Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took in an impressive $65 million at the box office this past weekend, replacing the beloved Marvel sci-fi epic Guardians of the Galaxy as the number one movie in the country. Audiences enjoyed producer Michael Bay's rebooted take on the popular franchise, though critics didn't treat it too kindly. It didn't matter what they had to say though, as Paramount proudly announced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 for June 6, 2016. That's a full two years for the filmmaking team to get it right!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a pretty streamlined affair, and only gave us a taste of this comic book universe, focusing on the four main turtles Donnie, Mikey, Raph and Leo, their sensei Master Splinter, their greatest enemy Shredder, roving Channel 6 reporter April O'Neil and her cameraman Vern Fenwick. A lot of classic and iconic characters, not to mention some very cool weapons and possible cameos, were left out. But they must make their cinematic debut in the impending sequel. Here are 9 things we NEED to see in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2!
1 Introduction of Krang and Dimension X
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a rich and layered mythology full of interesting characters that span both the previous animated series and the comic books. Some of these storylines have seen many different iterations, and Krang is one of them. But he is probably the second favorite villain after Shredder, and if Shredder is (SPOILER) truly dead, the four brothers will have to face off against this pink alien bastard at some point. Krang first appeared in the 1987 animated series before appearing in the pages of the comic. He hails from Dimension X, from which he was banished after stealing the powerful mobile fortress The Technodrome. Making a new home on earth, he allied himself with Shredder in exchange for a new human-shaped exo-body. His main goal is to take over our planet. But, unlike Shredder, he doesn't view the turtles and Splinter as mortal enemies, he sees them as objects that must be destroyed when they get in the way of his nefarious plans. Introducing Krang would set up the expansive world of Dimension X, allowing for a sci-fi themed storyline that could open up all kinds of story possibilities.
2 Casey Jones as April O'Neil's Love Interest
When an early draft of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles screenplay leaked, many fans hated the inclusion of a teenage Casey Jones as an urban hipster in love with April O'Neil. It was the age difference that caused most of the controversy. Everyone wanted to see a more accurate portrayal of Casey Jones brought to the screen and not some uber-cool version of the character that dropped copious amounts of slang most teens don't use anymore. If done right, Casey Jones could be a very cool addition to the new rebooted cinematic franchise. A vigilante who wears a hockey mask just like Jason Voorhees, the character has always been portrayed in his late 20s early 30s and is kind of like the Han Solo of the series. He was set up as a love interest way back in the original black and white comic books, and bringing him in at this age makes sense for Megan Fox. He'd also serve as a nice romantic foil for Mikey, who is obsessed with April. His jealousy over Casey has some great comedic potential. As long as Casey's iconic look stays intact, he could make a sequel very worthwhile. Casting is important too, and he must arrive with his golf bag filled with baseball bats, golf clubs, and hockey sticks. Just please, Michael Bay, don't cast Brian Austin Green, Megan Fox's real-life husband, in the role (hmm, wait...Maybe he's not such a bad choice...NAH...)
3 Bebop and Rocksteady
Some fans hate Bebop and Rocksteady, while others absolutely adore them. These two mutants never made it into any of the previous live action movies. And we can see why, they are kind of ridiculous. But with today's technology, they might look really cool on the big screen. Originally two human gang members, this raging Rhino and his warthog sidekick were introduced in the 1987 cartoon series as part of Shredder's diabolical plan to rid New York City of the four turtle brothers. The new live-action movie's mutagen storyline actually opens a door for the introduction of these two iconic, and very dimwitted thugs.
4 The Technodrome!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 couldn't have Krang without the Technodrome! This Death Star on wheels is the semi-spherical tank-like metallic mobile fortress of Krang and Shredder, and it has served as the center of many previous stories. It also houses a portal between earth and the dreaded Dimension X. On the animated series, the Technodrome was often portrayed as powerless or stuck at some remote location where it was about to be destroyed. Bringing it into the cinematic universe would allow for fans to finally see what this thing can actually do. It was originally created for the Playmates toy line before being incorporated into the animated show. And like Bebop and Rocksteady, it has never been seen on the big screen. We think it's about time!
5 Less Humans, More Turtles
One thing everyone seems to agree on is that Michael Bay and company got the turtles right! But sadly, a lot of screen time is given over to the humans in the movie, especially Megan Fox. It also takes forever for the movie to introduce the four sewer-dwelling brothers. Now that the set up is out of the way, Paramount can have a lot of fun with giving us a more turtle-centric story. They are the title of the movie, and I'm guessing this is what most paying audiences have come for. Who cares about April's career or Vern's latest vehicle problems, or even Eric Sach's plight as a second rate villain behind Shredder? The humans as set up in the first movie aren't that interesting. And we don't really need to see any more of them than necessary to drive this story into the future.
6 The Turtle Van in Action
One of the more disappointing aspects of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the fact that we don't really get to see the Turtle Van in action. It's introduced in the last scene of the movie, in the equivalent of a post-credit teaser. We get to see it fire a rocket, but nothing else. We want to see the Turtles actually driving this van around the city, fighting The Foot Clan and Krang with their awesome gadget filled vehicle. Why even have it in the movie if its not going to be used for anything but a cheap laugh? We want to see the Turtle Van in a chase with the Technodrome, with these two rides showing off their incredible abilities. Is that too much to ask for?
7 A Bigger Role for Karai
Karai is basically in after thought in the first movie. She is a high ranking member of the Foot Clan, and appears to be Shredder's assistant, but she doesn't get much to do, and it's not clear how much damage she actually suffers in this new reboot. As a main character in the comic books, there certainly is more backstory to explore. In previous storylines, it's hinted that she is either Shredder's biological daughter or an adopted child. She also has a very strong rivalry with Leonardo, and its hinted that her interest in this turtle leader may be romantic. Watching the new movie, it feels as though some of her scenes were cut out. We like Minae Noji, let's hope they give her something more to do next time. The character deserves it.
8 The Turtles Go Public
Many fans were upset when one of the first drafts of the screenplay turned the turtles into aliens. But in some of the comic book stories, the four brothers presented themselves in public as aliens, after the Utroms came to earth, establishing a peaceful base in New York City. This allowed for aliens of all kinds, including the turtles, to live amongst humans in peace. Introducing Krang could certain set up that storyline in the new movie series, but bringing the Turtles into the public eye also works with the current April O'Neil story established in this first installment. Having the turtles go public will certainly set up a new and interesting dynamic between the four brothers, and it would of course be balanced by their own personalities. Mikey would most likely take a shine to the spotlight, while Raph retreats from it, turning him into Sean Penn at the first sight of paparazzi. The turtles first public appearance will come at some point, and it seems like the type of character arc that first sequels like to implore. If done right, it could be quite poignant and funny.
9Corey Feldman cameo
It's understandable why Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles didn't bring in any past cameos from other iterations of the series. It wanted to stand as it's own thing. But we want to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 have some fun with this. First and foremost, we want to see the original voice of Donnie, Corey Feldman, get a few seconds of screen time. We'd also like to see the inclusion of the Workaholics cast in some capacity, with Adam DeVine, Blake Anderson and Anders Holm showing up somewhere in the movie. Maybe even throw Robbie Rist a bone, though he spoke out against this new incarnation of the franchise. Anything has to be better than Whoopi Goldberg. Seriously, why is she in the movie? Does she have to come back for the sequel? How about we get Judith Hoag or the beloved Elias Koteas as April's new boss?
What do you want to see happen in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2? Are there any other obscure characters you think should make an appearance this soon in the franchise? Is there something we mentioned that doesn't belong on the big screen? Let us know your thoughts.