Alan Ritchson Is Raphael

For Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

As Michael Bay, Paramount and director Jonathan Liebesman attempt to keep the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles production ship out of the choppy waters of fan outrage and away from the negative publicity reefs, the film itself is finally on track to kick off shooting next month. Now the task turns to finding actors to portray the heroes in a half-shell and Alan Ritchson is the first to climb aboard as Raphael.

Ritchson, who will be seen as Gloss in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, is set to play the red bandana-sporting sulky member of the team, a Sai-wielding warrior who butts heads with brother Leonardo about what their mission should be and has little patience with Michelangelo’s clownish antics. Unlike the Turtle outings of the 1990s, the four reptilian heroes will be portrayed using Gollum-style performance capture.

Megan Fox is already aboard to play the Turtles’ reporter pal April O’Neil, in a story written by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec that apparently re-invents the characters’ origin and makes them alien in nature.

Liebesman, who last brought us Wrath Of The Titans, is aiming for a May 2014 release over here. Catching Fire, meanwhile, is set for November 22.