It’s a good time to be a Ninja Turtles fan, depending on which side you found yourself after Michael Bay’s 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. It’s no secret the reboot divided fans, as it tried to cater to two different audiences: the original generation of fans and the younger kids of today.
One thing is certain for all Turtles fans, regardless of age: 2015 has been a year of pure excitement rumour-wise.
Earlier this year news broke that fan-favourites Bebop and Rocksteady will lock horns with the turtle brothers, marking the first time the Shredder duo will appear in any live action adaptation. Then, just this week, it was announced that the titular star of Arrow, Stephen Amell, is joining the cast as the one and only turtle-friendly vigilante, Casey Jones.
As a lifelong Turtles fan myself, I am immensely excited about this news. Some perspective: when I say “fan” I mean I am someone who frequently drags friends to the annual theatre showings of the 1990 classic film. (Are we allowed to call that a classic?) I shamelessly watch both the new Nickelodeon series and the 1980s cartoon, which is well worn on the VHS tapes I still own. And before you ask–Yes. I know every word to “Ninja Rap” by Vanilla Ice.
I’m also a HUGE fan of Casey Jones. You know, that guy who wears a hockey mask and carries around a golf bag full of sports equipment to pummel bad guys with. Anyone who beats up criminals with a hockey stick gets an OK in my books. Previously, his only live-action incarnation on screen was in the 1990 movie and its sequel, as admirably played by fellow Canadian Elias Koteas (who now fights bad guys in a new way on Chicago PD).
Casting Stephen Amell as the follow-up actor in the role is the perfect choice.
He’s in shape for it.
This casting of Stephen Amell as a contemporary take on the character makes perfect sense as Amell hops from one vigilante role to another. We already know he has the moves; in fact he may be in better shape than any version of Casey we’ve seen.
He knows how to act broody.
In his role as Oliver Queen, Amell has suffered several losses. That common back story will suit him well as Casey Jones, but he’s definitely going to have to let loose a little bit. Sure, Casey is a crazed violent man who borders on homicidal tendencies but he’s also having fun while he does it.
He’s got the angst down.
As Green Arrow, Amell is almost always forced to play it straight, and tends to be angry and vengeful towards someone. Casey Jones doesn’t have family secrets weighing him down or some league of assassins trying to kill him; he’s on the streets beating up punks because he enjoys it.
It’s time to see his other side.
In the 1990 film (and its campier three-quel) Casey was very much the comedic relief in an otherwise grim storyline, so I’m very interested to see how much comedy Amell will evoke. The only thing I am asking for is if they stick with the classic, long dark hair, look let’s hope it’s better than any of Oliver’s flashback wigs!
He’ll bring new fans.
With this latest addition to the cast, TMNT 2 is setting up to be the pinnacle of the Ninja Turtles film franchise. Hopefully news of Stephen Amell’s role will bring new Arrow fans over to the franchise. I for one cannot wait to see Amell cleaning up the streets of New York while toting a golf bag and presumably bonding with MY favourite turtle, Raphael. I’m sure the only question on the mind of Arrow fans will be, will Casey have a bow in that bag of tricks?
Ryan Scriver has been a TV Junkie since he was eight years old, when TV Guide informed him he could watch The Simpsons six times per day. (Much to the delight of his mother.) His current faves include Hannibal, Boardwalk Empire, Arrow and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Ryan has a nostalgic love for everything pop-culture, and has seen every season of Survivor at least three times. When not taking in new television Ryan can usually be found rewatching his favourite series past including, Star Trek: TNG, Red Dwarf and The Twilight Zone.