Alright Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle purists, get ready to curse Jonathan Liebesman’s name once again. Remember the Shredder character you’ve come to love? The Japanese ninjutsu master named Oroku Saki? Well, you should have already known some creative liberties would be taken considering American actor William Fichtner was cast as “The Shredder” in Liebesman’s reboot, but those liberties may be larger than expected as Shredder will apparently be presented in a completely fresh manner.
Fichtner recently sat down with Flicks And The City, and during his interview, he had this to say about the iconic, armor-wearing turtle hater:
Well I play a guy named Eric Sachs and we find out that Eric Sachs is somebody else too. I can’t give away too much in the story but I can tell you that who Shredder is in the telling of this Turtles is unlike any telling of the story before. His connection and relationship to the turtles is a bit surprising and for an actor playing it, the backstory, which comes out in this film, is really intriguing… We made some changes while filming that I thought are just awesome.
“Shredder dons himself with armor, and that’s who he is and that happens in this story,” Fichtner said. “It’s the backstory on how it all began with the turtles, that the character of Eric Sachs… It’s not by chance that he knows the Turtles.”
We already knew his character would be named Eric Sachs, which is supposedly the Westernization of “Oroku Saki,” but it looks like he’ll get involved with the turtles in a way that hasn’t been explored previously. With that said, I’m glad Liebesman isn’t doing something crazy like throwing away the armor. Without that spiky, iconic armor, what would Shredder be?
Fichtner also hinted at what our hero turtles will look like:
It always had sort of a bouncy cartoon feel to me, which is great, that’s why it was appealing. That’s not this movie… It’s not like any Mutant Ninja Turtles thing you’ve ever seen before. It’s freaky, they’re cool, and they’re mutants and they look awesome. It’s tough and it’s going to be really, really great.
Again, I’m not sure that this was completely unexpected, but it appears that we can expect a much grittier, dare I say “darker” version of the turtles. So many reboots are going this route, why not do the same for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Fichtner wasn’t done dishing information though, as he confirmed plans for future sequels:
“I think you’re going to see a few [sequels],” he said. “I signed a three picture thing, so I’ll see what happens.”
While a three picture deal doesn’t sound like much, that’s a hefty investment considering Liebesman’s film could be an absolute bomb. I don’t think it will be, because the turtles have such a longstanding fanbase, but by taking too many creative liberties, there’s a chance this reboot chases away long-time turtle lovers. Again, I think the TMNT brand is pretty safe, and could probably drive three movies pretty easily, but blockbuster flops come out of nowhere – you can’t always predict them.
With that said, this is all speculation until Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles releases some type of footage, as we’ve only been able to see our lead actors dressed in strange, dull motion capture suits. Who knows, these new turtles could absolutely blow us away, and all these mixed feelings could be for nothing – but it looks like we’re back to playing the waiting game until our pizza-gobbling heroes take to the big screen again August 8th, 2014.
What do you guys think about Fichtner’s comments? Are you happy to hear the reboot is taking so many creative liberties?