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TMNT 2: What We Want to See

The heroes in a half shell are getting a sequel! Here's what we want to witness in the next movie.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back on the big screen and a whole lot of people bought tickets to see the reboot. Over the weekend, Jonathan Liebesman's movie earned $65 million and it looks like studio is very pleased with this figure because they're now moving ahead with a sequel. According to Entertainment Weekly, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' sequel is set for 2016 and producer Michael Bay and screenwriters Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec will return. Most critics bashed the movie and our review was pretty mixed, but it's a franchise we're passionate about and we can't help but think about the heroes in a half shell's cinematic future. So, here's what we'd love to see in 2016's sequel! Yes, this will include some spoilers from the new movie!

A more compelling story

It's totally understandable that this rebooted franchise wants to appeal to younger viewers and create a whole new generation of fans. It looks like it worked, too. When the screening ended, little kids were cheering, pretending to do martial arts with their friends, and some were passionately singing the "Shell Shocked" chorus with no shame whatsoever. They're the ones that'll mostly drive merchandise sales (thanks to their parents, of course) and, at the end of the day, that's obviously very important. Sure, the movie took steps to appeal to older fans (major credit for bringing cowabunga back), but only a handful of peers thought the movie was radical and pretty much everyone else has mixed feelings or disliked it. A big reason for many of the negative opinions tends to be one very important thing: the plot. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did a great job handling the heroes in a half shell's personalities and had a good dose of fun action and amusing banter between the Ninja Turtles, but the narrative, heart and emotion was seriously lacking. They need to focus on having more bits like the elevator one -- something that really shows their age and enthusiasm. Aside from the flashback, we never really had a chance to see these brothers enjoying some downtime and connecting. It's moments like the elevator one which make us laugh and fall in love with Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's team just a little more, so hopefully they'll come up with new ways to make us appreciate the heroes' spirit next time around.

Despite the PG-13 rating, it's clear they want to focus on creating a whole new generation of big TMNT fans, but that doesn't mean the story can't be engaging. Just look at movies like How to Train Your Dragon, The Incredibles, Wreck-It Ralph or The LEGO Movie. Sure, they're all animated examples, but all of these projects are kid friendly yet older moviegoers can walk out of the theater and still say, "Wow, that was really good!" Appealing to a younger demographic doesn't mean the narrative can't be engrossing, gripping and legitimately emotional. The Ninja Turtles have always placed a strong focus on the importance of family and we all know that has plenty of potential for compelling material. Now, we obviously don't expect the sequel to have a mind-blowingly good storyline, but we're hoping it'll feel more inspired instead of being all kinds of familiar and blatantly take notes from other experiences. Shredder's plot was generic, had quite a few holes, and the dialogue with the humans was lacking. It's important to give these characters just as much personality as the heroes and that brings us to the second point.

Expand the mythos & give the villains more depth

The Ninja Turtles have encountered all kinds of ninjas, mutants and even immortal monsters in their four cinematic adventures, but we've yet to see one of their most iconic villains: Krang. If we can have a mutated rat learning ninjutsu from a book, it's safe to say we can have a diabolical alien from another dimension. The big screen debut of the Utroms is long overdue and it was even implied in the movie that the ooze is from outer space. Seeing as the aliens play a big role in the Nick show and the movie is taking some notes from it (the illustrated intro totally felt like their way of giving young TV show fans an easy transition), it shouldn't be too hard to establish a somewhat familiar plot that'll help younger viewers follow along. We don't need to go full-blown sci-fi with the sequel, but establishing the basics of the Utroms and why they're a thereat would be a welcome change of pace for the movie. We know the ooze came from T.C.R.I., so now it's time to show us the people aliens behind the company! Luckily, we know this is an idea that Liebesman wants to move forward with and the director seemed totally enthusiastic about Dimension X in interviews.

If Oroku Saki returns -- which seems more than likely -- it would be great to see the man show more depth instead of just always being used for badass fights and spewing threats that belong in the original cartoon. Yes, he's the big bad, but he can have a humanizing moment or two as well. And, assuming Karai isn't dead (her fate seems like it's up in the air after that vicious crash), she deserves to be given more focus instead of just screaming orders and then getting knocked out. She felt like a throwaway character and she has so much more potential than that. If Oroku Saki aligns with the aliens, have her voice her opinions on the matter instead of just standing there and taking orders. Let us know what she means to Shredder and how they're related, if at all. We know the movie doesn't want to juggle too many narratives, but many movies have proven they can flesh out side characters without ever having them steal the show or harm the pacing.

