William Fichtner Is Playing Shredder in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Reboot

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 24th, 2013 at 5:00 pm,

William Fichtner Shredder William Fichtner Is Playing Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot

Veteran character actor William Fichtner is famous for playing bad guys. He’s well-known for his extended cameo as a crooked banker and early victim of The Joker in The Dark Knight (a role that echoed his very similar performance in Michael Mann’s Heat) and will be taking on the role the main antagonist in this summer’s The Lone Ranger.

Well, now he can add “The Ninja Turtles’ arch-nemesis” to his resume.

In an interview with Huffpost TV Canada focusing on his upcoming lead role on NBC’s cop drama Crossing Lines, Fichtner confirmed that he’ll be playing the pivotal role of Shredder, the main bad guy in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.

After a good amount of casting speculation, the only hard evidence as to what Fichtner’s part entailed was that he was a lead with “iconic stature in the Turtles’ mythology.” Further reports refuted that statement and claimed that the actor would actually be portraying “Dr. Baxter Stockman, the evil scientist who creates “Mousers,” little robots designed to kill sewer rats. He also transforms into a large, humanoid fly-creature after an incident he had with a transporter device.”

Not so, apparently.

the shredder by tamplierpainter d3klut9 William Fichtner Is Playing Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot

William Fichtner has personally let slip confirmed that he will be taking on the iconic role of the Ninja Turtles’ badass main adversary, the leader of the deadly Foot Clan, Master Shredder himself. When asked about the reboot, Fichtner said:

“I play Shredder. It’s cool. It’s one of those things that came along where I thought, ‘Really? Let me think about this for a minute.’ [Laughs] Then I was like, ‘Yeah, OK, this sounds like a journey.’ I’m very glad that it worked out, I’m really glad that I’m doing it.”

We knew Megan Fox would be playing April O’Neil, we knew Arrested Development‘s Will Arnett had been cast as her cameraman, and we knew Whoopi Goldberg would probably be playing April’s boss… but until now, details on just who would portray the Ninja Turtles’ most famous villain have been under wraps.

And what of the reports that the Turtles’ new story would highlight the more sci-fi aspects of the canon? Unconfirmed – and long-since rejected – versions of the script apparently featured Krang, the Technodrome and Bebop and Rocksteady from the cartoon, but it looks like most of those elements won’t be included in the final product.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Eastman Laird William Fichtner Is Playing Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot

Hardcore fans know that in the very first comic book appearance of the Ninja Turtles (a far darker version than the kid-friendly cartoon series which has become the touchstone for modern audiences), Shredder was simply killed at the end of the story, rather than temporarily vanquished. Can we expect something similar in the reboot?

At this point, it’s anyone’s guess what’s in store for this new incarnation of everyone’s favorite heroes in a half shell (turtle power!) – though we wouldn’t be surprised if it was a cross-section of different elements from the beloved animated series, the live-action movie series, and the comic book series.

What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Are you happy with the choice to cast William Fichtner as Shredder? Let us know in the comments.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hits theaters June 6th, 2014.

Source: Huffpost TV Canada

Shredder Header by Tamplier Painter @ DeviantArt

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  1. I’m pretty sure Michael bay isn’t directing this film

  2. I like the choice for Shredder, but Ken Wantanbe would of been a better choice. Also Fichner could of played another villain (the voice of the Krang) and Baxter Stockman should be played by Terrence Howard.

    • Uh, hey guys i’m not sure if everyone knows this; but Shredder is Japanese and the leader of a secret ninja organization known as the foot that has derived from Ancient Japan. He also knows how to fight.

      Sorry don’t like Shredder in this one.

      Will Arnett as Vernon though, now that i can see

  3. Fitchner is a REALLY good actor, people shouldn’t be unhappy with having him onboard. He actually might be the lone reason for giving this movie a chance.

    Plus, haven’t enough people complained that foreign villains are vicious stereotypes geared towards other countries? Maybe it’s better to just go with an American as a villain to avoid backlash from other countries. It’s not like this film is going to be the last shred of TMNT in existence, you can always fall back and venture into the past.

