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Through the early history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films, those involved creatively have always tried to make Shredder seem scary and intimidating. The way that the first two movies went about it may have worked when I was a kid, but today the look just doesn't hold up. Even "Super Shredder" doesn't threaten like he did when I was a kid. Seriously, all they did was give him a good sharpening and add more blades. That's like giving the wrong answer to a question and hoping it's right when you scream it the second time. Well, in the latest big screen version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - and it shames me to say this - director Jonathan Liebesman has actually improved upon the source material with the new look accompanying William Fichtner's portrayal of The Shredder. For once, producer Michael Bay's love of overkill has influenced someone into making a GOOD decision.
As you can see above, TMNT Fansite's's official Twitter feed dropped this first clear, honest to gods look at the new incarnation of everyone's favorite food processor/supervillain. At least, this is the first clear look of the actual costume in use, as we'd already seen the concept art behind this design.
The new look of Shredder has a more homemade look, as if our samurai obsessed antagonist decided to weld his collection of swords to that coat of armor he gazes upon lovingly in the trailer. It looks jagged, dangerous, and like nothing to mess with. This almost makes up for the fact that the writers screwed with his origin story and made him a former collaborator with April O'Neil's father. Or that they cast the awesome William Fichtner in a role that's classically been a samurai of Asian descent. All that is to say that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is going to have a lot of work ahead of it to make up for this bout of creative license. Also, it looks like this film might be recycling the old plot point of "Shredder attacks Splinter / Splinter disappears and the Turtles are forced to grow up," as you can see Master Splinter's head in the bottom left hand portion of the image. In fact, this image looks like it was pulled from the moment directly after the small bit of footage shown in a previous TV spot.
Of course, the larger question at hand is, does this image mean a new trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is on its way? TMNT Fansite doesn't mention where it got this photo from, but it's safe to assume that we're going to get a bigger look at the story at large as well as the man of the hour himself. Perhaps we'll even get some sort of backstory as to why he's turning into a baddie, complete with a more human name for his character. Unless the writing team of Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, and Evan Daugherty have made the masterful move of just naming his character Shredder throughout. Say what you will about his looks, but William Fichtner doesn't really look like a Shredder. I'd peg him as more of a... well, a William Fichtner.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will try to make itself into one of Paramount's safety franchises when it hits theaters on August 8th, 2014.