Let the Ninja Turtles lead the way

April O'Neil's an important part of the TMNT mythos and having her discover the Turtles is a key event in the earlier parts of many incarnations, but when people pay for a ticket to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it's because they want to see, well, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Splinter's students did receive a good amount of time, but April soaked up a lot of time and a moderate amount of it was just for exposition. Look, April should obviously play a big role in the sequel, and if she does, it should focus on two things: earning respect as a reporter (something which never happened here) and bonding with the Turtles -- you know, beyond Michelangelo just hitting on her. After what she's been through with the Foot, she should have one hell of a story about Eric's company and Shredder, right? She could totally redeem herself (without giving away the TMNT) and this second movie could quickly recap her upward mobility and finally show her as a respected reporter with Channel 6. They showed she can be brave, but they never rewarded her abilities as a journalist.

Still, her arc shouldn't be the focus of the story. The Turtles should be the ones receiving the most time on the screen and we should be learning more about their character dynamics and relationship with their father, Master Splinter. Liebesman's first TMNT movie does a good job developing Raphael and teases his dynamic with Leonardo, but with everyone else, we just saw their most well-known personality traits on display and there was nothing beyond that. It's important to give someone else the kind of attention Raph received and show us there's more to Mikey than jokes, more to Donnie than tech, and more to Leonado than wanting to lead. And, if it's not asking too much, a little more of an emphasis on their stealth and hand-to-hand skills would be bodacious.

Bring on the goongala and fan favorites

Producer Andrew Form has stated they'd love to use Casey Jones and Bebop and Rocksteady if they're allowed to make a sequel. Well, they now have that opportunity and it's time to deliver! Given the amount of product placement in the movie, it wouldn't be shocking if Casey Jones feels like a walking advertising for various sports products (zoom in on Casey's Nike shoes as he chases down a member of the Foot!), but in the end, all that matters is if they get the characters right. Based on this first movie, it looks like they have a proper handle on the personalities of the heroes. They know the hockey mask wearing vigilante is someone many fans are passionate about, so it's clear they'll attempt to bring their A game if they do indeed bring the dude front and center.

As for Bebop and Rocksteady, people want something very simple from those two: a whole lot of crazy and silly fun. Give us a thrilling action sequence with this duo and odds are we'll be pleased. That said, a common complaint about this movie is how crowded the designs are. With the two mutant thugs, we really hope the designs embrace the classic looks without adding too much on top of it. It's important to remember these goons are formidable but also goofy and somewhat lovable, so they need to strike a balance between looking intimidating and having an appearance that wouldn't make younglings scream for their parents. Really focusing on the dated attire could help with that.

What do YOU want to see in the upcoming sequel? Get your elaboration on in the comments, TMNT fans!

55 Comments
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Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy

Eh.. Not wanting to see a sequal. But it's coming regardless of what I want.. Idk.. Maybe Bebop and Rocksteady.

Posted by fullmetaladam

FIRST!!!! Can't believe you forgot Vanilla Ice!!!!!!

Edited by MadeinBangladesh

We don't want to to see TMNT 2. if Michael Bay and his crew is involved.

Posted by viin

Why? People had such a fit about this movie before it was even made and I havnt heard anything good about it yet..so why are they making a sequel? Has anyone seen any of the transformer sequels? Michael Bay is not franchise worthy.

Posted by ScrappyDont27

Casey Jones!

Posted by fullmetaladam

OOPS. Second I mean.

Posted by NorrinBoltagonPrime21

Sounds like the exact same problem with the transformers movies

Edited by angus_lafroy

What I want out of the sequel: not 100 minutes of Megan Fox staring at the camera with her mouth open. Seriously, put the characters for which the movie is named in more than 1/3 of the movie!

Posted by k4tzm4n

@viin said:

Why? People had such a fit about this movie before it was even made and I havnt heard anything good about it yet..so why are they making a sequel? Has anyone seen any of the transformer sequels? Michael Bay is not franchise worthy.

I'd recommend reading the intro ;)

FIRST!!!! Can't believe you forgot Vanilla Ice!!!!!!

Ha! If we're taking that approach, there's plenty of extra things I could add!

We don't want to to see TMNT 2. if Michael Bay and his crew is involved.

As stated in the intro, they still are.

Casey Jones!

GOON TO THE GALA! Based on interviews, it seems very likely he'll play a role in the sequel.

Staff
Posted by Sachmoo

Casey Jones!

