Director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) has begun filming the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie reboot, which means that various non-studio sanctioned set photos have begun to find their way online. The first of those images to pop up glimpsed Megan Fox as April O'Neal, with reddish hair and a yellow jacket (an updated take on the character's famous retro style jumpsuit).
Today, we get a first look at the Turtle actors - Noel Fisher (Michelangelo), Jeremy Howard (Leonardo), Pete Ploszek (Donatello), and Alan Ritchson (Raphael) - decked out in motion-capture outfits, in order to portray the scaly heroes in a half-shell. Meanwhile, another (character) actor is reported to have joined the cast, and we may already know which "iconic" TMNT baddie he will play in the film.
First things first, the latest Ninja Turtles set photos to appear on Super Hero Hype show the Turtle actors filming a scene where (by the looks of it) the reptilian warriors have been captured and shackled. As you can see, the mo-cap outfits are complete with tiny cameras to capture facial expressions, in addition to prosthetics that will be digitally transformed into half-shells during post-production.
[CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TURTLE ACTORS IN THEIR MO-CAP OUTFITS]
It's reasonable to assume the Turtles' captors (pictured in the background) are the movie's re-imagined versions of The Foot Clan, which - in a heavily-criticized old TMNT script draft that leaked online - had been changed from a ninja army to soldiers in a secret military operation, headed by a re-appropriated version of The Shredder (named Colonel Schrader).
However, the thugs shown here look more like G.I. Joe-style ninjas than regular military operatives, so maybe the Turtles' origin story isn't the only element of the TMNT mythos being preserved in the reboot. That would make sense, coming after the heavy protests from the fanbase about most of the proposed alterations (even the franchise's co-creator Peter Laird has voiced his disapproval).
William Fichtner Joins TMNT
The actor has portrayed memorable villains in the past, including The Accountant in Drive Angry, and will play the wicked Butch Cavendish in The Lone Ranger this summer, in addition to appearing in District 9 director Neil Blomkamp's Elysium. So, a logical conclusion would be that he's playing Colonel Schrader (assuming the original Shredder/Oroku Saki's Japanese heritage has been jettisoned for the re-imagined version of the villainous character).
However, an inside source for Critiques 4 Geeks claims that's not the case:
Well, according to a source of ours, he'll be playing 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.
Previous TMNT plot rumors and comments from the franchise co-creator Kevin Eastman (who's a creative consultant on the reboot), have suggested the new live-action movie will emphasize the sci-fi aspects of the series mythology. While it would appear there have been significant revisions made on the script - which may have occurred after the initial release date delay - the sci-fi emphasis has probably been carried over (meaning, Fichtner playng Dr. Stockman would make a fair amount of sense).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (not Ninja Turtles?) opens in U.S. theaters on June 6th, 2014.