raphael: the Turtle with the most complex personality, who risks seeming too broody or emo. Between casting Fox and Ritchson, it starts to make you wonder if maybe our April Fools story about Taylor Lautner playing Leonardo isn’t so far-fetched after all…

The mystery factor in all this is the story and screenplay from Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec, who co-scripted Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and co-created the short-lived Twin Peaks takeoff Happy Town, as well as the U.S. version of Life on Mars. Do they have something in store that’s going to restore the faith of older TMNT fans and win over a new generation – or is that too much to hope for?


Ninja Turtles opens in U.S. theaters on June 6th, 2014.


Source: Deadline

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  1. Ugh, I have a bad feeling about this. I thought that Ritchson’s acting was rather weak in Smallville, and I have my doubts about him playing Ralphael. My hopes for this film have been tested quite a bit; I did not enjoy the last two “Transformers” films, and I don’t find Megan Fox attractive or talented enough to play April. She really is a rather bland actor and I think they could have hired better eye candy.

    • Oh God, fix that spelling of his name…

    • As long as people keep watching my movies, then I’ll hire whoever I want. :)

      (Blows raspberry)

      (No, literally, with a small piece of C-4)

  2. Will he be doing the voice work as well?

    • I assume so.

  3. Fanboy rage in 3…..2…1 GO!!

  4. This film will suck.

  5. The mere fact that this is being directed by the same man who gave us “Wrath of the Titans” has already ruined any chance of this project being anything but an unmitigated failure.

  6. I don’t think Ritchson is a bad choice, enjoyed him in Smallville and might enjoy him in this movie.

  7. Why not get real martial artists to play the turtles?!?! Ray park comes to mind as Donatello. Imagine Darth Maul as Donatello.

    • +1

  8. Well I certainly find him more talented than Megan foxx hopefully the film won’t be terrible

  9. Motion Capture!?

  10. This movie looks worse with every update. Sounds like they just want a popcorn teen money machine.

    • And considering how young teens fall for any old crap (look at fans of Justin Bieber, 1 Direction, the Twilight series etc for proof), I can see this unfortunately making a lot of money and sequels being made to cash in.

      Today’s youngsters will wanna go see it because it’s aimed at them, people of my generation who grew up with the characters might check it out due to curiosity and the money will roll in.

      Personally, I know I’m gonna be staying away from it.

  11. Motion capture you say? *cough*nolan north for mikey*cough*

  12. Ninja Turtle Aliens? I think Micael Bay exposure on Transformers for too long has an effect on him. Same concept, same script, and Megan Fox.

  13. Sigh…I will still watch this just because I am a Ninja Turtles fan no matter what but I WON’T be paying to see it.

  14. Thad is AWESOME!

  15. uh…Pirate…

  16. Yes, Ray Park would be a much better casting choice. Heck he could play all four turtles.. er aliens.. and they’d dub him anyway cause he never gets to speak in anything he’s in anyway except for X-Men.

  17. this movie will suck

  18. It’s funny to me the TMNT fans are getting all riled up over stuff like changes to canon and casting decisions while ignoring more important issues about this movie, like whether or not Vanilla Ice makes a cameo appearance.

  19. Inspiration? More like stealing from Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Raid: Redemption & Marvel’s The Avengers with NO original ideas of Liebesman’s clueless head.

  20. I think he at least has the physique for the role on smallville I saw him in the aqua episode and I thought he made Tom welling look fat which I find crazy. I think he’s a fair choice for the role I’m glad they casted him and I look forward to seeing the new cast members join in to play the other three turtles I hope they get other actors that have a descent amount of range or higher range than Ritchson like I said before i like his casting buti don’t want them to get models for the movie which I feel like they did with Megan Fox. I am worried that with the foxx casting as apriloneil that the movie is more of bay’s movie than libesman’s but I keep reminding myself that I like Libesman’s better than bay hopefully it will feel like his movie in the end of the day. So I know plenty of you guys aren’t keen on the castng so far but of you were gonna cast the other three turtles who’d you get.

  21. If anyone is going to do anything with TMNT, why not just go back to the animated one released in 2007? It was totally asking for a sequel (whether anyone else was asking for one or not). There was that obvious hint that Shredder could return at the end. Can’t someone just pick it up from there?

  22. Atleast i’ll have the original TMNT film & the 2nd film to enjoy besides this.