Well, it looks like Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot is back on track as the studio has selected Transformers star Megan Fox as the film’s female lead, April O’Neil.
Directed by Jonathan Liebsman (Battle: Los Angeles, Wrath of the Titans), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is being produced by Michael Bay and his partners at Platinum Dunes.
Bay revealed the casting news on his blog with a sentence: “TMNT: we are bringing Megan Fox back into the family!” Variety then confirmed that Fox would be playing April O’Neil, a character that actresses such as Jane Levy (Fun Size), Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect), and Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) were also considered for.
Here’s the thing, I really like Megan Fox. As I mentioned in my review of Judd Apatow’s This is 40, “Fox is a talented comedic actress – if you haven’t seen Jennifer’s Body, she delivers a hilariously wicked performance – it’s just a shame she’s been pigeonholed as an actress (and a human being, honestly) as a hyper-sexualized, shallow mean girl.”
I’m not sure why she decided to bury the hatchet with Transformers director Michael Bay and join Liebsman’s reboot, but it feels like a step in the wrong direction. She just doesn’t seem like April O’Neil material to me – unless of course this April O’Neil isn’t the television news reporter character we’re familiar with from the comic, cartoon series, and previous film franchise.
In an early draft of the script (by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec), April O’Neil is in high school and dating sports-obsessed vigilante Casey Jones. She lands a journalism internship (O’Neil Begins!) at CBS and eventually has a run-in with the Ninja Turtles.
That leaked script, by the way, was the reason Liebsman’s film was delayed until 2014. Die-hard fans were outraged by the idea of a ‘reimagined’ series where the Turtles would have extraterrestrial (or inter-dimensional) origins.
I’m sure there have been numerous rewrites by now but still – Fox doesn’t seem like the right choice for O’Neil. To me, it sounds like TMNT is going to be Transformers all over again, with a young Casey Jones standing in for Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky as the film’s protagonist and Megan Fox as the girlfriend-slash-sidekick.
What do you think? Does Megan Fox’s involvement sully the potential of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles revival, or were your hopes already dashed by the involvement of Liebsman and Bay?
[Source: Variety | MichaelBay.com]