The news that Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and director Jonathan Liebesman – who previously collaborated on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning – are rebooting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie franchise would have been divisive enough on its own, without the changes to the
Turtles aliens’ backstory, shortened Ninja Turtles title and having Transformers actress Megan Fox cast as April O’Neal. However, the fact of the matter is, well… that’s where everything stands.
Ninja Turtles hasn’t finished casting yet, but the roles of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael have all been filled by lesser-known actors at this point (for better or worse). We have an update that reveals Will Arnett has now boarded this Turtles train, but the fan-favorite funnyman’s role in the proceedings remains a mystery.
Arnett is known (and widely loved) for his comedic performance style on TV shows like Arrested Development and Running Wilde, in addition to his appearances on 30 Rock and Up All Night. THR is reporting that he will NOT be playing the Turtles’ human comrade Casey Jones, who – as those who’ve been following this (doomed? Unfairly dismissed?) project in the making might recall - had been re-imagined as a high schooler and April’s under-achieving boyfriend in an early Ninja Turtles script draft that leaked online.
Could it be that Arnett is, instead, playing some comic relief character invented specifically for this reboot, someone from either the Turtles comics and/or cartoon series – or a more serious individual altogether?
While Arnett is famous for his goofy human roles, he’s also a voice actor specialist whose resume includes roles in CGI-animated features like Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ratatouille, Horton Hears a Who!, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Despicable Me - as well as the TV shows like King of the Hill and The Cleveland Show - and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (the video game, of course).
Point being, he seems like a prime candidate for a Ninja Turtles role that requires expressive vocal mannerisms, be it the Turtles’ giant rat sensei and adapted father Splinter or another non-human character rumored to appear in the reboot (villains like Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady were supposedly included in an early script draft).
Heck, maybe Arnett is lending his voice to this movie’s version of The Shredder, who will be embodied by a more physically-intimidating actor (a la Ray Park being dubbed as Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace). Truth be told, that’s not a terrible idea, when you bear in mind that Arnett’s probably doing a similar gravelly voice as Lego Batman in The Lego Movie.
Which character do YOU hope Arnett is playing in Ninja Turtles? Let us know in the comments!
Ninja Turtles flies into theaters on June 6th, 2014.