Before we begin I have a confession to make: I am a total fan boy. Therefore it is in my unwavering and unapologetically biased opinion that Stephen Amell can do no wrong. It’s that plain and simple for me. That cut and dry. He is, for all intents and purposes, the man. From his masterful acting work on Arrow, to his dedication for being the face of the newest wave of comic book character, to his savviness in the use of social media for personal, professional, and charitable endeavors – It’s easy to see why Stephen Amell is one of the best things going in the entertainment industry today.
If you are still clinging to hope for some type of roundabout criticism of the man, his being cast as Casey Jones, or the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie itself moreover, turn away now. What I have to say won’t be for you. For the rest of you avid TMNT and Stephen Amell fans, here are 5 reasons why Stephen is not only the Casey Jones the TMNT universe needs, but why he is the Casey Jones the TMNT universe deserves!
No good? Too “Batman” for you? That’s understandable. He does play the Green Arrow, after all. How about this: 5 reasons Stephen Amell’s portrayal of Casey Jones in the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie will NOT fail this city!
While this is better, it still doesn’t emphasize how Stephen Amell will exceed all expectations as Casey Jones. After three seasons on Arrow playing Oliver Queen, Stephen Amell has come to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles universe with only one goal in mind: to continue the growth of the newest movie franchise. But to do that, he can’t portray the vigilante he once was. To honor his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie contract properly, he must portray something else. He must portray someone else.
So without further ado, here are just 5 of the many reasons Stephen Amell will succeed with flying colors (mostly green still, obviously) in playing Casey Jones in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel.
5. Been There, Done That
Let’s get the most apparent and obvious reason out of the way first: Stephen Amell has successfully played a vigilante before. For three terrific seasons and counting he has brought tremendous depth to the title character of Oliver Queen- aka The Arrow/The Hood/The Vigilante – on CW’s aptly named show “Arrow”. He has shown on countless occasions his true acting versatility by portraying the vulnerability and passion for his vigilante characters specific cause – both of which are essential for every great hero/vigilante to possess. Otherwise the audience won’t feel that human connection to the character that is needed, and they ultimately won’t be invested in the story long term.
I know what some of you may be thinking: Yeah, but that was on TV. Movies are completely different. He won’t translate to the big screen! TV actors never can!
That is where I will have to simply and respectfully disagree. Sure, back in the day that point may have been a valid one. But today, with television shows being more popular and profitable than ever before, their respective budgets and production efforts have thusly taken tremendous strides forward. Episodes of most hour long dramatic/action series are written, directed, and shot to essentially be “mini movies”; a fact that is abundantly clear by anyone who happens to follow Mr. Amell on social media, as he routinely lets his fans in on the day to day operations of filming Arrow.
The bottom line here is simple: Stephen is well versed in playing a vigilante. Changing media types from television to film won’t change that.
4. He Looks The Part
This point may sound rudimental on the surface. He looks the part? Well, yeah, of course he looks the part, he was cast as the role, after all.
But think about it for a minute. How many times has a casting announcement been made and both the fanboys and fangirls alike immediately bombard the internet with distain and hate filled comments. Sentiments such as “Him?!?” or “Oh wow, I wasn’t expecting them to go that route” or “I just don’t see it.” This can be seen on every website and article comment section. And those are just the nicer comments. The ones we can reprint.
For proof, look no further than the recent casting of Batman. Ben Affleck was absolutely blasted and abused when the original announcement was made. And that was before we even got a look at him in the Batsuit. And why was there initially so much hate to begin with? Because to some, he didn’t “fit the mold” of Batman.
The point being that looking the part is critical for the audience to believe the character and thus the “world” the movie is trying to portray. Particularly with something as popular and wide spread as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.
Everyone knows who Casey Jones is. Everyone knows what Casey Jones is supposed to look like. And Stephen Amell fits that build to a “T”. No one in their right mind can argue that. Casey Jones is tall and muscular. Stepehen Amell is tall and, thanks to that trusty salmon ladder, muscular.
Casey Jones wears a hockey mask and beats bad guys to a pulp. Stephen Amell LOVES hockey and has already proven he can beat bad guys to a pulp. Only the weapon of choice and mask will change.
Case closed. Stephen Amell is already Casey Jones.
