The upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (no connection to Activision’s 2013 video game of the same name) is the continuation of the TMNT live-action film franchise reboot released in 2014. TMNT (2014) director Jonathan Liebesman has been replaced as the helmsman on Out of the Shadows by David Green, the filmmaker who made his mark with the 2014 found-footage adventure Earth to Echo. However, most of the other key players behind the scenes on the 2014 TMNT movie returned to work on Out of the Shadows too, including screenwriters Josh Applebaum and André Nemec – and of course, producer Michael Bay.
Out of the Shadows will boast many a new cast addition, but the core cast of the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie are reprising their roles here. That includes the four actors who bring the Turtles to life via motion-capture performances – Pete Ploszek (Leonardo), Noel Fisher (Michelangelo), Jeremy Howard (Donatello), and Alan Ritchson (Raphael) – as well as Megan Fox as reporter (and Turtles ally) April O’Neil and Will Arnett as April’s cameraman, Vernon Fenwick.
Thus far though, the marketing for Out of the Shadows has kept the spotlight focused foremost on the Turtles, in keeping with the cast’s claims that the heroes-in-a-half-shell get double the screen time in the sequel as they got in the 2014 TMNT film. Paramount Pictures has released four TMNT: Out of the Shadows character posters that likewise feature only the Turtles, as they watch over New York City in their respective ways (Raphael unsmiling, Michelangelo looking a bit happier than the others, and so on). Check out the one-sheets, below.
While these TMNT: Out of the Shadows characters posters are fairly no-nonsense in terms of their tone and style (well, as no-nonsense as posters featuring Ninja Turtles can be), Out of the Shadows trailers and TV spots released by Paramount thus far have painted the sequel as being more playful and good-humored, on the whole. When we spoke to the Turtles actor during our visit to the Out of the Shadows set, they admitted that the 2014 TMNT reboot was something of a hodgepodge, as far as tones go – the result of them having shot three different versions of the film, it turns out. However, Pete Ploszek in particular noted that the experience proved useful to the returning TMNT cast and crew alike, when it came to settling on a firmer storytelling approach for Out of the Shadows:
I think that has informed our approach to this one though in the sense that I think we’re all very aware of the movie we made last time. What worked. What didn’t work. When you see what made it and what didn’t make it (into the final cut), it really informs your choices as an actor. Even just seeing your translation of yourself to a motion-captured turtle, it’s pretty damn educational. So that’s sort of greased the machine for us this time around. It’s been a good fast start.
Indeed, Out of the Shadows looks and feels more like a live-action version of TMNT cartoon series past (the 1980s version especially) – between its jokey temper and the addition of many fan-favorite, larger than life, TMNT characters, including: Arrow‘s Stephen Amell as hockey-loving (human) vigilante Casey Jones; Tyler Perry as mad scientist Baxter Stockman; the WWE’s Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly and Gary Anthony Williams as mutant thugs Rocksteady and Bebop; and, as we found out recently, the villainous alien Krang (voice actor TBA). Credit where credit’s due: no matter if it ultimately flies high, fails hard, or something in between, Out of the Shadows is committing fully to its colorful and cartoonish vision of the TMNT universe.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows opens in U.S. theaters on June 3rd, 2016.
Source: Paramount Pictures