Features, Film and TV

The Michael Bay Ninja Turtles Casting Game!

Despite fervent wishes to the contrary and what the general silence about the project over the past few months suggested, it seems that Michael Bay’s cinematic adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is still going ahead. He’s even made up with pouty breast-owner Megan Fox long enough to cast her in the new film.

I’m not a huge Ninja Turtles fan – I loved the original series as a kid, but I wouldn’t watch it now (the 2005 reboot is very good though and you should check it out). However, I am a massive Transformers fan, a love that will forever be tarnished by three cinematic travesties (and counting), so Turtles fans everywhere have my sympathy. Not enough sympathy, however, that I won’t indulge in playing…

THE MICHAEL BAY NINJA TURTLES CASTING GAME!!

*snazzy theme tune*

There are so many casting options (let alone CGI) open to Michael for ruining the Turtles property for a generation of children and with the first bit of casting news, he’s certainly built a strong foundation for his cinematic shit heap. Yes, this one’s confirmed, it’s:

Megan Fox as April O’Neil

April Megan

Now, we don’t yet know which version of April Megan will be playing. Will it be the foxy, uber-confident news reporter April? Will it be the quietly helpful girl-next-door April? Or will it be whatever version’s in the new Nickelodeon series (I want to say a precocious teenage hacker, but I can’t remember for certain)?

I don’t think it’ll be any of these, because frankly they seems pretty far outside Megan’s comfortable range. No, Megan’s April will be a busty, scantily clad piece of eye-candy with next to no personality who the camera takes every opportunity to exploit like a piece of meat, because it’s a Michael Bay film. It’s obviously really. But who will be playing the Turtles that inevitably ogle April? I think it’ll be:

Bradley Cooper as Leonardo

Bradley Leo

Leo’s the leader of the group, so requires a big name actor to fill the role, as he’ll inevitably overcome some element of personal doubt at the end to defeat the villains and you need a big dependable star to sell that. Who better than charisma bucket Bradley Cooper? A Michael Bay film is utterly beneath him, yes, but I imagine there’ll be enough money to throw around to convince him otherwise.

Jim Parsons as Donatello

Jim Donatello

Don is the token techie of the group which of course means, despite being a ninja, he’s a nerd! Bay is famously pretty dismissive of such people, like those internet sad axes who kept insisting his Transformers masterpieces bear some kind of resemblance to the original material. What’s their problem? So to play one of them he’ll just pick the first recognisable nerd he can find, which is probably Jim Parsons, Sheldon off The Big Bang Theory. It’s perfect, because the makers of The Big Bang Theory hate their audience as well, so Parsons will have no problem adapting to the material that makes him into a strawman target of ridicule.

Jason Statham as Raphael

Jason Raph

Which such a nerd on the team, you need to balance it out with some pure, bad ass testosterone for resident tough guy Raph and who says bad ass more than Jason Statham? He’s only got a bloody mockney accent! Hell, he can say practically anything through gritted teeth and he’s perfect for Bay’s line in leaden, dismissive ‘comic relief’ half-quippery. Of course, for the real jokes you need…

Jonah Hill as Michelangelo

Jonah Mike

Yeah, Mikey’s the joker of the group, so you’ve got to go to town and get an actor with real comedy chops in for this role. So who better than Jonah Hill. Hell, he’s of the right age to probably get some of the in-jokes to the original series that the writers will inevitably slip past Bay, so he’s perfect!

Man, with a foursome that awesome, you’re gonna need a real bevy of big stars to be the supporting cast. How about…

Marky Mark Wahlberg as Casey Jones

Marky Mark Casey

Check it man, Marky Mark can play any bad ass tough guy role, from hard-as-nails Boston Irish cops to Boston Irish has-been boxers to parodies of hard-as-nails cops. So shove a hockey mask on him and he’s primo Casey Jones, ready to go. Subtly and nuances are pussies.

Steve Buscemi as Master Splinter

Buscemi Splinter

So, Splinter’s a rat right and Buscemi’s got kind of rat like face going on. Certainly slightly unnerving eyes and that’s all you’re gonna see under the prosthetics. So he’s definitely Splinter. What? No, Michael doesn’t care that Splinter was Japanese originally, come on man, this is a movie, you can’t keep all those silly little details in there from a stupid cartoon. This is art. By the way, the Turtles are now aliens and arrive in a meteor shower. Much more believable.

Jeremy Irons as Shredder

Jeremy Shredder

All the best villains are British. Hans Gruber in Die Hard was the classic Alan Rickman. Alan Rickman ripped it UP as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. And there was some real depth to Snape in the Harry Potter films thanks to Alan Rickman.

So, you know who’s an obvious choice for Shredder? Jeremy Irons! What, you thought I was gonna say Alan Rickman? Nah, come on man, he has standards. Jeremy Irons meanwhile did that Dungeons & Dragons movie. If he says no to this just threaten to re-release that.

There you have, my guess at the casting for Michael Bay’s TMNT. Now, obviously, I can’t have guessed everything right, but I’m confident of a 98% success rate with this list. Hollywood casting agencies that are inevitably impressed: call me, we’ll do lunch.

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Martin is a writer and misanthrope from Gloucestershire, with an obses... er interest in comics, video games and animation. You can also find him at his blog, The Taste of Rising Bile, where he's in the middle of a cynic's guide to Disney films.