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. Isn’t Shredder jacked?

  2. Isn’t Shredder Japanese?

    • Not that it matters, I suppose. It’s just inevitably going to be brought up.

      • Isn’t Mandarin asian and a terrorist mastermind with ten alien rings.

        • Technically Ben Kingsley, whose real name is Krishna Pandit Bhanji, is asian. Well he is half Indian and India is a part of Asia. But they did ruin him for the villain. They did not want to use a Japanese actor due to the past because the portrayal of the Mandarin was pretty racist. But they have no excuse for this movie, but what do you expect from Michael Bay? No much I hope.

          • It was the opposite of racist.

          • The Mandatin is Chinese.

    • Isn’t Khan Northern Indian?

      • Isn’t Wolverine Canadian?

        Ok, lets end this game of “actors playing other nationalities” now.

        • RDJ played a white dude playing a black dude in Tropic Thunder.

          • I n tropic thunder, RDJ was playing a parody of method actors, not a a black guy. He was there to mock those actors who can’t get out of their roles til film is seen in theaters.

          • Im a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude!

          • He was dude that was playing a dude, disguised as another dude.

        • Not that many difference between a canadian and an american, you know. they’re basically the same.

          • There are a lot of differences, pleinsfeux.

            • just culturally. a white american look like a white canadian.

              P.S. i’m canadian i should know.

  3. He is NOT someone I’d imagine to play Shredder, as he just doesn’t seem the right look for the part (like the above comments, body type, ethnicity, etc.). However, this guy is a really talented actor. I feel like I’m one of the few that remember him from an awesome TV show a few years back called Prison Break, where he had a really awesome role. Even if he is a bit miscast, I have a lot of faith in his acting abilities, and I feel he’ll at least bring the most he can to the part.

    • YES!

      I first saw Fitchner on “Prison Break” as well, he played one of the main villains.

  4. I support his casting.

  5. Wait for it…

  6. Great actor, bad casting choice… again…
    I’m sure he’ll do alright, but this movie…

    • ^This
      Shredder is Japanese, not American.
      It’s all such a complete mess :(

      • Shredder is Japanese…but Colonel Schrader might be American 😉

      • And Johnny Storm is white. Hasn’t this debate already happened?

        • That’s different.

          Jonhny Storm can be African American and still have the same characteristics (hot-headed, brash, charming, a ladies man, etc.) and origin of white Johnny Storm form the comics.

          Shredder is very much defined by his race. He is a trained Japanese samurai. His whole origin story is based in Japan. His rivalry with Hamato Yoshi (Master Splinter’s owner) exists because of what happened in their youth in Japan.
          Sure, you can make them all Americans, but that’s like changing all the characters from the Black Panther mythos into Americans. It doesn’t work.

          In some cases, the race of a character is essential to telling the story… not that Bay and his crew is interested in story telling :(

          • I guess if the movie has Megan Fox jumping on a trampoline in a cleavage-revealing dress, and lots of things going BOOMBOOOOFFFWHAAAMMM!!! and RATATATATATATAKABOOOOMMMM!!!! then they’ll consider it a success :(

          • +1000000

          • +1000000 well said.

          • +1. Nicely said. However, Shredder could be an American/European that migrated to Japan, and adopted the Japanese culture, and trained in the Arts. They’re many ways to manipulate this to fit the original.

            • “manipulate this to fit the original”
              That sentence is kinda contradictory though. Once you manipulate something, it can no longer be considered true to the original.

              You are right though, there are plenty ways to spin it…

              The only thing is, why fix what ain’t broke? The original origin was so compelling imo, and it was hardly touched upon by the old movies, so it’s not like they’d be rehashing the same thing story – they’d only be expanding on it.
              I love the Japanese-themed backstory that was at play with the TMNT canon.

              Maybe it’s for the best, come to think of it… if/once Bay and co. ruin this, someone will make a proper adaption using the original comics as a source/inspiration.

              • “why fix what ain’t broke”

                My thoughts exactly. For all cases. This and every other topic that involves race.

  7. Am I the only person who doesn’t think this should really even be made? The cartoon on tv now is actually pretty good considering it is geared towards children but I just don’t think turtles who can do martial arts translates well to film.

    • The first 3 movies in the 90s were great.

      • Guess it is just a difference of opinion then because I didn’t even like them when I was a kid back then.

        • I’d say they sure didn’t age well. The action is mediocre and the cornball “jokes” are pretty unbearable now imo. Having said that, I still think they can step up from the choreography and writing of the past. I’m not holding my breath for this though.

      • Haha Secret of the Ooze was my favorite movie as a kid xD

      • … you mean the first TWO movies were great, right? “Turtles in time” raped the f%@k out of my childhood, hehe.

