William Fichtner Confirms He’s Playing Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

William Fichtner

Professional TV and movie bad guy William Fichtner has confirmed to media outlets that he is, indeed, playing longtime Turtle nemesis Shredder in the upcoming Michael Bay-produced “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie.

While out doing press rounds for his new cop TV series “Crossing Lines”, Fichtner, who has played bad guys on both TV and movies and everywhere in-between, confirmed to Huffpo that he is, indeed, playing chief villain Shredder, leader of the nefarious Foot Clan, in the live-action “Ninja Turtles” reboot.

When posed the question, Fichtner didn’t bother to hee and haw about his role, which I find kind of refreshing (but then again, he probably figures everyone knows he’s playing a bad guy):

I play Shredder. It is cool. It’s one of those things that came along where I thought, “Really? Let me think about this for a minute.” [Laughs] Then I was like, “Yeah, OK, this sounds like a journey.” I’m very glad that it worked out, I’m really glad that I’m doing it.

For those of you who don’t know who this Shredder fella is, this is him on the cover of a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” comic book:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comic Book Cover

Shredder is to the Turtles what Joker is to Batman, Lex Luthor is to Superman, etc. You just kind expect him to pop up sooner or later, so it’s really no surprise they would cast a great actor like Fichtner to play the main bad guy.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is being directed by “Battle: Los Angeles’” Jonathan Liebesman, and is due out next year, June 6, 2014. The movie will co-star Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and four actors wearing mo-cap suits as the turtles.

Here’s a look at Fichtner’s “Crossing Lines”, where he plays — gasp! — a good guy. The show premieres on NBC this Sunday.



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Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.

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  • Kal-El-1983

    wha…..He plays awesome villains..but Shredder!? I swear this movie get worse and worse. Was Ken Watanabe unavalible

  • LL COOL NATE

    F*ck it….that’s why it’s called acting

    • Kal-El-1983

      Actors still have to fit the roles, major problem in Hollywood now is getting good actors that turn out crappy performances because they don’t fit the role. The problem here is for him to fit the role, they had to have completely changed who and what Shredder is.

      • LL COOL NATE

        eh….don’t exaggerate…. doesn’t have to be “completely changed”. Personally, I’m not so closed minded that I can’t accept minor to major tweaks from the source material. Just like I’ve said pertaining ´The Crow’ remake, I don’t wanna see a rehash of things already done. I like reinterpretation….re-imagining, if you will. Look, I know it’s the ‘it’ thing is to sh*t on Michael Bay for ALL his production decisions, but I’m not gonna do that. I’m not so close minded as to think that every variation from what was done before is a ‘bad move’. Matter of fact, all the ‘fanboys’ with their very vocal opinions, tend to end up being more wrong than right, in these situations…..Heath Ledger anyone? (Yeah, I know…. but it’s always a great example)

        • Kal-El-1983

          Exaggerate? So William Fichtner is going to play a Japanese man who climbed the ranks of an International Ninja Clan? There is a fine line between reinterpretation and out right destruction of the core concepts of the source material. For him to play Shredder they will have to change most if not all of his back story. Micheal Bay has a particular style to film making but I have never been a “Bay Basher” George Lucas could be doing this film and I would have the same feelings about it. My personal feelings on Ledger was skepticism but not out right derision and he gave a memorable performance, but even then at it’s core he was still The Joker. The term Fanboy has truly become misused the same as Hipster.

          • LL COOL NATE

            Yes “exaggerate”…. and perhaps you’re not guilty of ‘Bay bashing’ like some ‘fanboys’ but I don’t see it as much of a strech for Shredder to be ‘white’ or American….. Originally Shredder WAS Japanese and at some point put in charge of the the American sector of that ‘International Ninja Clan’ you mention….but again is it really a stretch of the imagination really for him to be an american? Or american ancestry? All we know at this point is that Fichtner is officially Shredder but we don’t know who Shredder is in this film. He could still be close to the same origin (to unnecessarily please folks like ‘purists’ and folks very specific about TMNT, such as yourself) or it could be radically different….and better….maybe. I seriously doubt how Shredder becomes Shredder is gonna be relevant to the grande scheme of the story. We’ll probably still be able to enjoyably get from point A to B without thinking ‘f*ck, Shredder being white made him into a p*ssy’ or whatever it is your thinking that makes you so against this casting and/or character decision. i guess the ultimate question should be, Can he still be bad ass mother f*cking Shredder?….the answer is ‘yes’…because also, with his mask on and everything, his race/ origin is a moot point anyways.It ultimately never meant sh*t in TMNT.

