The Avengers and Suicide Squad aren’t the only comic book team hitting theaters next year. The venerable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are returning with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, continuing the Michael Bay and Megan Fox-fueled franchise with another round of Turtle Time. While DC and Marvel Entertainment have dominated headlines this year with one major announcement after the next, the Turtles have quietly chugged along beneath the surface (as they often do in the New York sewers.
So with less than a year left until The Turtles’ return, what do we actually know about the sequel? Ahead, we run through the major announcements news revealed so far about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, which recently picked up the subtitle: "Half-Shell."
Stephen Amell Is Casey Jones
Next summer, Stephen Amell will exchange his arrows for a hockey stick. The star of DC Entertainment’s Arrow series will take on a new vigilante as Casey Jones in TMNT2, bringing the Turtles’ faithful ally into the new franchise. In his previous incarnations, Jones is a fellow crime fighter who protects the streets of New York city with an array of sports equipment--most notably, a hockey stick. And while we’ve only seen one photo of Amell as Jones so far, the iconic hockey mask gives us hope that Half-Shell's interpretation of the hero will stay remain faithful.
Bebop and Rocksteady Are Coming
Casey Jones isn’t the only classic Turtles character joining the cast. Aiding the Turtles’ villainous lineup are franchise stalwarts Bebop and Rocksteady, two Foot Clan thugs-turned anthropomorphic mutants. Though the duo weren’t brought into Turtle-lore until the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon series, they quickly rose as two of the cast’s most popular characters. And when the pair hit the big screen next year, we only expect their social stock to go up. Why? Well, a WWE wrestler you may have heard of here, Sheamus will play Rocksteady, while skilled actor Gary Anthony Williams (Reno 911, Boston Legal) will play Bebop. Since set photos have only shown the two as rough-riding humans, it’s still unconfirmed if they’ll go full Warthog and Rhino somewhere in the movie. But, leaked production art of their animal forms, which was drafted for the first TMNT film, suggests that they will.
The Shredder Will Return
You didn’t think the Ninja Turtle’s arch-nemesis was going to sit this one out, did you? Despite his role as the main villain in Bay’s first Ninja Turtles installment, Shredder is returning for another taste of turtle soup. But there’s a new actor hiding underneath all that pointy armor. Brian Tee (Jurassic World, The Wolverine) will replace Tohoru Masamune for the role of Shredder, bringing some comic book cred to the franchise. It’s unclear how significant of a role Shredder will have this time around, but you don’t exactly put him in a movie as second fiddle, do you?
Krang May Invade Earth
While it’s still unconfirmed, it is heavily rumored that classic TMNT villain Krang will also get the Michael Bay treatment. Sources close to the film reported earlier this year that several extras were spotted on the Half Shell's set, gathering around an extra dimensaional portal that would bring the alien to Earth.
As he was conceived in the Ninja Turtles cartoon, Krang was blobby space alien who invaded Earth and united with The Shredder. In exchange for Krang’s vast intelligence, Shredder provided the alien with a super-strong robotic body. (Think Captain America’s Arnim Zola on steroids). If Half-Shell does bring on Krang, we're assuming it will be in CGI form.
Tyler Perry Is Baxtor Stockman
Not to be left out of the tubular times, classic character Baxtor Stockman will round out Half Shell’s loaded cast. Acclaimed actor Tyler Perry will play the mad scientist-turned-Human Fly, though the size of his role is still generally unknown. However, leaked set photos did reveal that Perry will Stockman’s classic bowtie, an iconic piece of the character’s wardrobe (even in bug form). In his previous iterations, Stockman had allied himself with the Shredder and created mutant-hunting robots called the Mousers. We’re curious to see how much of Stockman’s history will make its way into Half Shell, with high hopes that he’ll bug out before the film is over.
What else do you want to know about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2? Let us know in comments!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 opens on June 6, 2016. David Green (Earth to Echo) is directing from a script by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec.