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When William Fichtner was cast in the upcoming Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles last month his role wasn't directly identified, but it was described. The report that delivered the casting news said that he would be playing "a lead [role] with iconic stature in the Turtles’ mythology," but failed to mention either a name or how the character would fit into the story, be it as a hero or a villain. At the time there was some speculation that he could possibly be playing Baxter Stockman (a scientist known for creating the sewer rat-hunting machines called Mousers) or even possibly Casey Jones (a hockey-mask wearing vigilante), but by far the most popular theory was that he will play the Turtles' arch-nemesis Shredder. It's been nearly a month and a half since Fichtner's casting was announced and the film is now deep into production, but only now do we finally have an answer to the question.
And that answer is Shredder. In an interview with The Huffington Post Canada about his upcoming series Crossing Lines, Fichtner confirmed that he will be playing the big baddie of the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. As about his role in the 2014 summer blockbuster, the famed character didn't even hesitate to reveal his character's identity. "I play Shredder," he said to the site. "It is cool. It's one of those things that came along where I thought, 'Really? Let me think about this for a minute.' Then I was like, 'Yeah, OK, this sounds like a journey.' I'm very glad that it worked out, I'm really glad that I'm doing it."
The film is the first feature based on the classic comic book characters since 2007's animated TMNT and it's their first love action movie since 1993's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. Jonathan Liebesman, who last directed the 2012 sequel Wrath of the Titans, is leading the production. Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, and Pete Ploezek will play Raphael, Michaelangelo, Donatello and Leonardo, respectively, while Megan Fox is April O'Neil, Will Arnett is Vernon Fenwick, and Danny Woodburn is Master Splinter. Production is currently underway in New York and Paramount Pictures will have the movie in theaters on June 6, 2014.
Fichtner actually has quite a bit of experience playing a villain and will be performing those duties twice this summer, playing an antagonist in both Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger and Neill Blomkamp's Elysium. His new series, Crossing Lines, stars him as the head of a special crime unit that solves crimes across European borders. The show will air its first episode this weekend on NBC.
And now for a healthy dose of nostalgia...