Director Dave Green's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is currently filming, yet the movie's supporting cast continues to grow and grow. The most recent addition reported is that of Brittany Ishibashi, who has been cast as The Shredder's formidable daughter, Karai (played by Minae Noji in TMNT (2014)).
Seeing as this will be a new take on both Karai and Shredder (now played by Brian Tee), many have been wondering how the character designs will differ in TMNT 2, compared to its predecessor. Will this new version of Shredder still walk around in a ginormous armor that was used in the previous movie? Will Karai get her own kind of over-the-top and advanced armor? Well, the world didn't have to wait very long to get an answer, because set photos of both characters have already emerged.
It's worth noting that, in these new TMNT 2 set photos (click the link below to check them out), there are scars on Tee's face and neck - features that the true Shredder, Oroku Saki, often has. Hopefully there's some solid history between him and Master Splinter in the upcoming movie - they could absolutely work it in during a flashback at the lab or they could even create the conflict in this new story.
Additionally, Karai's armor in these TMNT 2 images appears to fall more on the practical side - and, with a look like that, one can only hope she'll get a decent action sequence or two. That would certainly be an improvement over the "Karai" we saw in TMNT (2014). The latter's role was pretty much limited to screaming orders and getting humiliated. Karai often has an interesting dynamic with Leonardo, but there's no word yet on whether that will be true for this sequel (or whether Karai truly has a significant role to play in the story, this time around).
The movie earned a decent review from us, but there's plenty to criticize about director Jonathan Liebsman's TMNT reboot. One of the more common complaints from fans concerns the Shredder and Foot Clan. The Ninja Turtles' iconic foe was an incredibly skilled hand-to-hand combatant, but his bulky armor - which resembled a cross between The Wolverine's Silver Samurai and Transformers' Megatron - and his followers being mercenaries was off-putting to many fans. These new set pics seem to imply that TMNT 2 will fix some of that - by, for example, having the Foot's forces now focus on martial arts, not firearms.
One thing to note: Tee isn't much older than Ishibashi, so unless TMNT 2 is drawing aspiration from the IDW comic series (where Shredder was basically immortal), the narrow age gap between father and daughter will be very noticeable. Of course, having an immortal character (thanks to mutagen) isn't that far-fetched in a world where a mutated rat became a martial arts master by reading a book (and then teaches his four giant, mutated turtle sons how to fight too). It's also possible the mutagen could have healed and rejuvenated the Shredder from the first film.
A third theory is that Karai is the daughter of the Shredder we saw in TMNT (2014) and Tee's Shredder hails from a Foot Clan in a different region. Out of the options, Shredder having been healed and made young again by mutagen might be the easiest one to incorporate.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is certainly going heavy on the world building, if nothing else. That includes, adding Stephen Amell as Casey Jones; having Bebop and Rocksteady make their live-action debuts; introducing Tyler Perry as mad scientist Baxter Stockman; and possibly even having General Krang make an appearance, on top of all that. Plus - can't forget about the actual Turtles. They need some screen time too.
Fortunately, we expect most of these new characters to play limited roles in the TMNT sequel. For that reason, it is somewhat promising to see the filmmakers behind this installment are focusing on expanding this cinematic universe and (hopefully) opening the door to even more compelling stories down the line. Fingers crossed, we'll even see Slash and/or Metalhead in live-action on the big screen one day too.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 opens in U.S. theaters on June 3rd, 2016.
Source: Coming Soon