  4. Is he gonna be CGi Shedder? lol. OH Man.


  6. I guess Asians aren’t allowed to be villains anymore.

    But, at least this guy IS a good actor (as opposed to Megan Fox as April). This helps, but I’m still not convinced this movie won’t suck.

  7. If he is Shredder, then he will be wearing a mask and all you will see is his eyes. If they stick to the cartoon then we will never see him without that mask. If they do his origin backstory, then there is no reason they can’t have a younger Asian play a younger Saki with Fichtner’s voice dubbed over. Remember Kevin Nash as Super Shredder? No one backlashed over that. People are only griping because they know about it in advance.

    • Chances are he was not cast for his eyes and voice (which isn’t very sinister or intimidating, by the way).

    • That is only because you couldn’t see much of the “Super Shredder”, so it didn’t matter who got that part. If we had seen his face, it would have been covered up in makeup, so the ethnic origin not so important. “Super Shredder” was a dumb idea anyways.

  8. Part 1:Everything Wrong With This Movie

    -Michael Bay

    Part Two:How to fix this movie

    Step 1)Michael Bay-He needs to stop working on this immediately and get the f*ck out of the movie industry, go make some horrible plays

    Step 2)Megan Fox-Horrendous actress, all she is is eye-candy. Run her out of Hollywood also

    Step 3)Burn the script, destroy any and all things that create proof of this movie’s existence

    Step 4)Give the project to someone else, maybe Guillermo Del Toro (giant nerd) or Joss Whedon (also giant nerd)

    Step 5)Cast some good actors/actresses

    Step 6)Release film

    Step 7)Make money

    Step 8)Rub it in Michael Bay’s face

    • Agreed!

    • Del Toro would rock this movie if he were making it. He would give great imagery, and awesome tone, and a hell of a story. But I honestly wish they weren’t even going to make a reboot of this movie. Not until they find someone that really cares about making a good movie.

    • Don’t be so stupid they’re already filming and the script has already been green lit by Kevin Eastman himself and paramount I think its paramount anyways its too late now . Now you just have to wait and see if it makes any money at all but I have a feeling it will because people are especially this generation anything that has eye candy in it is gonna go see it and say wow that was amazing when people from our generation are gonna be thinking thank you for raping my childhood… I see this being another street fighter legend of chun li movie just because it was all modern in that movie just like transformers it was all modern my gf even refuses to watch a Micheal bay movie because of transformers …. Bay hasn’t had a good movie since the 90′s… But I see this movie being a TMNT movie that takes place in modern day with the shredder looking like a mob boos and not dressed in his attire . But until I see a trailer or even pics of william wearing the shredder suit and I’m talking legit my mind won’t be changed just be prepared for another disappointment film from Bay :(

  9. It definitely looks like this movie will be a deep, life-changing experience which is built on story. So much emphasis on great writing and the conflict of the characters in this insane world. Are they saviors, or are they symptoms of a world gone mad?

    Pssht, what am I saying? It’s a Michael Bay Ninja Turtles flick. It’s like Michael Bluth saying, “Well I don’t know what I expected…”

      • Cuts both ways. They could underestimate the source material and not even try to make a good movie, and diverge too greatly from it (and worse, end up keeping it that way).

        They could also get ahead of themselves and try to make a child’s plaything into a heady, convoluted mess. (The directors of Super Mario Bros wanted this big, heavy handed plot about evolution and such, which is way way waaay off base from anything prior or even since about Mario Bros.)

      • My sarcasm is mostly due to Bay, not the Ninja Turtles. It isn’t Shakespeare, and it’s intentionally ridiculous, but so what? Bay, on the other hand, is summed up really well in that one scene in Idiocracy, where Dax Shepherd’s character’s car gets shot and blown up by police and a mob comes by to cheer it on, including Dax.

  10. The best thing to do is to avoid the movie like it is a plague. Everyone here who is old enough to remember bay from the mid 90′s knows that he feels joy in trashing all the characters you love and does not care about what the fans think. He is not only one, i love mavel but that debacle with mandarin and the movie not having a meaningful post credits scene or setting up rest of phase
    three arc prevented it from reaching greater heights domestically. Turtles is even in worse shape
    with more whitewashing.

