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Old 08-27-2020, 01:35 PM   #1
IndigoErth
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Shredder Actor Tohoru Masamune On Michael Bay Defending Diversity

There is a lot of text and the guy is rather rambling, so I will skip posting it all directly from the article and leave that up to whoever chooses to read it (or check out the podcast).

That said... Who am I to say since I wasn't there, but I dunno.. I really feel he's playing it too nice and giving Bay far too much credit for the change in Shredder actor. I mean, we all know why the change happened. And raises a brow imo over the suggestion that the movie was drastically redone for that when most of the time we see Shredder he is entirely CGI anyhow and we see Tohoru Masamune like, what, once? Since Fichtner got more than he did tacked on just to fix the character change.


Quote:
https://www.comicbookmovie.com/teena...ersity-a177912

Shredder Actor Tohoru Masamune On Michael Bay Defending Diversity

We recently spoke with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles star Tohoru Masamune about Twitch's Artificial, and while chatting, he told us Michael Bay defended diversity by making two different 2014 films.


When people think of director Michael Bay (Transformers,) the first word that comes to mind probably wouldn't be diversity. However, a lot went on behind the scenes of Bay's 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when it came to the character of Shredder.

We recently chatted with the actor who played the villainous Shredder, Tohoru Masamune. Afterward, he mentioned to us that he wanted to have a follow-up interview to discuss something important to him: the diversity issues behind the scenes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

It seems that William Fichtner (Prison Break) was cast in the role initially, but after a multitude of whitewashing complaints, Bay spent a lot of extra money to film an entirely different movie in which an actor of Japanese descent played Shredder - hence Tohoru's casting.

Tohoru went into a lot of detail, and we chatted for nearly an hour! You can hear all the juicy bits in our audio component with the podcast embedded below!




Literary Joe: I was looking at that 2017 Forbes article you sent over. So if you want to use that as a jumping-off point to start talking about Shredder, that would be pretty cool.

Tohoru Masamune: So, it's kind of interesting too, because this is something that I don't think one thinks of Michael Bay and thinks political activism, protector of the free world, or whatever. I mean, I don't think one thinks that right off the bat, but you know, that's the interesting thing that came out of it. Maybe that's good. Maybe.

[some text skipped here]

And so, I don't know what his motivations were. I didn't get to know him that intimately that I could sit down and ask him what he was thinking. And it could have been a business decision, because he was certainly, if nothing else, an incredibly smart businessman. And maybe he saw that. He said, "You know what? I'm going to make more money if I do this." I don't know what his thinking was. I mean, that's what that article is referring to. There's a fear that somehow, maybe because you don't see what the business model is.

Continued at link
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Old 08-27-2020, 02:02 PM   #2
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"COULD have been a business decision."

Michael Bay casts a white guy to play a canonically-Japanese character because "It doesn't matter anyway, who even cares about Ninja Turtles anymore?"

Michael Bay solicits a script where the Japanese ninja Foot Clan are turned into very American "soldiers with guns who happen to wear black pajamas", once again because "It doesn't matter", and then very slightly backs away from it while still just mostly doing that.

Michael Bay erases the Hamato Yoshi character (and thus the entire Yoshi/Saki rivalry from Japan) from existence. Once again because "It doesn't matter" and "Nobody cares."

Michael Bay goes on Twitter, finds out that people DO care quite a lot, does a complete 180, hires the very first Japanese or Japanese-looking guy he meets at a Benihana's, probably, and shoots new "Shredder" scenes in half a weekend to try and avoid even more fan outrage and backlash.

Michael Bay replaces that same Japanese Guy with another Japanese Guy who looks absolutely nothing like the first one for the sequel, and does the same thing with the two Karais. Because once again, "It doesn't matter."

Thus, Michael Bay is a "political activist", "protector of the Free World", and "Champion of Diversity."
------------------

What Michael Bay REALLY is, is Vince f*cking Russo with a better agent, and nothing more than that. Without good representation, he'd have spent the 90s and most of the 00s working in a goddamn video store, which is where he belongs.
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Old 08-27-2020, 03:42 PM   #3
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To be honest I think even you're being a bit too generous here. I remember an interview with Nemec and Applebaum who showed Bay Leibesman's first cut over steak and champagne. Then when they went for a piss stood over the urinals with Bay telling the other two how much it sucked and they had to lighten the whole thing up.

I assume that since they were changing so much of the movie anyway someone suggested throwing the fans a bone and hiring an actual Japanese-American to play Shredder.