          • Kal-El-1983

            Then don’t call him Shredder, the turtles had many other villains to use and use shredder for a sequel. In this day and age changing his race might work..but it does lead back to the actor not fitting the role. Then the the “It doesn’t matter because he will be in a mask anyway” argument brings up “then why do it” Much like making Perry White Black and Jimmy Olsen into Jenny Olsen, it neither detracted nor added to the story so the question begs , why do it at all.

          • LL COOL NATE

            Why call him Shredder? no offense, but that’s a silly question. Because he’ll still actually be Shredder doing ‘Shredder things’ as the leader of the ‘foot clan’ or whatever they ultimately call it. Character’s can evolve throughout different iterations of the same universe. Can you imagine this discussion if you thought they were gonna use a whole different character to carry out a Shredder-esque agenda? you don’t have to feel duped just cuz there’s a white dude under the mask instead of a pseudo japanese one….cuz again, it never really mattered. The character IS the mask…unfortunately. That in it’s self is the flaw of Shredder.

          • Kal-El-1983

            your operating on the assumption that he will never be shown maskless and if this is the case then fine. Shredder’s origin and back story are tied into his agenda in every incarnation of the franchise, to change one is to change it all.

          • LL COOL NATE

            i guess… I’m able see beyond your point though.

          • Juggernaut

            Hey Kevin Nash played him why not Fitchner?! LOL!

          • LL COOL NATE

            Bazinga!

          • Kal-El-1983

            what the hell kind of word is that?

          • Kal-El-1983

            Kevin Nash played a mutated version of a Japanese Shredder.

          • LL COOL NATE

            We’re just f*cking with you, bro. ….Bazinga!

          • Kal-El-1983

            wtf does that even mean…

          • LL COOL NATE

            Big Bang Theory

          • Kal-El-1983

            The TV Show? Never seen it.

          • LL COOL NATE

            yeah, no sh*t….

          • Juggernaut

            LOL

  • Hulk’s Jazz Guitar

    If Hollywood is going to keep race-bending these roles, then I’d accept it if they did it across the board. For example, If they want make The Shredder to be a Caucasian male, then they shouldn’t have any problem with making Donnie Yen be the next James Bond. Or perhaps Idris Elba can play the next Lex Luthor. How about Fan Bingbing plays the next Wonder Woman. How about Eva Mendes be Ms. Marvel.

    I wouldn’t mind these changes to the race of a character if they did this across the board. But it seems like they want to do this to many of the Asian characters, i.e. The Shredder, The Mandarin, Aang from Avatar the Last Airbender, Goku, The film “21″ where Hollywood replaced most of the MIT Blackjack team of Asian-American characters in the story with Caucasian actors instead, not to mention the upcoming AKIRA movie where they plan to blatantly ignore the backlash of not casting Asian actors and instead want to cast all Caucasian actors. This has been going on in Hollywood for a long time. Even Bruce Lee was supposed to be the character Kwai Chung Caine for the series KUNG FU but they instead gave it to David Carradine so it would be a more ‘safe’ sell to Western viewers. But they had no problem letting Bruce Lee play the sidekick Kato in the Green Hornet series.

    I’m not Asian, but rather I’m African American, and some say I shouldn’t even be concerned with this since it doesn’t concern my own race. But I have noticed this and it should be pointed out. Hollywood cannot keep disrespecting Asians like this time and time again. William Fichtner is a fantastic actor, but he should not be in this role. They could at least get Hollywood’s go-to-Asian actor Ken Watanabe. I’m not trying to stir up controversy here, but this situation reminds me of the Chris Rock saying, “It All Right, cuz it’s All White.”

    • LL COOL NATE

      Idris Elba as Lex Luther is actually kinda of a cool idea….let the petition begin!…..lol…..ain’t gonna happen though.

  • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

    Need to see how they spin this. I can easily see Shredder being the outcast because he’s a white man in Japan, and though he excels in martial arts.he is never truly respected.except by one man. Hamato Yoshi. They still fall in love with Tang Shen and that’s the last straw for the ma. Who took the name Oroku.Saki. He all but kills Yoshi, and forcibly takes control of the foot clan,.earning the nickname the Shredder after his decimation of the clan elders.

    • edge007

      I really hope this is the route they go. My better judgement tells me otherwise, though.

  • Bobcat

    Consider: “The Shredder” may be a hereditary title, Fichtner’s character may have inherited the title-and the suit- from an Asian mentor.

    I refuse to make a decision until I’ve actually seen the film.