'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles': William Fichtner's Shredder is an entirely new character

william-fichtner-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-gi.jpgIn Michael Bay's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" reboot for Paramount, professional bad guy William Fichtner portrays The Shredder. It's a casting choice that has raised a few eyebrows, considering the role is traditionally a Japanese character. So, will this Shredder have a significantly different back story?

"Actually, I play a guy named Erik Sacks in the film," Fichtner tells Zap2it. "And Erik Sacks goes though ... a few changes ... let's just put it that way." So basically, Fichtner's Shredder will evolve -- some way, somehow -- from an entirely new character to the franchise. This should be interesting.

"TMNT" is currently filming in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Fichtner says he's "having a great time working on it." In the meantime, he's discovering first-hand what a "massive following" the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property has. "It's much bigger than I knew," he says.

"What's really exciting about working on the 'Turtles' movie right now is that this is a Michael Bay-produced film. And for whatever my experience is before, in the whole world of the Ninja Turtles, I've never seen anything before that has to do with the Turtles like it is in this. This is pretty exciting; this is modern technology. And you're going to see things -- this is not like, you know, a goofy little cartoon. That's not this movie. This is uh ... this is pretty [laughs] ... this is pretty out there."

As for what portion of Fichtner's Shredder costume is practical, and how much will be handled by CGI, he is keeping tight-lipped for now, but promises to talk all about it as soon as he's given the go-ahead.

Fichtner says his taking on such an iconic role is a really big deal to his younger family members. "When I was offered the job, I called a couple of nephews and a niece, and I said, 'I'm thinking of going to work on this,'" he says. "And they all immediately said to me, 'You better do it, Uncle Bill.'"

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" won't hit theaters until June 6, 2014. For now, you can catch Fichtner as the villainous Butch Cavendish in Disney's "The Lone Ranger," in theaters July 3.
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