Ninja Turtles Casts Its Raphael

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Alan Ritchson, best known to comic fans as Aquaman on Smallville but also set to appear later this year in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, has joined the cast of Michael Bay's Ninja Turtles, playing Raphael. Reports indicate that the character will be cool, but rude. Ritchson will join frequent Bay collaborator Megan Fox as the only actors officially attached to the film, which has drawn criticism for reportedly straying far from the comic books and animated series that made the property a success. Both "Teenage" and "Mutant" have reportedly been removed from the title--something that was confirmed by Bay, although in recent weeks he and others attached to the film have been referring to it as "TMNT." Those words are being (or were to have been) removed to reflect a version of the characters that's actually members of an alien race. Deadline, who scooped the casting news, report that this version of the film will likely use performance capture technology rather than either building a character from scratch, or putting actors in a suit--either of which have been done before on this property.