This should bring out the haters. Deadline is reporting that Johnny Knoxville will voice Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Tony Shalhoub (Monk) will voice Splinter. These roles were motion captured on set with Pete Ploszek as Leonardo and Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld) as Splinter, but Paramount always considered using voice actors. Whether this means the turtles Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo will also get voice actors remains to be seen, but now it’s looking pretty likely. Michelangelo does talk in the teaser trailer, but this may not be his final voice for the movie.
As a lifelong Turtle fan, I am a little surprised at this casting. Knoxville’s attitude and voice are very carefree and I pictured him as more of a Raphael. Where as Shalhoub is very neurotic and Splinter is stern and authoritative. I am curious to see who is cast in the other voice roles now. Of course the beauty of voice acting is that both actors can change their inflection, and I am sure it will be amazing, but I cannot help but think that this is just another excuse for people to complain about a film that they haven’t seen and would probably like if they didn’t go into it with a load of preconceived notions. I think it is very important to remember that this is a film about talking 6- foot tall bipedal turtles who practice ninjutsu that they learned from an equally tall talking rat. If you buy into the concept like I do, you kind of have to go along for the whole ride. The film opens August 8th. COWABUNGA!!!!
Here’s the synopsis for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
The city needs heroes. Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April and her wise-cracking cameraman Vern Fenwick to save the city and unravel Shredder’s diabolical plan.