Ninja Turtles, next year's reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise has acquired the fearsome foursome's furry father figure. Actor, Danny Woodburn has been cast as the team's mutated rat mentor, Splinter.
Perhaps one of the, if not the most consistently visible little people actors working in the entertainment industry, Woodburn has a vast array of television and film appearances like last year's Mirror Mirror attributed. However, he's probably still best remembered as Kramer's buddy, Mickey Abbot on Seinfeld, who was once blackballed by his peers of child actor stand-ins when it was exposed that he "lifts." He now takes a key role in this Michael Bay-produced blockbuster of the sewer-dwelling sensei who, as the classic theme song indicated, "taught them to be ninja teens."
No details have been revealed on how the Splinter character, who typically sports a Japanese accent will be reflected in this film. Various versions of Splinter have drastically different origin tales with the original comic books and 1990 film portraying him as a murdered karate master's pet rat who learns his master's moves and is eventually mutated. Others, like the classic animated series, as well as the current one on Nickelodeon portray Splinter as the human karate master himself who was mutated into a human rat. Considering that producer, Michael Bay has hinted that the Turtles could be aliens of some kind, this film might completely reinvent Splinter's story.
At this point, Woodburn joins a cast featuring his character's adopted sons and reptilian rookies, Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), and Donatello (Jeremy Howard), who will also be joined by (as evidence from recent photos,) a rapturously-red-headed version of actress, Megan Fox playing the franchise's signature damsel, April O'Neil. Comedy star, Will Arnett has also been recently confirmed for the cast for a yet-to-be-revealed- character.
Ninja Turtles revs up the Party Wagon for a trip to hit theaters on June 6, 2014.