Posted by Fenderxx

A good movie... First and foremost, however if you look at the quality of the transformers franchise, they keep getting worse, so that has me concerned. Also, kill off april o'neil, you could recast, but this would be funnier.

Edited by micah

They confirmed Jones, Bebop and Rocksteady will be involved in the second one.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@micah said:

They confirmed Jones, Bebop and Rocksteady will be involved in the second one.

They've stated they want to and that's mentioned in the article.

Staff
Posted by Ostyo

Pretty much Leo, Donnie, and Mikey getting better character development, and the villains not being so cliche it hurts.

Posted by micah

@k4tzm4n said:

@micah said:

They confirmed Jones, Bebop and Rocksteady will be involved in the second one.

They've stated they want to and that's mentioned in the article.

I hope they do it. I want to see how Casey Jones will fight this gigantic version of Raph :)

Posted by Life_Without_Progress

More focus on the turtles, not on the humans we barely care about ( I'm looking at you, April)

A better written dialogue and storyline

Posted by mnightshelton

The movie was fine. TMNT are far more interesting than Transformers, so no matter whatever the movie franchises shouldn't be compared. I'm sick of people complaining about Michael Bay, especially since no one defends their opinions on how he's "ruining" the Turtles. Everything that came after the original comic was a different take, and this is no different. It was fun. They know how populat Ninja Turtles are and how loyal and defensive fans can be. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shaped an entire generation. Anyone who thinks Transformer were more than a fad are mistaken. Those movies are bad because there's nothing behind it emotionally. It's litterally based off a toy. Michael Bay saw the potential for SFX to steamroll a nostalgia bender and boom, Transformers. No one cares. TMNT existed way before Michael Bay, and will still be popular years from now. 100 different people will put their own spin behind it and idiots will always complain. What do you really want from giant talking turtles?

Edited by k4tzm4n
Staff
Posted by AmazingWebHead

I agree with all of these. Hey, if Krang could be the villain, maybe we could see the Neutrinos or General Tragg.

And for once, just once, can we get a Ninja Turtles movie that actually focuses on all 4 of the brothers equally? Every movie so far, either they're bland and out of focus (Raph slightly less than the others), or Leo and Raph hog the spotlight.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

Raph had the most development, but didn't have that much none the less. Personally it's always felt like Raph had the most personality of the brothers, but that might just be me. I'm a big Turtle fan and I know there's more to the other three than what was shown, but Raph has always seemed to have the most.

I'd love to see Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang, Baxter Stockman, Metalhead...There are so many great characters in the universe.

None of that matters though without a more coherent story. If the comics can have gone on as long as they have it's proof they can have good engrossing stories, they just need to transfer that to a screenplay.

Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy

I wonder who they will get to play Casey..

Posted by comicvine_is_jericho529

Michael bay's name off the credits or having anything to do with the sequel.

Oh and Casey Jones

Posted by SuperJedi17

They shouldn't continue this franchise. Now kids are going to be confused about splinter and the turtles,assuming they (Hopefully) watch the Nick Turtles as well,since the origins are very different (apparently splinter is just some rat,not Hamato Yoshi)

Edited by ReverendHunt

I liked it more than I expected, and more than most other people, but yeah, it had some major, major problems, especially plot-wise. Some of the problem were obvious rotting limbs from the cuts they did to keep Sacks from being Shredder, and others were very likely there from the start.

I was pretty on-the-fence with this director, as I hated the shit out of Darkness Falls but loved Rings so much that I've seen it way more times than the movie it was made to promote. I was hoping that he'd bring the fervor and manic energy that Rings had. Then again, not everything was obviously 100% his doing in any of these three movies. A movie sees compliments shared across the entire staff with a heap on the director, and a bad movie usually pegs the director exclusively. In this case, it oddly is shared between one of the producers (Bay) and the director, with Bay getting the biggest draw. I literally have never seen a producer blamed for a movie's failings before, even previous movies Bay had produced.

That said, I don't want a reboot as some are chanting for. No story is too bad to be saved by a good sequel, and I grow ill of the amount of reboots studios love churning through. Here's what I want from a sequel:

Story

Obviously the story has to be leaner, tighter, trimming off the fat of obviously useless parts and just keep it concise and to the point. There were many points in this film where it took an obscenely large, out-of-the-way diatribe on something that could have been succinctly brought up. And then the end result was often massively disappointing to boot.