While the complaints of whitewashing the character were valid it was often secondary to the complaints that it was likely that race bending him meant that we were not getting any variation of the Yoshi/Saki backstory which everyone wants. The heard the complaints but didn't really understand them.
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Old 08-27-2020, 04:32 PM   #4
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There were stuff they shot in this movie that didn't show up in in the final product. And surprisingly the stuff they shot wasn't included in the deleted scenes either which was weird. One example is a scene where Raph is wearing a trench coat. There been a ton of behind the scenes photos even videos of this particular scene being filmed.
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Old 08-27-2020, 05:05 PM   #5
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It would've all been Too Much, is why. They didn't just clip a couple of scenes; they essentially pulled a "Justice League" and shot two entirely different versions of the same movie with only a few minor bits of overlap. Numerous websites and magazines did "set visit reports" early during production where they reported on multiple things they saw on-set which simply didn't make the final cut, and those same people were thus baffled upon seeing said final cut. It was like they practically shot a "decoy" movie for the press and then worked on the "real" movie after dark.

What really happened was, as stated, they had to go back and redo almost the entire thing after certain elements were switched around following the test version that Bay sh*t upon. Those changes may have seemed small but they changed the entire structure of the story considerably.

After all that if they put everything cut from the film in as Deleted Scenes, it'd be like 20 minutes shorter than the actual movie. At that point might as well finish it and release a double-set with the "Theatrical Version" and "Secret Version" or whatever. Call it the "Twice the Suck" version or the "Belongs In The Sewer" version, or something.
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Old 08-27-2020, 05:25 PM   #6
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The set reports were about Eric Sachs mutating some of the Foot Soldiers into some kind of monsters that the turtles would fight. Someone also reported that they saw a scene being shot were a Foot Soldier committed seppuku for failing.

There's at least one photo of Fichtner wearing a mo cap suit so we would have seen him actually wearing the armor helmet-less in action. Lots of martial arts stuff involving the turtles. I remember the actors having to train with what looked like a really talented stunt cast.

The actors also spoke about more character stuff with the turtles and the script writer said we would have had way more on April's fathers backstory. Speaking of said back story we would have had K Todd Freeman as Baxter Stockman.

I am somewhat curious about Liebesman's original version. I'm sure it would have been 'better' in the sense that it was a more mature film that flowed and made sense better than the version we ended up getting (although that aforementioned scene with Raph disguised in the trench coat probably detracts from that) but ultimately not what anyone wants from a TMNT movie. In that sense it would have just been a different kind of bad.

I doubt HBO Max will be airing the Leibesman cut anytime soon.
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Old 08-27-2020, 05:42 PM   #7
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The entire thing was conceived in sin. It was never going to be any good.

Remember, the very earliest development of the film including making the Turtles and all the mutants aliens, just to make the origin easier for the scriptwriters to explain away quickly, with the rationale for the change being, "Well c'mon, who even gives a sh*t, it's just Ninja Turtles. People can't possibly give a sh*t. Can they?"

THAT specific group of people was incapable of ever making a good TMNT movie happen. It's all right there in their priorities, which were never kept secret. "This is a cheap-o nostalgic cash grab aimed at kids too young to give a sh*t and adults too dumb to care."

Lo and behold, that's exactly who liked and defended that piece of sh*t.

But yeah, it ever NOT being trash was never even an option, given the "creative" department involved.
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Old 08-27-2020, 06:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo656 View Post
Call it the "Twice the Suck" version or the "Belongs In The Sewer" version, or something.
#ReleaseTwiceTheSuckCut
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Old 08-27-2020, 06:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmanwinters View Post
#ReleaseTwiceTheSuckCut
Only if the real-life April O'Neil is in it. "Wink wink". That would be a "Twice The Suck Cut" I could REALLY get behind!
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Old 08-27-2020, 07:05 PM   #10
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Pretty much every permutation of what eventually became the 2014 movie had a sequence were the turtles are captured and dragged out of the sewers in chains then placed in cages only to escape and slide down a mountain on their shells. Heck the Blue Door script began with that.

This isn't particularly unheard of in Hollywood. Studios always want the money shot, the big set piece that they can show off in the trailers and hopefully get everyone talking about after the movie is over.

Thing is this sequence of events isn't particularly un-TMNT like. You could easily craft a faithful TMNT movie around that. They just fell prey to the mentality that this was a new version therefor they have to do a new origin. I'm not going to pretend that TMNT's origin (as it relates to their mutation) is perfect but it's still better than the fanboy Kewl idea of making them aliens or experiments in making super soldiers or...y'know it's never really made clear what the intention of mutating the turtles and Splinter is in the finished movie. Even worse the important part of their origin; their connection to the Shredder was altered because they thought it was 'too complex'.

Yoshi and Saki being enemies and one murdering the other is too complex.

Shredder being in charge of company that is developing a plague to drop on NYC with the intention of also developing a cure to said plague via experiments on turtles and rats only for April's father to find out the true purpose of his work trashes the lab losing his life is apparently easy to digest.
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Old 08-28-2020, 04:04 AM   #11
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Well I tried reading the entire article but the ads trolling in the corner keep glitching the page.

So I guess he did not know about the backlash which caused the changes.

Not that Bay is against diversity. They just kept revising it because they thought that it would help. The first cut/version probably is a better put together movie though. Generally speaking.
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