Whoopi Goldberg’s ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Role Revealed?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 18th, 2014 at 10:14 am,

Whoopi Goldberg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Role Whoopi Goldbergs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Role Revealed?

After a string of confusing comments about alien origins, director Jonathan Liebesman’s live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot has offered-up one controversial production detail after another. Producer Michael Bay, along with other members of the cast and crew, have since retracted the idea that the Turtles will be dimension-hopping extra terrestrials – asserting that the filmmakers will be staying true to the “teenage mutant” source material. However, other divisive choices remain – most notably the casting of model-turned-actress Megan Fox as reporter (and traditionally non-sexualized) April O’Neil.

One week back, we got word of another casting addition that reignited concern in longtime Turtle fans – as well-known entertainer Whoopi Goldberg was seen on set. At the time, it was unclear how Goldberg, who (despite award-winning dramatic work) often appears in campy comedy roles, would fit into the plot but a recent report sheds new light on her character – as well as what role she might have in the larger plot.

According to a CBM source, Goldberg will play an editor at Channel 6 News named Bernadette Thompson. Since this is an unconfirmed rumor (albeit a believable one), it’s possible that Goldberg is be playing someone else. Still, TMNT enthusiasts will remember that “Burne” Thompson was a key supporting figure in the original cartoon series (voiced by Pat Fraley). At the time, Burne was a white, blond-haired, man – so it’s unclear whether Liebesman is merely using the name as a fun nod to fans or made an intentional choice to rework certain aspects of the character to make it a fit for Goldberg (or a similarly-talented entertaining).

That said, we can expect that the character’s contributions to the plot will remain somewhat similar – as the boss of April O’Neil and trouble-making cameraman Vernon Fenwick (played by Will Arnett). Goldberg was on set a few days after a scene that showed Fox downtown with Raphael (not to mention an earlier setup that appeared to depict O’Neil getting fired) – though it’s unclear whether or not the sequences are directly related in the film.

– Click here to see the photos of Goldberg on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles set. –

Burne Thompson TMNT Whoopi Goldbergs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Role Revealed?

Still, Burne Thompson was a staunch anti-vigilante advocate – considering the Turtles to be no better (or any less dangerous) than all the other mutant freaks running around New York City. The character was a pretty traditional “newspaper boss” character – dedicated to reporting the facts (even if his personal bias showed through on occasion). Plenty of similarities can be drawn between Burne and Spider-Man‘s J. Jonah Jameson (a point CBM also points out in their report) but that doesn’t necessarily ensure that Goldberg’s Bernadette will retain all of the same traits. It’s equally likely that, this time, Thompson is a thematic stand-in for all of New York City – skeptical of the Turtles at first (possibly even firing O’Neil for defending them), only to be won-over by their heroics in the end (and reinstating her former reporter).

That’s all speculation at this point but it’s hard to imagine Liebesman would cast an actress as likable and fun as Goldberg – only to have her serve as a human antagonist for the entire runtime. Despite the “realistic” tone the filmmakers are aiming to convey, casting entertainers like Goldberg and Arnett certainly indicates that plenty of goofy comedy beats will be included. Obviously, Goldberg is also an accomplished dramatic actress as well, with an Academy Award for her role in Ghost as well as a nomination for The Color Purple, but it’s hard to imagine she’ll be putting her more serious thespian chops to work – especially if there actually is a scene where Megan Fox jumps on a trampoline.


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

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future updates on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Source: Comic Book Movie & Concrete Loop

Follow Ben Kendrick on Twitter @benkendrick
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  1. Oh man, she isnt playing rafael?! Im not seeing this anymore

    • +1

  2. Her outfit looks strange for the pt she is rumored to play. :)

  3. I meant *For the Part. lol

  4. I call shenanigans: The Technodrome was not black.

    • Gotta get with the times my man lol

    • racist

    • +1

  5. Off topic but i wanted to say thanks to the writers and editors for having a great movie website! The articles are always a good read and grown up as are the comments (for the most part). Keep it up!

    • And here comes Vic to personally shake your hand and offer you a lifetime’s supply of nothing for your gratitude and niceties.

      • I’ll handle Vic duties today!

        Thanks Fatboy! Glad you like the site!

  6. The more I read about this movie, the less I actually care about the controversy and just wanna see it done and released so we can see if all the hate and scorn was actually justified.

  7. Its all a ruse… She will be playing Splinter. LOL

    • Wouldn’t be surprised.

  8. now I think its time to worry about this movie. was interested before but not so sure now. wasn’t a great fan of hers anyways

  9. “most notably the casting of model-turned-actress Megan Fox as reporter (and traditionally non-sexualized) April O’Neil.” What tmnt were you watching scooter? cause i remember April as a red head with a pair of double Ds popping out her unzipped yellow jumpsuit.

    • I see what you mean but I don’t think most viewers perceived her as a sexual character – even if she was animated in a way that sexualized her figure. I think most of us, maybe I’m wrong, remember her for her brains not her body – the opposite of roles typically associated with Megan Fox so far.

  10. I really hope this movie doesn’t turn out as bad as it seems. TMNT was my favorite cartoon growing up

  11. All the articles on SR keep referring to the cartoon as the original material. The original comics were so much more suitable for a movie. The original movie was based more on the comics aside from April being a reporter which she is not in the comics. We keep hearing about all these schtick roles from the cartoon. Why focus on that? This is looking like its gonna be rough.

    • Probably because the majority of people know the franchise from the original cartoon in the 80s so that’s where they’re drawing most of the material from. Which makes sense.

    • At no point in this article do I say that the cartoon was the original source material. It is however, the most relevant piece of material for this particular character.

      The movie is eschewing closer to the cartoon – not the comics, so doesn’t it make sense to focus on the cartoon when analyzing the film?

  12. First Megan Fox and now Whoopi Goldberg god just how much ass is this movie gonna suck?

    • Totally looked at your comment wrong at first glance. Thought you had asked how much more ass is this movie gonna get lol. I need to have my eyes checked 😀

      • To Kels: I’d rather see Whoopi’s ass then the final product of this film 😀

  13. Whoopi Goldburg as a nun?!

    Well, did you hear about the unfortunate priest who was amorous, but couldn’t get “nun”?

  14. At this point I’m seriously wondering if everyone at Screen Rant has actually heard of the Mirage comics.

    • Why?

      I bet they have but as I just commented to someone else, the 80s cartoon is where most people heard of the turtles in the first place so the movie will draw more from that.

    • I read the Mirage comics – but, as mentioned, the most familiar material for our readers is the cartoon. At no point in the article did I say the animated series was the first source material.

  15. Bleyzaxx, it’s not the staff of screen rant making the movie. Perhaps your concern should be more directed to Bay and all involved in making the movie. And so what if they wanna give more attention to the 80’s cartoon. It’s what I grew up watching before I ever read the comics. I mean, isn’t Bay doing the same thing with his Transformers franchise? As in leaning more toward the cartoons and less to the comics, besides the comics are pretty darkly written and I’m sure the studio aka Bay, would rather be able to get everyone’s ticket money. Not just the adult viewers.

  16. Actually you’re right. I was kind of out of line there. That was just me being butthurt. Sorry!

  17. It looks more like she’s dressed as an insane asylum patient. Honestly why doesn’t she just do narration? She’s already an inspiring lady.