There needs to be a reason for the Shredder/Turtles & Splinter conflict other than "they have something we want". Whether it's the unnamed Shredder from the first film or Sacks takes over or what, the story has traditionally always held that there was a reason for them to be at odds deeper than what runs through their blood. I'm pretty sure this is literally the only incarnation of Turtles that makes no mention of Hamato Yoshi - an important part of their origin.

Perhaps most importantly in this regard - characterization. Just a few days before, James Gunn made me care about a bunch of characters I either knew almost nothing about or just outright disliked. And yet these characters that I have grown up with, who I love so much still today that I run a Wiki on them and have an entire spare room with their on-the-card action figures covering the walls... I really didn't give a toss about outside of the fact that they superficially resembled the characters I've known for over 25 years at this point.

Characters

As a result of the outcry of Weeaboo Shredder, they brought in a Japanese actor to stand around and say a few lines, then voice over for the Shredder scenes. Sacks got busted down to essentially Baxter Stockman, and Baxter himself, while in the cast actually doesn't make an appearance that can be proved (a lot of people say he's standing over Dr. O'Neil's shoulder at one point, but in both the theater and the screencap I see, you can't even tell what ethnicity he is, let alone if he looks anything like K. Todd Freeman).

If the man known as Shredder in the film returns to the story, they need to make him more than just a guy who stands around a bit and look menacing. Give him a name, even if it's Oroku Nagi!

If Sacks takes the mantle, have him be more than just a milquetoast. As much as the movie itself suffered for cutting him out of the Shredder position, he was in no way believable as the badass in the armor. If his mode of combat's going to be anything more than a gun, we've got to be able to feel that it's even possible.

Who else... If Baxter and Karai are still alive, they need to have much larger roles. It's pretty sad that the half-assed 3DS game gave them more to do than the film - and Karai doesn't even appear in it! And Bernadette, too. You don't cast a massively famous comedienne and then give her nothing to do (unless you're The Little Rascals, I guess).

As for new characters... Casey's a must, but I don't know if they're (the studio) gonna want him AND Vernon tagging along in the film and you know they're bringing Vernon back. At least Jones'll pull his weight... as much as I like Will Arnett, his character was more of a means to acquire a set of wheels than anything else.

I love the crap out of Bebop and Rocksteady, but I don't know if they're right for this series. New mutants, maybe? Bring back Tokka and Rahzar? Groundchuck and Dirtbag? Usub Gerstalk and Dwayne? And on the subjects of both mutants and allies... maybe bring Leatherhead in, in some capacity?

Other

I did like the ways the Turtles were set apart by their attire, but I feel like everyone's outfits were way too... busy. Streamline it a bit, then we're good.

Posted by Indigo_LeoFan

First and foremost - let Pete Ploszek voice Leo. It's unfair that he got upstaged and unfair for Leo to be paired with someone who admits he just "played a big hillbilly" for Leo with zero research and not putting on any kind of voice at all. ( http://youtu.be/eZr06a6rcsc ) Knoxville sounded good for the "tough leader" moments, but only those moments. By making Leo sound too gruff the entire time he lacked of lot of the heart, kindness, and serenity in his voice and demeanor I expected of him, and as a big Leo fan it left me sad for what was missing in him. Of all characters, why Leo. He's a noble, well mannered, honorable guy... not a gruff hillbilly. Why does it seem like no one knew this. Leo needs to feel like Leo.

Other than that... Slow down the pacing. Lengthen the movie. Character development. Make sure important scenes are substantial enough - some important parts were so short/basic, I really expected more to them.

Turtles should get the majority of the focus as article suggests.

Again - Pete Ploszek as Leo's voice. Let him, an actor who spent a long time physically "being" the character, bring to Leo what is missing in his demeanor.

Posted by ScarletBatman

Here's what I want:

Dump this atrocity, restart from scratch and do it right. .

Posted by ReverendHunt

Here's what I want:

Dump this atrocity, restart from scratch and do it right. .

That's the lazy way to fix stuff, man. It's like leaving your family because your kid became a grocery clerk. Anything worth fixing is worth doing the right way.

Edited by RavenVice01

Baxter stockman, rat king, leatherhead, slash, mutants like bebop and rocksteady with interesting origin stories and of course dimension X with krang and tragg

Posted by ScrappyDont27

@k4tzm4n: I think they can make Casey jones look pretty cool in this universe

Posted by Astro_Zombie78

I'd rather watch paint dry. Which is just like Megan Fox's acting.

