[UPDATE: The images have been removed per the Aaron Sims Company's request.]
Paramount's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ultimately proved to be a box office success ($353 million and counting, against a $125 million budget) and has a sequel scheduled for 2016. That was despite it having courted a whole lot of controversy during pre-production, in response to the direction that the project (as was produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes) appeared to be taking with its treatment of the TMNT mythos.
The final movie, which arguably does a fine job of re-establishing the TMNT characters and world for the 21st century, is nonetheless very much a patchwork of material (we dubbed it "Best Frankenstein Job" of Summer 2014), as a result of it having gone through multiple script revisions and heavy editing during post-production - in order to create a more focused re-introduction to the TMNT film universe.
Those folk behind the movie have confirmed to us that earlier screenplay drafts including the villain Krang were altered in order to simplify the storyline - hence the extraterrestrial villain was dropped - and it's long been rumored that other script drafts also featured the mutated thugs Bebop and Rocksteady (who were left out for similar reasons). Still, the aforementioned fan-favorite TMNT baddies, as well as more heroic types like Casey Jones, remain very much fair game for the sequel(s), according to the filmmakers behind the franchise.
Why bring this up? Well, the visual effects and previsualization studio Aaron Sims Company, which worked on TMNT (2014) as well as this year's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, has posted online concept art for the Turtles reboot (hat tip to Screen Crush), showing the planned designs for Krang as well as Bebop and Rocksteady. You can peruse through that material at your leisure, below.
IMAGES REMOVED PER STUDIO REQUEST
Bebop and Rocksteady, judging by the conceptual designs, would've had fairly realistic animalistic characteristics, had they been included in the TMNT reboot, similar to the CGI version of Splinter (voiced by Tony Shalhoub) that was included in the movie. The decision to go the "realistic humanoid" route with Splinter's physical appearance was questionable at best (our Kofi Outlaw, in his review, fairly called the design "somewhat gross"), but portraying Bebop and Rocksteady as... well, being somewhat grotesque and unpleasant-looking bipedal creatures would make more sense, seeing as they are straight-forward, dim-witted minions, traditionally.
That is to say: if the pair do show up in future TMNT sequels, then they very well could look the way they do in the unused concept art, above. Similarly, Krang probably wouldn't be all that different in appearance from the pre-viz design shown here, were he to be featured as a primary antagonist in a future TMNT installment.
We've already written in detail before about how the TMNT sequel could build on the foundation of the first movie (see: "Easter Eggs" like the TCRI mutagen), as a means to blow the doors open for a proper inter-galactic adventure, where the Turtles end up fighting Krang in his hellish home world, known as Dimension X. The TMNT sequel could also take place on Earth and still incorporate the aforementioned baddies in a narrative that also involves The Shredder (who (Spoiler?) lest we forget, was still alive by the end of the first installment).
Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec (who co-wrote the TMNT movie reboot) are currently working on the script for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, but we've yet to hear anything about what direction they're planning to take with the film's story - be it more of an Earth-based ninja adventure, a dimension-crossing sci-fi thrill ride, or a combination of the two. Of course, factors like the budget will ultimately impact the genre tone for the Turtles' next big screen venture - regardless of what the writers might prefer to do.
We'll let you know when we have more information on that subject, of course, but in the meantime feel free to let us know where you're hoping the TMNT sequel will go, plot-wise.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be available on DVD and Blu-ray starting December 16th, 2014. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is scheduled to open in theaters on June 3rd, 2016.
Header image artwork via JoyReactor