The Shredder, A.K.A. Oroku Saki, is leader of the villainous ninja conglomerate The Foot, and has a personal feud with the Turtle’s mentor Splinter (either directly or indirectly, depending on the version of the story).
Now, you may notice that Fichtner is a white guy, while The Shredder is Japanese. This is causing a bit of a controversy.
Thre seems to be a trend with Asian character roles in big budget films. The Last Airbender cast a white actor in the role of Aang; and Goku was similarly ‘whitewashed’ in the Hollywood adaptation of Dragonball. Of course, neither of those movies did well, and the debate abated quickly.
Some may argue that it’s less racist to cast an actor regardless of their race, but there aren’t may roles for Asian actors to begin with, and besides, how often do you see an Asian actor being cast as a white character?
Is Fichtner going to fake an Asian accent, or is the character going to be re-written to make The Shredder American? Neither of those options is very appealing. I like Fichtner, he’s a good actor; but is this a change that needed to be made? Were there no Asian actors available?
Fichtner spoke to Huffington Post Canada:
“I play Shredder. It is cool. It’s one of those things that came along where I thought, ‘Really? Let me think about this for a minute.’ [Laughs] Then I was like, ‘Yeah, OK, this sounds like a journey.’ I’m very glad that it worked out, I’m really glad that I’m doing it.”