While 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may not have fared all too well with the critics, it did fairly well in the box office. Therefore, it’s not all too surprising that the studios are gearing to release a sequel. Earlier this week, Paramount Pictures released an all-new trailer for the second live-action film in this reboot of the franchise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. This will make the fifth film total as three live action films were made back in the day.
Over the past few months of production of Out of the Shadows, numerous cast members have opened up about the first film’s shortcomings. Many fans were unimpressed with the lack of interaction with the supposed stars of the film, the Ninja Turtles, and overwhelmed by the presence of Megan Fox and Will Arnett’s characters, April and Vernon. While working on the upcoming movie, actor Pete Ploszek (who plays Leonardo) revealed, “There were a lot of frustrating issues with the first one, as both a viewer and as someone being in the movie who knows what they chose to edit out. We all know that we’re lucky to be back. We made money but we’re actually now making what we should’ve made the first time.” With actor Jeremy Howard (who plays Donatello) bluntly stating, “the first movie was one-third turtles, this one is two-thirds turtles.”\
While almost the entire cast has returned for the sequel, director Dave Green replaced director Jonathan Liebesman. While cast members were hesitant to talk candidly about the switch-up, a few did note that there was more “kindness” on set this time around. Thus, insinuating there may have been some friction between the actors and the director in the first film and this could be partially to blame for its failure. Alan Ritchson (who plays Raphael) previously explained the new dynamic saying, “To be fair to Liebesman, everybody was trying to figure it out as we were going. And Liebesman had a vision that was different than the final movie, and different than the movie we’re making today. I think – to Dave’s advantage – he desperately wants to make a love letter to the Turtles, the authors (Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird) and the fans. And there’s a lot less battle to make it happen.”
In addition to listening to the fans’ request for more turtle action, the crew is also taking into account the praise that they received for the first film’s elevator scene. In this scene, the four turtles are seen taking a playful break while going up 54 floors in the elevator. Here, all four brothers humorously break out into a jam session. It has been noted that the sequel will try and incorporate much more of this playful spirit amongst the four brothers to break the tension between the ongoing action and fight scenes.
Elevator Scene (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 2014):
The trailer begins with the citizens of New York looking out in terror as they see an enormous electrical storm brewing above their city. With a dramatic gateway in the eye of the storm, it is evident this isn’t a typical rain cloud. Soon after, the four brother turtles are seen “gearing up,” as they prepare to defend the people against the source of the anomaly.
Following this, we watch as huge chunks of seemingly metal debris fall from the sky, causing further destruction to the city’s people and infrastructure. Through some purple electrical sparks, it also appears that the pieces of debris are somewhat interacting with each other. Thus, leading to even more speculation of what could be the underlying evil behind the storm.
During the next sequence, the trailer incorporates some upbeat hip-hop music and some more playful one-liners as it tries to establish the movie’s refreshed comedic edge. Here, we also see Megan Fox reprising her role as April O’Neil while meeting Stephen Amell’s (of Arrow) character, Casey Jones. Actor Amell has revealed that the sequel will be somewhat of an origin story for his character as it shows how he came to be the vigilant-justice seeker that TMNT fans know him to be.
The trailer shows a possibility of the introduction of Dimension X, which is a fictional alternate dimension within the original comic book series. This speculation is further fueled by the possibility that the flying debris at the beginning of the trailer are actually pieces of The Technodrome, which is the mobile fortress of legendary TMNT villains Krang and Shredder. While there has been no clear indication that Krang will make an appearance in this film, actor Brian Tee will be embodying Shredder. In addition, actors Tyler Perry and Gary Anthony Williams will be playing villains Baxter Stockman (a pre-mutated version) and Bebop (henchmen of Shredder), respectively.
Thus, while the movie has a lot to make up for after the critical flop of the first reboot attempt of the live-action TMNT movie, the creators behind it have evidently put careful thought into how to go about the making of this sequel. Hopefully, as more promotion material comes out, the movie will be able to win some fans back over so that they are willing to give it another shot. The future of this movie will most likely dictate the fate of the franchise in terms of live-action movies.
You can catch the iconic turtles once again fighting evil when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows hits theaters on June 3, 2016.