When the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hit the big screen once again in 2014, many fans were more than pleased with the outcome. Unfortunately, there was a vocal group of viewers who despised the movie, and it wasn’t as if their opinions were unfounded. If we’re being honest, this film had a lot of issues that kept it from becoming an instant classic. Of course, that didn’t stop audiences from going to see the movie in droves, and eventually the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie made enough money to warrant putting a sequel into production.
While fans bemoaned the new take on their favorite heroes in a half shell, it would appear that the studios were listening to their complaints and decisions were being made to improve on the formula for the second film. Although there is still a vocal minority who hates this new film universe with a passion, the truth is that this sequel is shaping up to be quite impressive. Just based on what we know about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about its release next summer. If you don’t believe me, let’s take a look at nine excellent signs for TMNT 2!
1. Dave Green is Directing
Even the most seasoned of film viewers may be unfamiliar with this name, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t noteworthy. As we’ve mentioned before, his most recent directorial effort was the nostalgic Earth to Echo, a movie that pays homage to some of the most beloved film tropes of the 1980’s.
It stands to reason that someone with both an appreciation and understanding of this era will be capable of crafting an excellent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. The turtles were born in this era, so if anyone can do them justice on the big screen, it’s going to be a director who knows how to pay homage to 80’s filmmaking. Dave Green has shown that he can do this quite well, so if anyone deserves a shot at this franchise, it’s definitely him.
2. Bebop and Rocksteady Arrive
Everyone’s favorite team of bumbling villains are finally going to make their big screen debut. Although it might seem like an odd choice to have Gary Anthony Williams and Stephen Farrelly (Sheamus of the WWE) portraying these characters, the truth is that on-set photos of these baddies look absolutely excellent.
Even fans who hated the 2014 movie were willing to admit that these guys definitely look the part. With the recent revelation that they will be mutating at some point in the film, we can rest assured that this dynamic duo has been done right.
3. Enter Casey Jones
I’m sure we’ll all miss Elias Koteas in the role, but to be fair, at least they found a great replacement. Stephen Amell will be our next Casey Jones, and that’s probably a good thing considering that he is best known for playing yet another rebellious hero in Arrow.
It stands to reason that if he can pull off that character, he should be able to provide the fans with a pretty good interpretation of Casey Jones as well. The casting for this film has been excellent, and this is just one example of that.
4. Welcome Baxter Stockman
As if it weren’t good enough to see the likes of Bebop, Rocksteady and Casey Jones in this sequel, Baxter Stockman is also making an appearance. Played by notable director/actor Tyler Perry, this is yet another example of excellent casting.
Although he may not be the first choice for most fans, it’s worth noting that the on-set photography once again reveals that Perry looks perfect in this role. Even if you’re not sold on his acting chops, chances are that he’ll do a great job of playing everyone’s favorite nerdy scientist.
5. Rumored Krang Appearance
In addition to all of the confirmed character appearances in the film, there have been rumors suggesting that Krang will show up at some point during the movie. Chances are that if he does appear, he will be entirely made up of CGI, only requiring a voice actor to portray him vocally.
Even so, it’s crazy to think that so many integral characters could show up in this sequel. One of the main complaints with the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was that there weren’t enough characters from the franchise. It would appear that the studios have answered that criticism with a sequel featuring several important and notable faces.
6. Beautiful Set Design
Although it’s fair to say that the first movie had a lot of scenes shot on location, it’s also important to note that the set dressing in this movie looks fantastic. Just judging from the on-set photos and videos that have leaked, they not only chose excellent locations for filming, they also worked hard to make those locations look gritty and fantastic.
The photo of Casey Jones above is a perfect example of this, as the walls behind him truly feel like they just jumped off the pages of an IDW comic book. Set photos alone reveal a movie that looks much more visually appealing than its predecessor, and that’s a good sign for both fans and haters alike.
7. Great Casting Choices
We’ve touched on this already, but it’s worth noting once more that the casting choices for all of these new characters have been quite excellent. Whether or not you like Tyler Perry, Stephen Amell, Gary Anthony Williams, Stephen Farrelly or Brian Tee (our new Shredder), it can’t be denied that they appear to be good choices from a visual standpoint.
Each actor looks remarkably similar to the character they have been chosen to portray, and that’s an important part of casting any film. Obviously we won’t know how great the casting was until the film is released, but everything looks great so far.
8. Memorable Costume Design
One of the main reasons that the casting decisions look so good is because the costume design is so dead on. When you look at pictures of Stephen Farrelly and Gary Anthony Williams as Bebop and Rocksteady, you truly believe that they are those characters.
In particular, Gary looks so much like the Bebop we grew up with in the late 80’s that the resemblance is almost scary. The new hockey mask for Casey Jones might be the most jarring change to a character’s costume design thus far, and it’s actually a pretty cool alteration.
9. Noted Franchise References
Whether we’re talking about the fact that they brought back Judith Hoag (who played April in the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie) or the sly Renet Tilley nametag that Megan Fox wears in one scene, there are already several nostalgic aspects about this film that have been revealed via set photography.
These are all good signs that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II will attempt to appease both long time fans and newer fans alike. While many shellheads felt the first movie lacked the panache of a traditional Ninja Turtles story, TMNT 2 looks like it will pay homage to the franchise in a lot of important ways.
What Do You Think?
Are you excited for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2? Do you think that this sequel will be even better than its predecessor? If so, let us know in the comments below and tell us about your favorite aspect of TMNT 2!