Cowabunga! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles karate kick their way into theatres today. It has been seven years since the last film and I can’t wait to see what shenanigans Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello have in store. The Turtles don a new look as producer Michael Bay has amped up their appearance as well as that of their nemesis Shredder. Jonathan Liebesman of Battle Los Angeles directs the film. One of the films main stars, Noel Fisher known as Mickey Milkovich on Showtime’s Shameless, worked with Jonathan on Battle Los Angeles and now plays the role of everyone’s favorite turtle, Michelangelo (ok for sure mine). In this interview with Noel, he talks with me about playing Michelangelo and Mickey, reveals who his favorite turtle was growing up, as well as his favorite kind of pizza.
Since the franchise’s debut in 1984, there have been four turtles on the team-Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello, each named after a legendary artist. But did you know that there was once a female turtle? Say what? I’ve loved the Turtles since ’84 but I somehow missed the fact that a female turtles exists. Introducing Venus De Milo.
Venus appeared on the scene in 1997 in the first episode of the live action Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. She was the only one named after a work of art versus a famous painter. She wore an aqua bandanna that extended down her back in a braided ponytail.
Her back-story was that she was with the other turtles when Splinter rescued them from the sewers, but that he accidentally left her behind. She made her way to Chinatown where she was raised by a Shinobi magician, who named her Mei Pieh Chi. Unlike the turtles who were trained in the art of Ninjutsu, she used ancient shamanistic magic and manipulated orbs to fight. She trained in China with her father who kept in touch with Splinter through the dream realm. When humanoid dragons attacked Venus’s father and trapped Splinter’s soul in the spirit realm, her father asked Venus on his deathbed to find the other turtles and team up to save Splinter.
Check out this clip of the Turtles meeting Venus for the first time:
Unfortunately, The Next Mutation series struggled and was cancelled. Some fans put the blame on Venus. The writers changed the relationship of the Turtles for this series, making them non-biological brothers so to make room for a possible romance between one of them and Venus. This angered some fans that wanted the turtle bro code honored.
Not everyone blamed Venus though. She had her own loyal legion of fans. Developers of the Next Mutation tried to start a blog called Venus’ Venerations in which Venus wrote letters about her travels and experiences alongside the turtles since she was no longer appearing in the comics. Maybe she was just ahead of her time as blogging is all the rage now. Heck, maybe now she should even try her own YouTube channel teaching turtle fitness and training.
It is said that Creator Peter Laird openly despised the character and forbade her from appearing in any future comics, series or merchandise and removed her letters from the official website. I think it’s time to resurrect Venus out of the sewer once again. I would love to see a kick-ass female turtle in the sequel. I’m talking to you Michael Bay. If you feel the same, there’s even an online petition you can sign. You can also check out this great tribute video made by one Venus fan, asking for her second chance:
If they were to bring Venus back for the sequel, what actor would you like to see play the part?