When Paramount's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hit theaters last year, it performed well at the box office, taking in $191.2 million domestic and over $493 million worldwide, from a $125 million budget. Despite this success, many longtime fans were disappointed that a number of other iconic characters from the original comic book and the animated TV series weren't featured in this big screen adventure. That will all change with next year's sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, which brings in a number of iconic characters like Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly). Another beloved character who will be introduced is Casey Jones, played by Stephen Amell, who recently shed new light on his character in a new interview with Screen Rant.
Casey Jones was previously played by Elias Koteas in the 1990 live-action adaptation Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The character has become a fan favorite, and we saw in the first trailer that arrived last week, that Casey still has his iconic hockey stick and goalie mask that became synonymous with the character. However, the Stephen Amell teased that his Casey Jones will have a different origin story.
"Just from looking at my appearance-as opposed to what comic book fans have come to expect from Casey Jones-we are meeting Casey in this movie at a very different point. The Casey that we met in the previous live-action films was a finished product. I'm doing a completely different job (at this point in the story) than I am by the end of the movie. So, I like it because it's very much an origin story for my character. It's certainly not the centerpiece of the movie. But for me personally, I like finding a character in a phase of discovery."
We saw in the trailer that Casey jumps in to save April O'Neil from an attack, shortly before the heroes in a half-shell burst onto the scene. While we aren't sure if this scene is the first time he's seen in the movie, it's clear that this is the first time he meets both April and the Turtles. Screenwriter André Nemec also told the site that Casey Jones gets introduced in "wonderful" action scenes.
"(He's introduced) through all kinds of wonderful scenes and great action and adventure. He represents something that is a part of the Turtles, in terms of the vigilante status of their life. In terms of a character also trying to find his path and his way. We had, in early drafts of the first movie, explored the Casey Jones character and then we let him go from the idea of the first movie. We always had it in our craw to have the Casey Jones character be part of the Turtles franchise, and this movie is the right way to introduce him into their world."
Original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stars Megan Fox (April O'Neil), Will Arnett (Vern Fenwick), William Fichtner (Eric Sacks), Alan Ritchson (Raphael), Noel Fisher (Michelangelo), Pete Ploszek (Leonardo) and Jeremy Howard (Donatello) are reprising their roles for the sequel. New cast members include Stephen Amell as Casey Jones, Brian Tee as Shredder, Brittany Ishibashi as Karai and Laura Linney in an unspecified role. Production on the action sequel wrapped production in New York this August. Here's what producer Andrew Form had to say about why they chose to bring Casey Jones into this story.
"We had talked about the Casey character in movie one for a long time in development. We did have incarnations of the scripts with Casey and April in the movie together. By the time we made the movie, Casey kind of went away, and (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) became April's story. So we always wanted to work with Casey Jones in this movie, and it's been amazing bringing this character into this franchise. And he's the fresh eyes now coming in because he does meet the turtles. And it's always fun when someone can meet these four characters, as if you saw them for the first time. He's the audience at first. And it's really fun and you know he gets to hangout with the Turtles and we all know that Casey, at least in canon wants to be a vigilante. And I think the turtles help him you know find that, they really do. Him and Raph have their issues but by the end of the movie I think everyone gets along real well."
Dave Green directs from a script by André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum, who wrote last year's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is slated for release on June 3, 2016, putting it up against Universal Pictures' Top Secret Untitled Lonely Island Movie. It's possible that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 could put up even bigger numbers than its predecessor this coming summer, but we'll have to wait and see. What do you think about these new Casey Jones details?