Paramount Pictures’ sequel to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action reboot has already partially begun filming, but production gets underway in full next month. So far, as far as the human characters go, Megan Fox and Will Arnett are onboard to reprise as reporter April O’Neil and cameraman Vernon Fenwick, while Arrow’s Stephen Amell will debut in the sequel as the wisecracking human vigilante Casey Jones.
Today, we can add (somewhat unexpectedly) actor/filmmaker Tyler Perry to the list of new cast additions for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. Perry will reportedly be playing Baxter Stockman, the (truly) mad scientist and sociopathic genius responsible for creating the “Mousers” – machines designed to seek out and destroy sewer rats. Suffice it to say, the four Turtles and their rat master Splinter (who is voiced by Tony Shalhoub in the reboot) are generally at odds with Baxter and his misdeeds.
Variety is reporting that Perry will play Baxter Stockman, but has no fresh insight to offer beyond that. Perry is known for playing the larger than life Madea character in his own films (as well as less eccentric people), while his roles in other directors’ movie – like his work in Alex Cross and Gone Girl – are generally more buttoned-down in their nature. However, don’t be surprised if Perry hams it up as not entirely mentally stable Stockman in the TMNT sequel.
It’s long been indicated the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel will embrace more of the franchise’s “out there” science fiction elements, so perhaps now’s as fitting as time as ever to introduce Stockman. The character has appeared in Nickelodeon’s current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated TV series, where (among other things) he helped the Shredder with the mutations of Bebop and Rocksteady. Those villainous henchmen are confirmed to appear in the TMNT reboot sequel, so maybe Baxter will also be involved with their creation in this new live-action feature.
Director Jonathan Liebesman’s TMNT reboot incorporated a number of small (but key) elements from previous iteration of TMNT (comic books, movies, TV series) that could be expanded upon in the sequel. One imagines TMNT 2 could well improve upon its predecessor in several respects, including: a script by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec that isn’t a revised version of the infamous “Blue Door” draft (the one with the alien origins story); and more of the goofy, but fun sci-fi mythos that TMNT fans enjoy.
TMNT 2 director Dave Green doesn’t have the experience with action filmmaking that Liebesman has, though last year Green showed a knack for family-friendly geeky sci-fi adventure with his directorial debut – the found-footage feature, Earth to Echo. The sequel will no doubt still have the usual Platinum Dunes movie problems, but this new team of big screen Turtles has already won over more than its fair share of fans – those who enjoy their films’ silly popcorn movie antics for exactly what they are.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 opens in U.S. theaters on June 3rd, 2016.