  11. Great choice.

  12. Of course Fichtner is a good actor, but he’s white. Race-swapping isn’t always a bad thing, but this is one of those cases where it’s actually relevant to the plot.

  13. I didn’t object this strongly when they made Ben Kingsley the Mandarin, but in my opinion they handled that well. Bay cuts action scenes like nobody’s business, but I can’t say that I trust him with anything deeper than that.

    • No problem with ben kingsley being the mandarin since he really is asian ( not chinese though)
      but the mandarin being a punk actor and playing second fiddle to a b marvel comic book
      Character in aldrich killian who kept screaming at audience that he was then real mandarin
      Was one of the most ridiculous blunders in cinema history.

      • You say blunder, I say genius plot twist.

        Then again, it seems that only those with intelligence appreciate such things rather than being spoonfed everything via sloppy storytelling like in movies like The Hangover or whatever is popular with the dumbasses of society.

        • Dazz, I agree with you. It was a great plot twist and Ben Kingsley was hilarious (aka it was handled very well). I did not really care for the fact that they made him seem middle eastern as it would make it seem like an American propoganda film a la Zero Dark Thirty. Therefore, I welcomed the plot twist with open arms. I recommend you watch “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and compare it to Iron Man 3. It is directed by Shane Black and stars RDJ.

        • Only people that say it was a genius plot twist are those that dont know
          Source material. How many nolan freaks would have lost their mind had the joker
          been a real clown acting like he was a bad guy…..

    • “Handled it well”??! They turned Manderin into a useless idiot. And that is a HUGE understatement. I hope they do not handle Shredder like that. The Shredder from the 90′s movies was awesome. I can see them making him a lowlife thug, getting involved in stuff that is way over his head to get the “Turtle soup” at any costs.

      • A better idea would have been to made Fichtner’s character Agent Bishop from the TMNT 2003 series and then bring the Shredder in for the sequel.

  14. Why can’t Fichtner’s Shredder be born of a Japanese woman and an American man?

    He could still be named Schrader as his father’s name but born on a US air base in Japan, raised in that country by his mother after his father died and still technically claim himself as Japanese while holding a dual passport.

    Honestly, a lot of people here seem to forego logical thought to think of the obvious solution as I have just now and prefer to bemoan ethnicity without thinking it through.

    I have no idea what the film’s script looks like or what ideas they have but if I could come up with an explanation off the top of my head that makes sense of this casting choice then why couldn’t others?

    • For one, your solution is not obvious, nor logical, it is actually quite contrived and convoluted. It is also probably not the explanation that the filmmakers will use to explain the divergence from the source material.

      • It’s both and you’re in denial.

        I’m guessing you’re not familiar with military brats and children born on bases after a member of the armed forces meets and procreates with a local they fall in love with? Otherwise, how else would you explain a white man playing a traditionally Japanese character without ignoring his ethnicity?

        Can’t think of an explanation? Thought so.

        It works. It’s a logical solution. Otherwise, we’d have to go The Last Samurai and have him as a military man who fell in love with Japanese culture and fashioned himself after samurai warriors, which would be contrived and kinda stupid.

        Unless I’m trying to make my point to an obvious troll/stupid person. In which case, enjoy the movie, reprobate. Continue your mindless and pointless existence as another sheep with no sense of intelligent thinking to even dare think my idea and supposition is contrived or convoluted. Would you rather I’d joined in the bashing and hatred of this casting choice instead of finding a way of making it work until we know for sure what the film-makers have chosen to do?

        I’d pity you if I could be bothered.

