Though the movie is due in theaters in a little over four months, the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies directed by Jonathan Liebsman has just added two new members to the cast. Johnny Knoxville will be voicing the ur-leader of the turtles Leonardo, while Tony Shalhoub will voice Splinter, the Rat who teaches the teen turtles the art of fighting.
This news comes from Deadline, and follows a report from Latino Review that notes the film is going through some reshoots right now. The first trailer did feature some voicework from the Turtles, but as there is so much CGI involved in their faces, a change of performers isn’t all that difficult or troubling and may have been the plan all along. It is unknown if the reshoots have anything to do with reactions to the trailer, which was met with some disappointment from hardcore fans, though it’s fair to say that most big movies have a period of additional photography, and unless the film gets pushed until later this year or into 2015, this was likely always a part of the plan.
Knoxville is best known for his work with his Jackass crew, while Shalhoub has been one of the best character actors around, and had a long running series in Monk. Knoxville definitely plays to the idea of these turtles being teenagers, though Leonardo was usually the most serious of the group in previous incarnations, while Shalhoub has a distinctive voice, though his hiring suggests a more humorous reading of the character. This also suggests we’ll be getting more voice announcements for the rest of the turtles shortly.
Who would you like to see round out the turtle gang?