Once Michael Bay kicked Megan Fox out of the Transformers franchise in 2011, it seemed as if the sultry actress had learned to safely keep her distance from genre movies. But now comes the news that not only has she joined Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, but she’s playing beloved reporter April O’Neil! And will probably be wearing a much more shredded version of April’s signature yellow jumpsuit.
Oh Jesus, no. Maybe it’s all a mistake and Fox was actually cast as April O’Neil the adult film star? Sadly, unlike that time we were all hyperventilating over the possibility of Fox playing Catwoman, this is very true. Yesterday Bay posted a simple yet damning update to his blog:
TMNT: we are bringing Megan Fox back into the family!
I hate to be the person to say this, but she’s not even a redhead! Still, I’m a longtime Megan Fox apologist, so maybe there’s a silver lining to this sewer cover.
Con: There are so many other good actresses who missed out on the role! According to Variety, Fox beat out Anna Kendrick (who would’ve been freaking adorable acting opposite the Turtles), Jane Levy (a dead ringer for O’Neil), and Elizabeth Olsen (who would’ve provided a touch of class). Seriously, the movie would be 50% better if any of these actresses had gotten the part.
Pro: Bay invited plenty of backlash last year when he announced that in his version, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael would be aliens, not regular turtles exposed to a mutagen in New York City’s sewers. This movie will probably never match thematically to the comics or animated series we grew up on, so maybe it’s better that we’re throwing all logical choices out the window.
Con: Fox and Bay had a really ugly falling-out in 2011, when she compared him to Hitler while describing his on-set work ethic. His response was basically “Fuck you very much, I’m Michael Bay” and he gave her the boot. Shoving these two back together is only going to lead to him firing her or her actually leaving, which will just give the movie more bad press.
Pro: The one redeeming factor in all this is that Fox isn’t an awful actress! She was fantastic in Jennifer’s Body because she managed to play this weird ambivalence where she was the dumb beauty, but she was incredibly nuanced, yet still an idiot. She’s incredibly savvy with her public image—honestly, she came out looking the best of everyone after Bay fired her—and knows where her comedic sweet spot is.
Con: The problem is, no one will give her that chance. Producers still automatically pigeonhole Fox as one-note sexpot characters. Tor.com’s production manager Chris had this knee-jerk reaction to the casting news, summing up what we can probably expect from a Michael Bay TMNT:
Megan Fox as April O’Neil! I can’t wait for her introductory scene where she’s a stripper at a strip club but it turns out she’s just a really good undercover reporter who’s reporting on some mob boss connected to the Foot Clan who goes to that strip club all the time and then she’s found out and confronted in an alleyway and OH NOES this movie is maybe too adult to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie because look out they’re going to slash her but LO, suddenly some turtle-shaped shadows in the night make a bunch of beating-people-up sounds while April O’Neil closes her eyes and suddenly she is alone in an alleyway!
But then she later has to use those same feminine wiles to seduce Shredder... nope nope nope. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes out May 16, 2014.
Natalie Zutter is a playwright, foodie, and the co-creator of Leftovers, a webcomic about food trucks in the zombie apocalypse. Her writing has appeared on BlackBook, Ology, and Crushable, where she discusses celebrity culture alongside internet memes (or vice versa). Weekly you can find her calling in to the Hunger Games Fireside Chat podcast, reviewing new releases at Movie Mezzanine, and on Twitter.