The Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot has always been under a shroud of controversy since the project was announced last year. It seems like every decision the production has made was a big misstep in the fans’ eyes. As principal photography gets started in a month, Platinum Dunes has finally started to cast the heroes in a half shell.
According to Deadline, Paramount and Platinum Dunes have cast Hunger Games: Catching Fire actor, and former Abercrombie and Fitch model, Alan Ritchson to play the always cool but rude Raphael in the upcoming reboot. More importantly, they have also confirmed that the Turtles will be completely motion captured, instead of actors in rubber costumes with electronic puppet work like in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trilogy.
Alan Ritchson appeared as a contestant in Fox’s American Idol in 2004, where he famously did a striptease for panel judge Paula Abdul. He later landed a recurring guest star role on the TV series Smallville as Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman. Ritchson will be featured in the upcoming Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie as the character of Gloss — a tribute in the 75th Hunger Games — later this year. The 28-year-old actor also has some motion capture experience on Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf, where Ritchson played actor Ray Winstone’s body double.
Production is scheduled to begin on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in late April in New York City. Platinum Dunes still needs to cast Leonardo, Donatello, and Michelangelo, and Megan Fox will play Channel 6 news reporter April O’Neil.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will hit theaters everywhere on May 16, 2014.