As bizarre a headline as that is, it’s true – three-time Oscar nominee Laura Linney, best known for her powerhouse parts in films such as Mystic River and TV series like HBO’s John Adams, has become the latest star to board Paramount’s big-budget sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.
The nature of Linney’s role is, at least for now, a closely guarded secret.
Megan Fox and Will Arnett will reprise the roles of reporter April O’Neil and cameraman Vernon Fenwick, while the sequel will also see Arrow actor Stephen Amell, Brian Tee, Tyler Perry and supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio join the cast as the heroic Casey Jones, archvillain the Shredder, scientist Baxter Stockman and an unspecified love interest for Vernon, respectively. As with Linney’s involvement, news of Perry’s casting was met with surprise followed by mild amusement.
Of late, Linney’s filmography has largely included period flicks and prestige dramas, like Hyde Park on Hudson, The Fifth Estate and the upcoming Mr. Holmes, in which she’ll co-star with Ian McKellen. The actress also recently wrapped buzzy 1920s drama Genius, which boasts a star-studded cast including Colin Firth, Guy Pearce, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (which is rumored to be subtitled Half-Shell, as in “Heroes in a”) will be directed by Dave Green, taking the reins from Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles). Green arrived on the scene in a big way last year with the found-footage sci-fi adventure Earth to Echo. Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, that pic was geared toward younger audiences. Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec will script once again.
We’ll keep you posted if more on Linney’s mysterious role emerges. Here’s hoping that the blockbuster pic can make some of use of the star’s impressive dramatic range – but then again, this is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 we’re talking about. Something suggests that Linney isn’t currently hunting for her next Oscar.