‘TMNT’ Movie: Is William Fichtner Playing Shredder or Not?

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Is William Fichtner Playing Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TMNT Movie: Is William Fichtner Playing Shredder or Not?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans are waiting on bated breath for the upcoming film reboot to be released on August 8th. Will it faithfully adapt what’s come before – the comics, the cartoon? Will the motion captured Turtles look good on the big screen? And most importantly, will the movie itself be good?

One of the biggest questions about the film so far has been: Who is playing Shredder, the Turtles’ arch-nemesis? While there was a strong indication early on that William Fichtner (The Dark Knight) would be wearing the robotic samurai suit seen in the trailers, we received word more recently that contradicted that news.

WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOLLOW.

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In the comics, the cartoon, and the previous movies, Shredder’s real identity was that of Oroku Saki. And while his back-story varies from medium to medium, he was always an evil Japanese ninja who eventually become the NYC leader of the Foot Clan and the arch-nemesis of Splinter and the Turtles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cartoon Shredder 570x294 TMNT Movie: Is William Fichtner Playing Shredder or Not?

In the film, William Fichtner is obviously not playing a Japanese ninja. According to what we’ve seen in the trailers and heard from producers, he’s playing Eric Sachs, a man who worked with April O’Neil’s father and helped in the creation of the Turtles. But is he also secretly the Shredder?

Let’s break down why Fichtner might – and might not – be playing the Ninja Turtles’ greatest enemy.

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William Fichtner IS Playing Shredder?

william fichtner teenage mutant ninja turtles TMNT Movie: Is William Fichtner Playing Shredder or Not?

  • Fichtner himself told reporters during production of TMNT that he was playing Shredder. This did not seem to be something the producers wanted him to say, as it had been a mystery up until then as to which actor had been cast in the role.
  • TMNT visual effects supervisor Pablo Helman told us in our interview with him that “it’s Bill Fichtner who is wearing the suit.” And really, why would he lie?
  • We were also told that Shredder was something of a mystery character in the film. According to Helman, “We see his face in the whole movie, but you don’t know who he is.” Why would it be a mystery if it was just the same old Shredder character that Turtles fans know and love?
  • Fichtner as Eric Sachs as Shredder makes a lot of sense given certain plot trends in superhero movies over the past few years. Liam Neeson wasn’t Ducard in Batman Begins, he was actually Ra’s al Ghul (and then there was Marion Cotillard as Talia al Ghul, Benjamin Kingsley as (not) The Mandarin, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan).

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William Fichtner ISN’T Playing Shredder?

Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot 570x294 TMNT Movie: Is William Fichtner Playing Shredder or Not?

  • At an early preview of scenes from TMNT, we were told straight up that William Fichtner was NOT playing Shredder. Now, this could just be producer misinformation – we all remember J.J. Abrams saying that Cumberbatch wasn’t playing Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, and, well, he was – so take it with a grain of salt.
  • There’s a shot in one of the trailers that depicts William Fichtner talking to a shadowy figure. Fichtner says, “We’re taking your suit to the next level.” The trailer then cuts to the gigantic, robotic Shredder suit you may have already seen, giving the impression that the “suit” in question is Shredder’s, and that the shadowy figure is the actual Shredder. Could this figure be Oroku Saki? Could Fichtner not be playing Shredder after all?
  • TMNT went through reshoots this year. Is it possible that Jonathan Liebesman and the producers of the film decided to change the identity of Shredder after William Fichtner outed himself as the villain in question? Well, sure, anything’s possible. Plus, it’s not like there would be that much to reshoot – one assumes that, if Fichtner was secretly Shredder throughout the film, that the reveal might not come until the end.

So what’s the verdict? From everything we know, it seems most likely that Fichtner is playing Shredder and everything contradicting that has just been misinformation, but we’ll have to wait a few more days to know for sure.

What do you think, Screen Ranters? Is William Fichtner playing Shredder in TMNT or not? Drop us a line in the comments.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hits theaters August 8th, 2014.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

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TAGS: teenage mutant ninja turtles

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  1. I seriously do not understand the point about lying, or “misinforming”, about who is playing Shredder. Abrams lied because he didn’t want people to know the villain of the film was Khan, not because he didn’t want you to know who was playing Khan. We all know Shredder is the villain, so what purpose does it serve to lie about who was cast as shredder? It all sounds a bit stupid to me.

    • Its an issue with over share. Film makers like to surprise their audiences while modern audiences (of the information age) are too impatient to wait for the movie to know. I know tons of people who are midway through a movie and google information about whats happenings. So misdirection is needed at times to keep people interested. Its our fault, websites like this…

  2. Maybe he was talking to the suit just like any other chliché, like he ws talking to himself.

  3. i saw the trailer before apes last night and it implied that shredder was a robot , not sure if controlled by someone or AI

    • Shredder a robot, yikes.

      How was the trailer?

    • Is that the trailer where Will Arnett says he’s a robot samurai? I don’t think he really knows one way or the other, it’s just that that’s what Shredder looks like.

  4. It could be that they are taking the story line from the 2003 show, and that the Shredder is actually an Utrom. If that’s the case, and I realize that’s a big “IF”, then it could be possible that Fichtner both is and isn’t the Shredder. He could simply be a humanoid robot.
    Then again, I’m probably thinking about this way too much.

  5. so Shredder is gonna be like the “Silver Samurai” in the Wolverine, manned or unmanned by Eric Sachs?

  6. Maybe the shadowy figure he is talking to is Krang in his humanoid suit. Perhaps, he is getting an upgrade!?

  7. SPOILERS I already saw the film at an advanced screening. (Spoilers) Fichtner is not playing Shredder (more spoilers) His adoptive father is shredder. Fichtner is just his adoptive son who runs this big industry and works with shredder

  8. oroku saki is shredder i already seen the movie, fitchner is his student, saki took care of him in japan

  9. On his IMDB site it says Tohoru Masamune is playing Shredder. Which is a way better choice than Fichtner. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0556070/

    • Nice. Good linking.

  10. c’mon gimme utroms.

  11. they ‘shadowy figure’ he talks to is an asian man wearing a tradition japanese kimono, who is bald and kind of looks half asian (didn’t see that well).

    my guess is that they went back and changed it after people told them what they could do with themselves for ruining a character ;P

  12. The name Eric Sachs does sound like an Americanized version of Oroku Saki.

    • Oh yeah…good point

  13. Anybody think that maybe Eric Sachs could be a Krang/Utrom?

  14. Saw the movie yesterday at a sneak preview. He is not playing shredder and it drove me crazy cause the shredder character is left in mystery for who he is and why he is doing what he is doing. Wasn’t that impressed with the movie too. Not bad but not good either

  15. Saw the movie yesterday, sneak preview for the military, the movie is awesome, and no he’s not shredder, and is not a robot.

  16. One of the biggest questions about the film so far has been: Who’s going to bother seeing this trainwreck when Guardians is playing in the theater next door?

    • I would always choose something not marvel to watch in theaters

      • Sorry but gaurdians was good, but easily the most overrated movie ive ever seen.

        • Sorry but guardians of the galaxy was actually under rated since it was amazing

  17. So Eric Sacks is a female Karai!?

    • Sorry I meant male.

  18. Maybe he was talking to Krang about HIS suit

  19. Oroku Saki. Eric Sachs.

    Come on!

  20. Saw the movie today. Not bad! But no way Sachs is Shredder. Can’t possibly be in two places at the same time!