Posted by fil123

honestly GotG kind of ruined TMNT for me. GotG is now my second fav comic book movie and i just finished processing the greatness when i saw TMNT and it just brought me right down. It was still a decent popcorn flick but nothing compared to the very first one

Posted by ccraft

Great article, I haven't seen TMNT yet, so I have nothing to add here, looks good.

Posted by Beast_in_the_Shadows

@astro_zombie78: It's not very fair comparing Megan fox's acting to drying paint. One is a substance which is used to add visual appeal, tho over exposure could lead to brain damage... And the other is a way to change the color of your walls and furniture.

Posted by StMichalofWilson

@micah said:

@k4tzm4n said:

@micah said:

They confirmed Jones, Bebop and Rocksteady will be involved in the second one.

They've stated they want to and that's mentioned in the article.

I hope they do it. I want to see how Casey Jones will fight this gigantic version of Raph :)

I also want to see Kraang as the main villain

Edited by tparks

With the World Building (using that term loosely here) that happened in the movie, it doesn't seem out of place for MetalHead to be in #2. Even just for a nice Easter Egg, like the Marvel movies do. Speaking of Easter Eggs, anyone else catch the Mutanimals reference? Awesome. Lol.

Also, completely agree. Casey Jones in the sequel or we riot!

Beebop and Rocksteady are my two favorite characters of all time. Be gentle if they are included.

Edited by BallsMonkey

Agreed on all points. I also want them to give a more distinct look and personality to the city. It was way too generic looking.

Also, I want Channing Tatum as Casey Jones.

And I wanna see them record that hip-hop Christmas album.

Posted by dreamfall31

Didn't see the movie, and I never will, but different voices and different designs for the Turtles would definitely make me consider seeing a 2nd.

Posted by Ramier

People are just quick to hop on bandwagons the movie was far from bad. It was enjoyable I actually like it very much. Let go of the past if the would've the updates made total sense. Shredders upgrade was justifiable because how big the brothers were. You guys throw around character development thinking you know what me means. Ralph wasn't the most he just didn't get captured and had a nice freeing moment at the end. Mikey was the most developed, but I felt Donny and Ralph were developed just the same. We all have visions of what these guys personalities are like. Leo was the least developed if you ask me, but most leaders in movies/tv are, come on we all know the red ranger had no development (hahaha power rangers) also April was ok to me she wasn't a typical women character in movies. She was strong and a do'er she didn't sit and wait for help. Splinter was the only thing i disliked only his Cg but his fighting oh man that tail was epic. Shredder was really the bad guy u have movies were the big bad is beat easily in the end and not really a threat this dude FAWK it was painful to watch how much butt kicking he was dishing out. Overall it was good lets give it a chance cause lets be honest batman begins sucked as well

Posted by NightFang

What we want to see, but well never get.

Online
Posted by Mekboy

Just more Turtles really.

Posted by Child_Karl

Honestly I just want the sense of fun back. Those first films were so goofy in an earnest way- they knew the premise was inherently silly, so they just ran with it, "Cowabunga" riffs, lame pizza puns and all. This film was competent but soulless. It takes the material much too seriously- you're making a movie about 6-foot-tall mutated ninja turtles who eat pizza & speak in 90s slang, have fun with it. Remember, those original films didn't have great dialogue or stories either. But they were charming as hell, something this film didn't capture.

Posted by Outside_85

A reboot, I imagine.

Posted by n25philly

I'll probably watch this one on dvd, but if they put bebop and rocksteady in the sequel then you won't even be able to pay me to watch the sequel

Posted by Erik

For me, Mikey and Raph got the attention. I was very pleased with how Mikey turned out.

Posted by Dedpool

Pretty much everything I wanted. Thing is gotta go slow. Casey Jones, Rocksteady and Bebop for the sequel is a good idea, with The Kraang/Utrom as shadowy puppetmasters. A resurgence of the True foot, not what Shredder was letting Sacks use would also work. Then for a third film bring on Triceraton invasion.

Edited by pingclang

I just want them to do a redesign. Maybe they could give them a look that doesn't look like the trash lady from The Labyrinth. I honestly have no hope for this series of films getting any better than this though. It's Hollywood so they'll do the exact opposite of what any of us fans want. I thought the film was okay and with sequels its usually all downhill so take that for what it's worth. Maybe I'm wrong and it'll good, we'll see.

Posted by SlickyMike88

Let James Gunn direct the movie , then I would be happy .

Posted by MyNameIsWill

@ostyo said:

Pretty much Leo, Donnie, and Mikey getting better character development, and the villains not being so cliche it hurts.

Posted by obiwanhomie

Is less suck an option..?

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