As pre-production for Michael Bay’s TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES remake (simply titled NINJA TURTLES) begins to gather steam, the first news of casting for the film has hit with the announcement that Megan Fox (THIS IS 40) will being playing longtime Turtle ally April O’Neil. Bay tweeted the news on his blog.
From michaelbay.com: “TMNT: We Are Bringing Megan Fox Back Into The Family”
Fox had previously been cast in the role of Mikaela Banes, love interest to Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky, for Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS and TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN. She did not return for the third installment TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON with various media outlets and sources citing her bad-mouthing of Bay in interviews as incentive to have her replaced and her role phased out in favor of a new love interest played by Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Whether these circumstances were legitimate is questionable, but it seems as though peace has been made between Fox and Bay with her beating out actresses like Elizabeth Olsen (SILENT HOUSE), Jane Levy (Showtime’s SHAMELESS) and Anna Kendrick (PITCH PERFECT) for the role of April.
Bay’s involvement with the TMNT remake has been met with some backlash from the fan base, starting with his initial announcement that the Turtles would have extraterrestrial origins, the leaking of the initial script confirming their alien status, and now this pretty polarizing casting choice. Some people argue that Fox’s performance was one of the things wrong with the first two TRANSFORMERS movies. In my opinion, it was pretty blatant that her role as Mikaela was included primarily for eye candy and nothing really substantial as a character, but it did not interfere with the nostalgic enjoyment I had watching the first film nor the lack of enthusiasm I had for the next two. Honestly, she wouldn’t be my first choice for portraying April O’Neil, but until we’re given more information with regards to the look of the film and the direction the story will ultimately take, I will reserve judgment (but if you want to know what my dream team for a TMNT remake would be, check out my latest NERD RANT!).
NINJA TURTLES has been reported to begin filming in April (no pun intended!) this year with a new release date of June 6, 2014. Ironically, Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS 4 is slated for that same year with a release date of June 27th. Love it or hate it, 2014 is shaping up to be Bay’s Battle of 80’s Nostalgia!