3. He Has The Comedic Chops To Play Casey Jones
Typically, Casey Jones is viewed as a meathead jock who likes to take down the bad guys with his assortment of sports related weaponry. But perhaps a lesser known fact is that, as with everything in today’s TMNT universe, Casey Jones is also hilariously funny.
Long gone are the dark and gritty days of the original TMNT comic book series. In today’s TMNT universe, which is aimed to appeal to mostly children, it is no surprise that the characters have morphed into pun making comedians. They are already teenage, mutant, ninja turtles. Making them all comical savants as well isn’t a tremendous stretch to take.
Despite the fact that on Arrow Stephen Amell generally plays a brooding, darker character, in real life he is downright hysterical. If you follow him on social media you will see time and time again, through either a caption of a picture he shares to his question and answer videos or his famous “meme Monday” fan posts, that he will have no trouble transitioning from a humorless, somber vigilante to a joke cracking smartass.
Here are just a few examples. For more, check out Stephen’s Facebook page.
2. He Has A Built In Fan base
Is someone a box office draw? That is one of the many question all directors ask themselves before deciding to offer a part in a film to a specific actor. That is why you see so many of the same household names in all of the bigger box office movies. If the movie is going to cost millions to make, it only makes sense that the company funding said movie will want to ensure they maximize their potential profits by filling the movie with actors and actresses that the public are willing to pay to see. That is why it is so hard to break into movies as an aspiring actor. And that is why you rarely see someone’s breakthrough movie role be in a big budget movie.
But Stephen Amell is an exception to that rule. With no marque movie roles to date it might appear on the surface rather odd he would be cast as such a significant part in TMNT2. However, when you start to consider that among both fanboy and fangirls – who make up a large portion of the people who will end up going and see TMNT2 – he is not seen as just some newcomer.
He is Oliver Queen. He is The Arrow. He comes with a built in fan following. And those fans of both Arrow and Stephen Amell personally (particularly those of the female variety) who did not see the first TMNT movie are certainly much more likely to go out and see TMNT this time around. And that is always a positive in the eyes of those making the movie.
Not only will the avid TMNT fan, and fans of action movies in general, flock out to see TMNT2, but those fans of Arrow and Amell will now show up at the box-office in droves. And probably dressed in green.
1. He Respects The Source Material
For some actors playing a role is sometimes seen as merely a job. A means to an end. A paycheck. A career stepping stone to something bigger and better.
This occasional belittlement of the role in which they have been cast in can actually be seen early on with some of the first wave of “superhero” movies. Those actors and actresses said, wore, and acted only as they were directed. Nothing more, nothing less. No further thought or care went into their portrayal. No personal commitment was invested. No personal input was given.
Now to be fair, this wasn’t always the case. But often times you got a sense this first collection of actors were somewhat embarrassed to be playing these superhero and comic book characters. It wasn’t the cool “Hollywood” thing to do. Not yet, at least.
Thankfully for fans of the genre that is no longer the truth. These roles are now coveted, and can turn their leading men and woman into some of the biggest movie stars in the world overnight. However that only happens if the actors and actresses in these ionic roles truly embrace it. If they attack the portrayal of the character with all their skill and craft has to offer. If they become these characters, on screen and off.
For many people Robert Downey Jr. IS Iron Man. Heath Ledger WAS the JOKER. They truly embraced their respective characters and, more importantly, the widely beloved source material these characters were born from. They tried their best to show the audience the characters they wanted to see. The ones they were expecting to see. And we, as fans, fully appreciated their efforts.
That is exactly what is happening with Stepehen Amell. He IS the Green Arrow. And soon he WILL be Casey Jones. One thing is already known about Stephen that cannot be debated: He respects the source material immensely.
One such example can been seen in the Season 3 episode of Arrow where he famously fights Ra’s al Ghul on the snow covered mountain top. That scene was filmed on location and shirtless, despite the severe cold, because in the comics that is how these duels with Ra’s were done. Stephen insisted they continue with it shirtless, as he wanted to remain true to the source material, even in regards to this somewhat minor detail.
Another example can be seen on his Facebook account where he posted this photo of Casey Jones, captioned with “Honored to play Casey Jones in TMNT2.”
The man just gets it. And fans will surely benefit from it once the film is released.