After a way too long break, Secret Identity is back! Tune in every week as we cast your favorite superheroes and comic book characters for their very own big screen adventures.
Up first in our reboot of the series: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Yes, despite all protests to the contrary, this movie is happening, minus the Teenage and the Mutant. If this alien-refocused reboot is going to happen anyway, might as well put some positive energy into the universe with casting suggestions, right?
To that end, here are our picks for casting Michael Bay and Jonathan Liebesman's planned "Ninja Turtles."
"Turtles" Part 1: The Motion-Capture
As much as I'd like this to be a mostly live-action, costume and practical effects heavy affair, I just don't see that happening, or else I'd recommend Doug Jones for every role. Likewise, it's tempting to suggest Andy Serkis for all of the Turtles' motion capture, but he lacks the martial arts know how. (This is going to be motion-capture, right Bay/Liebesman? Because pure CGI is not going to go over well.) Instead of Serkis, let's get the team behind "The Raid" on board, specifically Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian. Those guys are some of the best there is at what they do, and lending their expertise to the physicality of Leonardo and the gang would do wonders towards giving "Ninja Turtles" some serious action cred.
"Turtles" Part 2: The Voices
Easy peasy: not Shia LaBeouf, not Josh Duhamel. Look, I don't hate the "Transformers" movies the way that some fans do, but revisiting the robots-in-disguise well would be a huge mistake on Bay/Liebesman's part. TMNT fans are angry enough as is — don't retread that ground. Go with lesser known voices instead; tried and true voice actors, sure, but not anybody whose words you would instantly recognize. Find the right guys for the sword-wielding leader, the tech-savvy nerd, the party dude, the rude one. This needs to be about the characters, not the actors behind their voices.
For me, this one's a no-brainer: Adrianne Palicki of "Friday Night Lights" fame. She's on the rise with her role in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," she almost had it with "Wonder Woman." Add another geek property to her name with TMNT. Palicki is strong-willed, hilarious and, of course, beautiful. Who wouldn't want to see that Tyra Colette spark in April's yellow jumper?
As much as I don't want to see this role revisited — Elias Koteas was way too perfect for Casey, as he is in everything he does — the idea of Palicki as April going up against Taylor Kitsch as the hockey mask-wearing vigilante is just too awesome to ignore. Kitsch has the right attitude, look and, perhaps most importantly, hockey skill and enthusiasm to pull off Casey with flying colors.
Well, that depends on who makes it into the film, right? Shredder feels like a no-brainer, and once again, I'd put my support behind Yayan Ruhian of "The Raid," if only because I'm obsessed with his Mad Dog and want to see him do his thing in a big budget blockbuster. (Although, as MTV News' Kevin P. Sullivan points out to me, Yayan is a little short for Shredder...)
Beyond Shredder, we can also once again revisit Andy Serkis, and put him in the dual-role of Beebop and Rocksteady. And! Once again! Give Doug Jones a call, have him do his harrowing performance art thing as Krang's body suit. As for Krang's voice, I don't even want to guess. Gilbert Gottfried? (Sorry if I just willed that into existence, everyone.)
Tell us how you would cast the "Ninja Turtles" reboot in the comments section or on Twitter!