Is the TMNT movie whitewashing The Shredder?

If you haven't heard, they're making a new live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. With Michael Bay producing, so far, it does not sound very promising. Last week, news broke that actor William Fichtner had been cast in a major role: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adds William Fichtner.

Details are vague, but according to Deadline, Fichtner will play "a lead with iconic stature in the Turtles' mythology. With the roles of all four turtles and Master Splinter already cast, there's speculation that Fichtner could be taking on the role of the villainous Shredder. But yo, isn't he supposed to be an Asian guy?

Ladies and gentlemen, we may have found our new Shredder. While nothing has been confirmed at this point, Deadline is reporting that famed character actor William Fichtner has signed on to the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in "a lead [role] with iconic stature in the Turtles’ mythology." And we think it could be the movie's big baddie.

Considering that all of the Turtle roles are taken (Alan Ritchson will play Raphael, Pete Ploszek will play Leonardo, Jeremy Howard will play Donatello, and Noel Fisher will play Michelangelo) and that Seinfeld's Danny Woodburn will be playing Master Splinter, that just leaves Shredder (the Turtles' greatest enemy) and Casey Jones (the hockey mask-wearing vigilante). Given Fichtner's recent run of antagonist characters, starring in movies like Drive Angry and the upcoming Lone Ranger and Elysium, we're willing to bet that he's playing the former.
Do keep in mind that this is all speculation.

Longtime fans of the old cartoon and comic books know that the Shredder, leader of the Foot Clan and archvillain to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is a Japanese dude under that mask. If Fichtner is indeed playing Shredder, it sounds like this reboot really just doesn't care about the old mythology. (There was already early talk that instead of mutated turtles, the Ninja Turtles would actually be aliens. Thumbs down to that.)

Fun fact: In the 1990 live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, The Shredder was played James Saito. But in its 1991 sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, he was played by Francois Chau... who was also the voice of Quick Kick on the old G.I. Joe cartoon.

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