        • I honestly never saw the third. Wanted to but even as a kid, the second movie sucked.

          • If you didn’t like the second one, just don’t bother with the third. Trust me. Hated it as a kid. Tried to watch it again when I was older and couldn’t even finish it! Yeah, it’s pretty bad.

      • I think that the first two were pretty good. I don’t feel the same way a out the third one.

      • I didn’t find the third one to be great AT ALLLLLLLLLL.

    • I agree, they are casting Megan Fox, Whoopi freaking Goldberg (I do not like her at all), and now this guy. I’ve seen him in other movies, but he isn’t Shredder. Why is it even live-action? This ain’t gonna end well at all.

  8. It’s really happening :(

  9. Not to happy about that announcement due to shredder’s personal history and how he came to be. This going to be interesting.

  10. Well. Since they backtracked on the whole turtle alien origin idea, I guess Oroku Saki’s origin story is fair game. Shredder was born in the mean bike trails of the South Hamptons.

  11. I am fine with this.

  12. The Shredder is JAPANESE. For **** sake come on. The Shredder’s real name is Oroku Saki! His costume is a varation Samurai Armor! He leads a Foot Clan of warriors! I don’t care how good of an actor William Fichtner is this is not his role. Everyone is going oooh he is a good actor so it’s okay stop complaning let producer Michael Bay screw more precious franchises and lets give more money in his pockets. It’s not okay! Don’t give that bull**** and tell me how hard is it to find a Japanese actor right for the role. This is taking a dump on the character and the original source material. Who I’m I to complain anyway when they already brought on Megan Fox of all actors in the world. Stop giving Bay money! Just stop….

    • Exactly!

    • And Johnny Storm is white. Hasn’t this debate already happened?

    • They’re changing Oroku Saki to Erik Saks because F*%* YOU.

  13. This movie is goin to suck

  14. Sorry, i will not be going to see this movie

  15. Great actor, WRONG ROLE! Baxter actually would have made sense.

    I call for a boycott when it comes out! Every announcement makes me more sick to my stomach. Who is with me? If no one goes to see it, it will die and we can pretend it never happened.

    • I second this motion!!

    • how would he be right for Baxter also since the character is black in the comics lol

    • Boycott all you want, if people see Bay’s movies despite them turning out to be crap, I don’t think a few people on a website will stop this movie earning loads in box office takings.

      Sad state of affairs but it’s true.

      I’ll watch on TV so no one involved gets my money but it’ll be a success and sequels will follow.

  16. Also, Shredder = Ken Watanabe.

    • Agreed.

    • YES YES YES. Why didn’t Bay think of this? Such an obvious and logical cast.

  17. Michael Bay (and co) taking a casting ideas from M. Night Shyamalan… Hollywood needs to leave my childhood memories alone.

  18. No one cared enough to raise a fuss about the non-Hispanic Bane, but this is a travesty? Cmon man lol.

    As far as the “ruining my childhood”, no not really. The old movies and books and cartoons still exist. And let’s be honest, our childhood was a pillow fortress where Leonardo teamed up with a transformer, two GI joes and Spider-Man to fight off some random dinosaur, a power ranger, magneto and a group of green army men lol

    • Actually quite a few people including myself brought that up about Bane. But considering that it was Chris Nolan who really loves to s*** on and splice together source material/back stories for the sake of “realism.” Everyone sort of let it go due to reasons of still swooning over Heath Ledger’s Joker, and having trust that it would still work out. Hell look at Ras Al Ghul.

      • And I prefer great movies over every single detail following the comics. If you can name me another adaptation of Batman that DIDN’T have great differences from the comics, then you have a valid argument. You don’t like Chris Nolan’s take, that’s fine. But according to your logic, EVERYONE who has ever tried to adapt Batman in movies or animation has “S*** on and spliced together source material/back stories”.

    • The difference with Bane was that fans could still buy the actor as the role. With the exception of the accent, most cartoons make him look white anyway. There were people complaining about a “non-Hispanic” Bane, but after the huge success of the first two movies, it was easier to just accept a great actor (Tom Hardy) for the role.

      • Well, why can’t we wait to see the Fichtner version? He’s also a great actor. I just think the constant Bay bashing is getting old, you know. I mean we are talking about human sized turtles who are martial artists, taught by sewer rat. Just have some fun, popcorn movie action. Why some expect these sorts of movies to be The Godfather, I’ll never know lol.

        • Good point, but Bane’s backstory needed to be tweaked. Shredder’s back story will need to be totally revamped. I’m still optimistic and really do hope he does a good job with the role. It also helps that this is the first GOOD actor they’ve casted for this movie.

