Another day, another casting announcement for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. Earlier this month we learned that Will Arnett had signed on for the movie in an unspecified role, leading to speculation that he might be playing either Splinter or the Shredder. Well, we can now confirm that Will Arnett won’t be playing Splinter, because instead Master Splinter will be played by none other than Danny Woodburn. Best known for his roles on Seinfeld and the Conan TV series, Woodburn also recently appeared in Tarsem’s Mirror, Mirror.
The news comes courtesy of Deadline. Up until now, we have been given the impression that the actors being cast will be providing both the physical performance and the voices of the characters. Woodburn’s height does seem to coincide with some versions of Splinter that we’ve seen over the years, although it’s unclear if he would be expected to participate in any of the action scenes. In the original TMNT film, Splinter was portrayed entirely with a puppet as performed by Kevin Clash.
Preliminary shooting for the new TMNT is now underway and Alan Ritchson (Raphael) recently defended the film in an interview with THR:
“The frustrating thing for me since I’ve signed on is that you hear that it’s already got a reputation. I think people assume they know what it’s going to be about, and those people are wrong. The assumptions, everything you read online is wrong.”
Are you happy with the latest casting decision? What do you think about Ritchson’s comments?