Trivia: The New Ninja Turtles Were Modeled After These Popular Movie Characters

Trivia: The New Ninja Turtles Were Modeled After These Popular Movie Characters

Aug 07, 2014

Last year we visited the New York set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and were surprised to learn that even though these characters had existed for 30 years, filmmakers wanted a fresh approach and looked for inspiration from existing movie characters, as well as famous actors and world leaders. 

So when you watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this weekend, see if you can spot any similarities between your favorite turtle and the person or character that served as inspiration for his new, updated look. 


According to Visual Effects Supervisor Pablo Helman, Leonardo has Russell Crowe’s eyes and Nelson Mandela’s lips, as well as the leadership sense of Tom Hanks’ character from Saving Private Ryan.



When it came to the pizza-lovin' jokester Michelangelo, they turned to the sly comedic delivery of Bill Murray in Ghostbusters.



For Donatello, the brains of the group, Leonard Nimoy's Spock inspired some of his more nerdy nuances.



And as for the gruff, misunderstood Raphael, they used a specific Clint Eastwood from the Sergio Leone spaghetti Westerns to tap into the character's toughness and grit.


For Master Splinter, They Turned to This Iconic Japanese Actor

The Turtles’ mentor and adopted father was based entirely on famed Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune, who appeared in almost 170 films in his lifetime, most notably for director Akira Kurosawa. Fans of Kurosawa will notice Splinter’s hair looks familiar.

Check out some more TMNT fun facts over at Fandango.




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