“I’ll bet it never has to look for a can opener.”
Movie studios creating new versions of classic characters often prefer to reveal overhauled designs on a gradual basis, to create tension and keep fans guessing. Toy companies, on the other hand, generally want retailers to know what they’ll be able to order as soon as possible. Sometimes those interests collide, and we end up seeing things earlier than usual, which has now happened for Michael Bay and Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.
An official group shot from action figure titan Playmates (a company that was effectively built on the success of the TMNT brand) has revealed the looks of all the major (known) characters in the film; including the first clear depictions of the new Shredder (William Fichtner) and Master Splinter (Tony Shalhoub.)
Neither character appears to be as radical of a redesign as any of the Turtles were. Splinter seems to be shaped more like the version currently seen in the Nickelodeon animated series, but with gray fur instead of brown. Shredder, meanwhile, appears to remain a human wearing a suit of modified samurai armor (infamous early scripts had him as a metal-skinned alien creature disguised as a human named “Colonel Schrader,”) but with a design impetus that amounts to “Put more knives on it.” If nothing else, he looks more like Eastman and Laird’s initial “human cheese-grater” inspiration than any other – even his cape is made of knives.
TMNT is due in theaters August 8th, 2014.