A director swap is on tap for a burgeoning franchise. To the surprise to some, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a box office success when it opened in theaters this past August, going on to gross $477 million worldwide. Critical reaction was less than stellar, but audiences (namely kids) seemed to dig this new motion-capture-enhanced iteration of the titular Turtles. Paramount officially dated a sequel for June 3, 2016, and Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: LA) seemed enthused about the prospect of returning for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 with ideas about where the franchise could go in a further installment. However, Paramount Pictures has opted to take a new approach to the follow-up, and they have their eye on Earth to Echo director David Green to take the reins.
Hit the jump for more, including which comics characters are poised to appear in the sequel.
Per The Wrap, David Green is in early talks to direct Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. Though the report makes no mention of why a director change was made, Variety adds that Paramount wanted a “new approach” for the sequel and decided to open the film up to a director search. Green made his feature debut on the kid-centric sci-fi found footage feature Earth to Echo, which was overloaded with Steven Spielberg/Amblin references. Regardless, Green’s experience with kid-friendly features may be exactly what Paramount is looking for, as the first film showed that their target audience with this franchise is very young.
Michael Bay is returning to produce the sequel alongside his Platinum Dune partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, who recently revealed via our partners at Omelete that a couple of fan favorites are poised to appear in the follow-up. Per Form:
“We can say that Bebop and Rocksteady are in the film, and Casey Jones is a character that we love and we’re trying to fit him in as well”
Bepop and Rocksteady were actually considered to appear in the first TMNT, with concept art even being commissioned, but for whatever reason the filmmakers held off. Fuller and Form subsequently revealed that Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and the character of Shredder are poised to return for the sequel as well.
The Turtles in the first film were played on set by relative newcomers via motion-capture technology, but in what appeared to be a late decision in the post-prodution process, their work was essentially hidden by hiring “name” actors like Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shalhoub to provide the voices. I’m curious to see if Knoxville and Co. will actually perform the characters on set this time via motion-capture, or if Paramount follows the same approach as the first.