With a movie as big as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a lot of details are kept under wraps for two important reasons: to build anticipation towards the film, and to keep the public guessing about the latest interpretation of their favorite characters. More often than not though, fans end up getting a peek of what's to come through concept art, leaked set photos, and sometimes the tie in products associated with the film. In the case of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we haven't gotten a clear look at Shredder in full regalia or Splinter in his stoic splendor. Two of the most important characters to the Ninja Turtles mythos have been kept under wraps, at least they have until now.
Idle Hands has provided us with the first look at the upcoming book Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History. The fan site snapped some photos of pages from that very book at this past weekend's Book Expo America event in New York, and most importantly among them was a first look at the mentor and tormentor of the Ninja Turtles.
At the top of the page, you'll see Master Splinter, who is voiced in the film by Tony Shaloub. Splinter is the mentor to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as he adopts them and trains them in the martial arts. Master Splinter looks his most photo realistic in this film's incarnation, while maintaining a similar look to the original character with his classic red robe, bandages, and general facial structure. It's unknown at this point if his origin will remain the same as before, but if so then Splinter is a former disciple/creation of Hamato Yoshi, a ninja who is murdered by the man who would be Shredder, Oroku Saki. Judging by the casting, it's a good bet that the origin is going to change, so feel free to fire up your internet outrage in advance. Speaking of which, below you'll see the new concept for "The Shredder", who may have been renamed to reflect that casting.
Played by William Fichtner, The Shredder is the man that helped create the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with the help of April O'Neil's (Megan Fox) father. At least, that's how the trailers make it sound. The Shredder's cape looks like it was furnished by Black And Decker, as it's taken a solid chain mail approach with accenting blades. Of course, the general gist of the costume is that of a samurai's armor, but with a lot of metal plating to protect and defend the wearer of the suit.
On top of the photos they've managed to secure, Idle Hands has also provided the official synopsis of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History, which boils down to the following paragraph of details:
In visually stunning detail, this book explores each iteration of the Turtles from the past to the present, including the hit animation show from Nickelodeon and the Michael Bay–produced live-action movie from Paramount starring Megan Fox. Bringing together the rarest art and artifacts from three decades of TMNT comics, TV shows, and films, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History leaves no shell unturned!
The look of both Shredder and Splinter hint at reverence to the source material, with some deviation along the way to the finished product. With this book, you'll be able to trace the visual origins of the characters, up to and including Michael Bay's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and judge for yourself just how true the characters look to the original. Of course, there could be even more deviation, considering that these are pieces of concept art and not still photographs from the actual film. The critiques of die hard Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans will be most interesting, and if anyone else wants to get in on the fun Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History will hit shelves at your favorite bookseller on June 24th, while Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hits theaters on August 8th.