Some of the first details for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 film have been anounced, and as per usual with Michael Bay, they haven't been so subtle. Both casting and characters have apparently been changed and added, which will hopefully pander to loyal fans of the series.
The newly announced role for Arrow star Stephen Amell as Casey Jones is the biggest news for TMNT fans; and it isn't just a rumour, either. Michael Bay released our first official glimpse of the Vorhees-vigilante (see what I did there?), and he looks 100% as grungy as in the comics and cartoons...
You can also find not-so-official pictures by the paparazzi here.
Personally, I think that Amell can pull off the Jones we all know and love, as he certainly has experience in the "dark vigilante" area from his work as the Star City bow-slinger at The CW. However, I do hope his heart isn't too much on the light side after his happy ending to Arrow Season 3...
Bebop and Rocksteady
Whether you're a Raphaelite, a Leonardian, a Michaelangelad or a Donnatellon; we all have to admit we loved Bebop and Rocksteady in the cartoons. They provided the comic relief needed in all bad-guy teams, and were mainly there to be thwarted in a simple manner by the half-shelled heroes. Now I know there is one smart-assed person sitting there thinking "You mean the pig and the rhino? They were so DUMB!" (only with a few more vulgarities thrown in). If you are that person, I have one thing to say: Get out. Now.
Anyhow, the pair were seen on set for the filming of TMNT 2, however only in their human forms. We are still all hoping their transformations will be featured in the plot of the upcoming movie, but we will have to wait and see. In the meantime, here is a picture showing Bebop and his fabulous mohawk:
The New Shredder
After the original film starred Shredder the Samurai as more of a CGI tank villain than an actual warrior, the creators had a change of heart and recast Shredder. He will now be seen in a suit of smaller battle armour, more similar to that in the cartoons and comics; and will be played by the more hairy Brian Tee (seen in costume below). What does this mean? Probably more ninja-on-ninja ground fighting action, and less "rooftop big metal monster fights team of weaker protagonists" (coughTransformerscoughMichaelBaycough). Though we should still expect high-tech machinery on both good and evil teams.
The classic crazed scientist in the Ninja Turtle universe is Baxter Stockman, creator of the Mousers, mini-robot-dinosaurs repurposed by The Shredder to eliminate one big sewer rat - Master Splinter, sensei of the Turtles.
In the sequel, he has been announced by Variety to be played by actor/filmmaker Tyler Perry. This adds a whole new dynamic to the movie as a master tactician capable of outsmarting the ninjutsu team.
So all in all, a lot of new dynamics have been thrown into the mix. Now our villains include the brawn, the brains and a whole new Shredder. Not only have the writers given us this, but also a promising new hero to help the Team of Teenage Turtles defeat the Samurai Warlord and his goons. I am predicting a critical "meh" but an all-round enjoyable nostalgia trip of a film.