Sit down, for I have dreadful news. Go ahead, sit. You were already sitting, you say? Well, uh…you should get more exercise. But stay seated.
As you may know, Michael Bay is currently producing a combination live-action/CGI (supposedly a la Avatar) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, which, inexplicably, will simply be known as Ninja Turtles. Due for 2014, it was recently announced that the film will feature Megan Fox playing April O’Neil. On the heels of this atrocity, Deadline has discovered the actors that will play the turtles. Here they are, listed along with their credentials:
Pete Ploszek (Leonardo): Brief roles on Parks and Recreation and Shameless.
Alan Ritchson (Raphael): Abercrombie & Fitch/underwear model; finished in the Top 87 contestants on the 2004 American Idol; played Aquaman on Smallville; played a corpse on an episode of CSI: Miami.
Noel Fisher (Michelangelo): Recurring role on Shameless; credited as “Pimply Manager” in Freddy Got Fingered; some dude named Vladimir in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
Jeremy Howard (Donatello): Several movie roles, the highlight of which is probably “Freaky Student” in Accepted.
Who are these generic nobodies, with their CW Network haircuts and Old Navy smiles, cast in the vaunted roles for which thespians wait a lifetime? What qualifies them for the nuanced characters that only dynamic, Method-trained powerhouses like Brando could ever possibly realize? Who decreed it acceptable that second rate teeny-bop jesters utter the soul-wrenching dialogue (“Cowabunga, dude!” or “SHELLshocked!” or “Woah man, I’m totally like a big turtle with nun chucks…tubular!”) that can only adequately be read by a Shakespearean-trained actor the likes of Olivier himself?
Enraged by these distressing press releases (and mark you, they are no more than that — cheap and tawdry releases, bodily expulsions from a greedy, capitalistic enterprise), I turned back to the scripture itself. I rewatched all three original films (okay, I’ll admit to simultaneously checking my e-mail and Googling “Segway crashes” during the rather lackluster Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III), Youtubed the beloved cartoon program, and even dusted off some of my novelty TNMT pogs, action figurines, video games, and fanfiction pornography.
I emerged revitalized and reenergized, once again in perfectly synchronous harmony with the God-like beam of light that is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Then, while I opened the door to the bedroom closet that my mom keeps reminding me should be filled with ties and dress pants rather than nostalgic knickknacks and industrial strength narcotics, my knees buckled as my inferior mind was invaded with a euphoric vision of the TNMT movie that could be, if only the right people were involved — the best people. I knew who needed to be cast in the roles of the four turtles, as well as many other crucial parts. I present to you my vision…
Leonardo: Denzel Washington. If Bay is afraid to cast a black actor as one of the turtles, then shame on him. Unless it has to do with the way the makeup looks on a darker skin color or something…in that case, we could always just get Leo DiCaprio, I guess.
Raphael: Raphael is the most complex turtle of all: sarcastic, angry, and fiercely independent, he must be played by an actor who can display a wide range of emotions in a simple gesture or remark — someone who can reach into the primordial stew of the soul and come up with a ladleful of churning passion. This part calls for Joaquin Phoenix to duplicate his turn in The Master, albeit with less fart jokes.
Michelangelo: A notorious partier, Michelangelo’s wild antics mask a heart of sorrow. Only someone who has also battled a life of addiction could possibly hope to tap into the inner torment that drives this vulnerable character. I hope you like anchovies on your pizza, Robert Downey Jr.
Donatello: Donatello is intelligent, crafty, and sensitive; unlike the other turtles, he is introspective and widely praised for his scientific mind. While Bay has cast some boy band reject or a lineless Gossip Girl extra, it’s clear that the part calls for one Colin Firth.
April O’Neal: Whoever is cast in the role of April faces the difficult challenge of maintaining a refined sense of journalistic integrity while also exuding an overwhelmingly intoxicating sexuality. I’ll accept no less than Dame Judi Dench. Or Kevin Spacey, whoever agrees to do the press junket…
Shredder: Somebody tell Philip Seymour Hoffman to skip lunch, ‘cuz he’s got some scenery to chew.
Splinter: Splinter is the spiritual leader of the turtles, their sensei, and the father figure of their unique family unit. He’s also a giant mutant rat. Tell Daniel Day-Lewis to cancel whatever whack-ass project he’s got lined up.
Krang: Krang is a sentient, oversized, talking alien brain with sharp teeth and tentacles who occasionally resides within the stomach of a gigantic, man-shaped robot body that he controls. The sound you just heard was Nicolas Cage’s erection busting through the seams of his Dockers as he rushed to sign the contractual agreement.