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‘Hunger Games’ Star Cast as Raphael in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

Alan Ritchson Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
New Line Cinema/Spike TV

No, it’s not Jennifer Lawrence. There’s probably something slightly thankless about playing one of the title characters in the upcoming ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles‘ reboot, but don’t tell that to Alan Ritchson, who has snagged the role of Raphael (you remember, the cool but rude turtle) in the upcoming film. Still, better to play the mutant turtle with the red headband than no mutant turtle at all, right?

Ritchson is no stranger to taking on geeky roles. Fans of ‘Smallville’ will remember him as Arthur Curry (AKA, Aquaman) and audiences will soon be able to see him as Gloss in the upcoming ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.’ Unlike those roles, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ won’t make use of his face, as Deadline notes, instead putting him in a skintight motion capture suit and letting visual effects wizards transform him in a giant teenage turtle with martial arts abilities.

We still don’t know what to expect from the upcoming film, which boasts a female lead in Megan Fox, a producer in Michael Bay and a director in Jonathan Liebesman. Early buzz on the project had fans angry (mainly due to rumors that the turtles were going to aliens and not mutants), but the project was shut down and extensively retooled last year after the internet buzz grew too toxic. The fact that the title is back to ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and no longer ‘Ninja Turtles’ is proof that at least a few things changed.

We’ll have to wait until June 6, 2014 to see if the film will please this very vocal fanbase…and if Alan Ritchson’s performance will add anything to the film or just be piece of the special effects.

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