I don't know about you, but I grew up on the Ninja Turtles. I'd go as far as to say that they pretty much defined my childhood. Needless to say, their mythos has been chiseled in my memory for decades. I know that I'm not alone in this.
Most of you probably know by now that William Fichtner has been cast to play Shred-Head in the upcoming TMNT film, produced by Michael Bay.
This is a huge problem for me, as a Turtles fan. Don't get me wrong, Fichtner is a great actor, he really is. But Oroku Saki is a HUGE staple in the entire TMNT backstory. In fact, he's kind of the reason Splinter ended up in New York in the first place. (Well, it was really his brother, but let me explain.)
If you don't know the origin of The Shredder, let me fill you in a little bit. Hamato Yoshi was Splinter's master in Japan, back when Splinter was just a normal, run-of-the-mill rat. He used to study his master's movements from his cage, over time learning the secret art of ninjitsu.
This other ninjitsu master, had the hots for this girl Tang Shen, who exclusively had the hots for Hamato Yoshi. Nagi challenged Yoshi for the hand of Tang Shen, and Yoshi killed Nagi and fled to New York. Then Nagi's little brother, Oroku Saki, totally showed up and murdered the hell out of the two lovers, seeking vengeance for his brother. That's when Splinter broke out of his cage and mutilated Oroku Saki's face (which is why he wears a mask later).
So, after Splinter's master is dead, he wanders the streets and meets the Turtles, they all mutate because of some ooze, etc.
The thing is, because Oroku Saki killed Splinter's master, that's what makes it personal for The Turtles in their fight against him and the foot clan. And because The Shredder recognizes their fighting styles as that of Hamato Yoshi's, he has a personal vendetta against them. So, you see, his back story is kind of what drives the entire conflict between The Turtles and The Shredder.
Plus, they're called NINJA turtles for a reason, because they're basically 1st generation immigrants from Japan, who have to fight ninja thieves that are trained by a ninja master FROM JAPAN.
I just don't seeing William Fichtner pulling off a ninja master any time soon, do you? I mean, just look at that damn scarf.
As fans, what we can do about this is piss and moan on the internet. I know, it sounds like pointless complaining. But remember when we heard that the Turtles were going to be aliens from outer space? Fans went crazy, the web was rife with constant complaining and the incessant bashing of Michael Bay and his lack of awareness of what we want.
That seemed to have made a difference. Why not do it a second time?
So go forth, Turtle fans! Go forth and bitch until the cows come home! Do not stop until they cast a solid japanese actor to play a japanese character! We want the original TMNT origin, not some watered down crap!
And, just to throw this out there... Ken Watanabe is Japanese, he'd be great!