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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows will finally hit theaters this Friday, and an important new player in the rebooted film franchise is Casey Jones. Actor Stephen Amell, best known as Oliver Queen on The CW’s Arrow, has taken on the role of the crime fighter, but it’s now been revealed that we almost didn’t get to see Casey kick ass in the film. And it also turns out that there was a very blunt reason why the character was eventually added to the movie, as just revealed by the film’s producer, Brad Fuller.
There was a point in this story when we didn’t have Casey Jones in it because we just felt like we just couldn’t fit in another character. That became a big battle towards the end of prep. It was really Bay who called me [and] said, 'Guys, Casey Jones is in this movie. You figure out how to make that story work.' And we had to go back to work on the story in order to fit him in.
Producer Brad Fuller spoke with ScreenRant about the decision to go ahead and include Casey Jones in the action of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. It sounds like the possibility of including the vigilante was discussed before getting the script done, but as the writing process went on, he was pushed to the sidelines because there were already so many characters to account for in the film. But, when executive producer Michael Bay stepped in and basically ordered them to fit Casey into the movie, it was a done deal. All the producers and screenwriters had to do was go back, probably undo a lot of hard work, and figure out how to get Casey in there without overwhelming the whole story.
It’s no wonder that Michael Bay wanted to see Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. The character has a long history with the heroes in a half-shell. Casey made his first appearance in the TMNT comics, in Raphael #1, which came out in 1985. He took to the vigilante life after his father was killed when gang members burned down the shop he owned when Casey was a teenager. He and his mother and sister were taken hostage, and Casey took a beating that may have led to severe mental and emotional issues that caused his violent behavior. Casey’s vigilante M.O. has always involved the wearing of a hockey mask as he fights crime and his use of sporting equipment (baseball bats, hockey sticks, golf clubs and cricket bats) to beat the bad guys. In various incarnations of the TMNT story, he’s frequently a love interest for April O’Neil.
From the looks of the trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, this version of Casey Jones seems to be more of a level-headed vigilante than the one who first appeared in the comics. With Stephen Amell bringing his Arrow fighting skills to the film, Casey’s sure to be a reliable badass, though. You can see for yourself when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows debuts on June 3.