        • First of all guy, calm down and stop throwing insults to my intelligence around. The reason I responded to your original post in the first place is because it came off as arrogant and self congratulating (“a lot of people here seem to forego logical thought to think of the obvious solution as I have just now; but if I could come up with an explanation off the top of my head that makes sense of this casting choice then why couldn’t others?”). And your response to my comment is even more audacious and grandiose than the first (Continue your mindless and pointless existence as another sheep with no sense of intelligent thinking to even dare think my idea and supposition is contrived or convoluted). Haha, really? How DARE I. HERESY! Newsflash, you are going to find some people with differing opinions in a public forum.
          I mean, seriously, your congratulating yourself for coming up with the correct explanation when you don’t even know what the hell is going on in this movie.

        • Another sheep of intelligent thinking? It’s Ninja Turtles as done by Michael Bay. The movie might go with your explanation or not, we don’t know. Why are you being pretentious about it?

    • Ok, obviously, you don’t understand Japanese culture at all, especially ancient martial arts cultures. They would never mate outside of their race, and a true Japanese would never train anyone outside of their family or trusted circle (and even then, that person who did get lucky enough to get trained, might only be trained enough to be a punching bag). No matter how evil the Japanese Warrior, he still had his own twisted sense of honor.

    • They’re changing Oroku Saki to Erik Saks. This pisses me off to no end.

  15. That`s gonna be weird

  16. I would’ve rather seen him play Baxter Stockman. I really hope this isn’t gonna be another attempt to make a classic comic book/tv show into a more grounded and realistic tone, I mean they’re giant talking turtles who know ninjitsu. So bring on Kang, Bebop, and Rocksteady

  17. Michael Bay is typical filmmaker of old-style hollywood era. He should just go change his ways(unlikely) and stop being involved in the movie industry. He is ruining it. Just stop making movies. He must be remembered as a remnant of the “old hollywood”. People like Nolan, Guillermo Del Toro, J.J. Abrams,…etc. are the new era of movies. No whitewashing, if a character is Asian then he is played by an Asian, without any stereotypes. Michael Bay is just too obsessed with action and cars, and hot American actresses, that look like models but fail at acting and C.G.I. … His camera work and cinematography isn’t even substantial, why? the camera shots he uses are what you would normally see in commercials and s*** (typical old holywood) His movies lately have weak character development and the story lacks depth.

    • I hope you’re not completely serious here. This is not “new hollywood, old hollywood”, and all of those directors absolutely would consider changing a character’s race. Nolan’s Bane is not Latino, and Abrams’ Khan isn’t either. Abrams isn’t even as concerned with story and source material.

      I don’t like Bay, but he isn’t the worst, and those guys aren’t the best either.

      • And you even forgot to mention that Ras wasn’t asian.

        • Well, Ra’s Al Ghul gets a pass, due to the fact that Neil Adams designed him to be without any distinct race. Liam Neeson had a similar face, sort of, and he’s Liam Neeson.

  18. Personally, I don’t have a problem with the casting decision. But, I certainly understand why some people do. Shredder’s Japanese ethnicity seems to be an important part of the character.

    • I don’t understand it either, I merely pointed it out. It’s really not surprising. It is a sign, if you really needed one, that this is not a film to be taken seriously.

  19. Well he’s an actor. I guess he could just act Asian

    • You mean like Mickey Rooney did in Breakfast at Tiffany’s…?

  20. meh, he is an amazing actor, but he isnt asian, and im sorry but bay is already sounding like he is getting ahead of himself with his ideas, i think he just had an ego now that at times wont be dented, if he has an ideas he thinks it HAS to be good and WILL work, despite what long time fans think…. you know….. the ones that probably remember more of the stories and who the turtles are than even laird does anymore xD

    no asian shredder = no authentic main villain

    bay, get your head out your arse and look at the source material, stop doing that typical american thing of “lets hire white actors to play the parts of asians” seriously its like living in the past at times when it comes to america doing reboots of good films.

    if he HAS to play shredder, he best NOT lose his mask i swear to god, if he does any magic you may be able to save if your lucky will be lost.

  21. For any white people that say that there’s nothing wrng with a white shredder and a white mandarine, let’s just say don’t be mad when johnny storm is now black, and possibly iron fist is asian. Also don’t hate if they change other characters into Asians and blacks when the source material has them as white. You want to switch races around like this then fine, just don’t b**** later when we get an asian spiderman or black flash.