  19. This movie sounds Truly Awful!!! Neither The cast nor the director (Michael Bay) have me excited for this movie Franchise (Potential Cash Cow). The actors seem like they’ve All been horribly miscast and it’s Micheal Bay!! Which means a CGI Shitstorm over any kind of story what so ever.

    • Definite cash cow* fixed your sentence for you

    • Jonathan Liebesman is the director. Not Michael Bay.

      • it still does not help

  20. Casting support the rumor shredder would be a military type and not a japanese ninja clan leader.

    • Thought the same exact thing lol

    • Worst news of today. They’re going to Americanize it, therefore, dumbing it down as an average popcorn flick. There was always a lack of complexity in Michael Bay films. Looks like I will skip this one.

      • That’s a ridiculous post, Justin. Look at the breakdown of domestic vs. foreign grosses for some recent popcorn flicks. In some cases, only 30 percent if the worldwide grosses derive from the domestic marketplace. A lot of popcorn movies are dumbed down since the studio execs know that international audiences will usually eat them up.

  21. this guy does not look like he would be named horoku sake… sp?

  22. Cool with me. I have no clue how this movie is going to turn out but I’ll mess it with regardless and watch it anyway. As long as I get good performances and solid entertainment, I’m in.

    • Hope you weren’t one of the people that defended Johnny Storm being black because now you’d look a little silly.

  23. I will also NOT see this movie.

    Too many weird choices.

    I’ll just have to wait until one of my idiot friends buys it and I watch it that way. But if these casting choices keep going on this way, even they might not go for this.

  24. Really like Fichtner as an actor but like the others have said, Oroku Saki is Japanese. Even Baxter Stockman would be wrong because that character is black (I think Jamie Fox would be great for that role). For Shredder go with Ken Watanabe. Now if Fichtner was playing Casey Jones, that would be a perfect casting choice. Guess we’ll have to just wait and see if and how they explain the change in ethnicity – plastic surgery?! haha.

    • Actually the best choice for Fichtner would have been Agent Bishop from the TMNT cartoon in 2003.

  25. Michael bay is as good as Uwe Boll, just with bigger budgets

  26. Man I was excited at first that a new Turtles movie was being made but ever since the mention of “reboot” and Bay’s “Alien Race ” nonsense, this movie and every news following it just gets worse and worse.
    Should’ve just cast him as White Baxter Stockman since they are going with the 80’s TV series route.
    Alien Turtles, Military “foot clan”, Megan Fox as April, now a white Shredder…yeah, they really are thinking of the fans and believe fans will actually love this crap.
    I keep trying to see the silver lining but all I see is a black storm of b*******.

    • It’s Michael Bay, what’d you expect?

  27. Honestly…. I see a lot of complaining here… and maybe he seems a little mis-cast, because he isn’t japanese… but does every little detail need to be accurate? People hate Michael Bay to hate Michael Bay… hardly for any good reason. I see because he “destroys” franchises, such as Transformers… but Transformers as a cartoon was not that good to begin with. It was goofy and the main character was a whiny b****. I wouldn’t want to see the live-action version exactly as it was when it was animated… it would be terrible, and people would still complain. Same goes for this. Maybe the movie won’t be good, but because they are straying a little from source material doesn’t mean that’s the nail in the coffin. I would hate for Shredder to be some raspy voice japanese samurai exactly as he is in the cartoon and comics.. it doesn’t translate well to film these days. Maybe that kind of worked in the 90’s, but do you think adults actually liked those films? No. Hell no… they knew it was for kids. Well now those kids who were affected by them are grown and so the aim of the story is to attract these now-adults, and sometimes, that requires changing a few details to keep things from being predictable and outdated. It happens. Get over it.

    • I agree, I loved the first 3 movies and the old cartoon when I was younger. I think this movie has the potential to be good if they don’t go with the alien race thing. Don’t care for Megan Fox either but oh well. This casting doesn’t bother me anywhere near Fox’s. I think he has the skill to pull off a very cool Shredder, instead of just the flat out angry Shredder, I think he can be calculating now which is a good thing. that’s just me though

    • Let ms start off by saying that I’m fine with the casting choice. However, why most fans are complaining is because the change ismikee than a “little detail”. Ninjutsu is inherent in the turtles origin (they’re called “ninja” turtles, for starters) and therefor Hamatu Yoshi and Oruku Saki’s Japanese heritage factors heavily into their origins. The fact that Shredder is now a white man only furthers people’s suspicions that the movie is taking another step to further stray from the source material.

      • How many here were saying that a white t’challa wouldn’t fly cause of the character whole setting? Well now you have shredder, horoku Sake, who is the same but casted as white. That said, bring me a white black panther.

  28. I’m just glad it’s Shredder, not general Shradder like we were told it was going to be in the new reboot a few months back.