I’m not sure casting an underwear model who once played Aquaman is going to make fanboys any happier about the Michael Bay-engineered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot helmed by Jonathan Liebesman, but here we are. So far casting has already brought Megan Fox in as April O’Neil, which was met by a lot of nerd fury, but Alan Ritchson takes it to a whole new level.
Beyond his run on Smallville, Ritchson has also modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch and provided the model for Ray Winstone’s Beowulf in Zemeckis’ 2007 film. His casting suggests they’re going for legitimate superhero-ripped hunks to fill out the Turtle roles. Ritchson will be playing Raphael, the “red one.” Raphael, as you’ll likely recall, is the aggressive one of the bunch- the sai-wielding Brooklynite.
Honestly, I’ve always felt like I was born about 15 minutes too late to be a part of the whole TMNT thing, even if my childhood was filled with the leftovers of the phenomenon (toys at friend’s places, other kids with TMNT bookbags their older brothers wore, etc). Still, there’s so much love out there for these characters that Platinum Dunes really has stepped into a hornet’s nest. If they were just going for the gritty, modern angle that Platinum Dunes applies to its horror films, then you’d probably see people eating it up. I have a feeling some of Bay’s condescending, immature humor is going to slip in though, and all the grit in the world won’t make the fanboys happy if it feels like the property isn’t being taken seriously and artistically validated.
Not to mention- does that guy look he’s ever had a slice of pizza in his life?
We’ll keep you up on this one- ultimately the look of the characters will do the most, in terms of establishing buzz one way or another…