The follow-up to Jonathan Liebesman's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot has begun filming, bringing the cast back in on the action along with plenty more of the franchise's most popular characters. The powerful and unintelligent duo Bebop and Rocksteady are confirmed to appear, Stephen Amell has been cast as the hockey mask-wearing vigilante Casey Jones, Tyler Perry will play Baxter Stockman, and Brian Tee will fill the role of the new (and improved?) Shredder.
Now, it looks like one of the most memorable villains from Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's franchise may make his big screen debut as well. According to a new rumor, the alien General Krang - best known to fans as a disembodied brain - will appear in next year's Ninja Turtles sequel.
The rumor comes courtesy of Cinema Blend, who claim a scene was recently filmed in which Krang arrives on Earth. The source states the foe will travel to the planet via "a portal of some sort" and several extras were there, presumably to greet the extraterrestrial. Concept art of the alien - as well as Bebop and Rocksteady - was previously posted before the studio pulled the images, so Krang possibly making his cinematic debut shouldn't come as too big of a surprise.
General Krang made his first appearance way back in the second episode of the 1987 Ninja Turtles animated series, described as either a villainous, disembodied brain, or a member of an alien race known as the "Utroms" - introduced in the Mirage comic series. There have been several different incarnations of the character over the years, but almost all share an uneasy alliance with Shredder. In the latest IDW comic series, Krang's wishes to terraform Earth force Shredder a.k.a. Oroku Saki to team up with the Turtles to stop him.
In the latest animated series on Nickelodeon, Shredder agreed to help Kraang Prime's invasion of New York. If this rumor about General Krang being in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 pans out, this will be the first time fans have gotten a live-action version of the iconic fiend. Whether he'll be brought to life through motion capture, practical effects, or 100% CGI has yet to be revealed.
Seeing as this movie will incorporate Baxter Stockman as well as Bebop and Rocksteady, the possibility of the alien forming an alliance with Shredder and, in turn, the other henchmen doesn't seem very far-fetched. From there it's just a matter of whether Krang's plan involves wiping out the human race and, if so, how long it will take Shredder to realize he may have to oppose his ally. Since Shredder was the big bad in the first film, it makes sense to step aside and let another villain enjoy some of the spotlight. While there's no official word yet on the overall plot, it's a good sign to see so much fan service in the form of so many classic characters.
Incorporating fan favorites is certainly appealing, but it's understandable to be skeptical, given the short amount of time spent on developing or justifying the reboot's first crack at new villains. Writers Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec were able to capture the Turtles' personalities - offering plenty of fun action and banter - but the story with the villains was seriously lacking (most notably, the missed opportunity of Shredder's deadly henchwoman, Karai). Let's hope this sequel keeps the amusing comedy and action while also offering a solid story.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is scheduled to open June 3, 2016.
Source: Cinema Blend