The reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles provided a brand new origin story for the titular 'heroes in the half shell', and while it may not have been what every fan hoped for, the studio isn't slowing down in its efforts to move the series' fiction forward. Villains Bebop and Rocksteady have long been confirmed, and fan-favorite Turtles ally Casey Jones is joining in on the action as well.
But with the prior film's take on Shredder relying more on CGI and high-flying battles than the actor beneath the suit, actor Brian Tee (The Wolverine, Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift) has been called upon to give the villain a bit more personality. Although his casting in a role already filled will raise a few questions.
The casting news comes courtesy of Variety, claiming Tee has joined the ongoing production as Shredder, played in the previous film by Tohoru Masamune (Inception). Fans only had a handful of looks at Masamune's face beneath his signature armor, but fans will remember the villain's fate following the movie's climax, plummeting hundreds of feet to the streets of New York City below.
Shredder was presumed dead at the time, but the mysterious ooze trickling onto his body left the doors wide open for a sequel storyline (it being the same substance responsible for turning a rat and batch of turtles into intelligent martial artists). Now it seems Tee - no stranger to the comic book community, given his roles in the Mortal Kombat: Legacy series and The Wolverine - will be taking up the mantle of Shredder a.k.a. Oroku Saki.
No extra details surrounding Tee's take on the character are given, but the surprisingly little time spent on Oroku Saki's origin story and history could offer one explanation. Perhaps Tee's casting means Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (aside from introducing Stephen Amell's Casey Jones) will offer some insight into Oroku Saki's younger, pre-Shredder days.
The actual effects that the mysterious ooze would have on a human being are open to the imagination, and in a world of talking Turtles, a man being chemically rejuvenated isn't too hard to believe. But it's also unknown if this take on the Ninja Turtles fiction has the title of 'Shredder' applied to just one man, or acting as a rank for the Foot Clan's leader. Could Tee play the successor of Oroku Saki - or perhaps the 'true' version of the iconic villain comic fans will most covet?
We'll keep you posted as more information arrives, but what do you make of this casting news? Is there an explanation that you most hope to see come true, or does a look back into Shredder's early days in Japan seem like an odd choice? Sound off in the comments.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is scheduled to premiere June 3rd, 2016.