Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, and Platinum Dunes’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie franchise reboot has grossed nearly half a billion in theaters worldwide; so, no surprise, a sequel is already set to arrive by mid-2016. TMNT co-screenwriters Josh Applebaum and André Nemec are back penning the next installment, though it seems director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) won’t return as the helmsman.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 may instead be directed by Dave Green; a onetime production assistant on Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, before he made his feature-length directorial debut on the found-footage kids sci-fi adventure, Earth to Echo, this past summer. Green, last we heard, is attached to direct the comic book adaptation Lore (with Dwayne Johnson onboard as the headliner) but if he signs a deal for TMNT 2, the latter project definitely takes higher priority.
The Wrap is reporting that Green is in “early talks” for the TMNT 2 directing job, so it remains to be seen if a deal is actually struck. Green’s Earth to Echo is, in many ways, a mashup of 1980s kids movie tropes – remade as a modern-day found-footage film – so it makes sense that Paramount would look to him to oversee a comparatively family-friendly popcorn film property such as TMNT.
He lacks experience in the action moviemaking arena; on the other hand, Green knows how to craft solid effects fare, even with limited resources. That could be key on the TMNT sequel; based on the world-building in the first film (coupled with comments made by the series producers, about plans to introduce Krang and Dimension X in future installments), the rebooted TMNT property will only be going heavier on the sci-fi flavoring hereon forward. And thus, it could be useful to have someone around who’s comfortable working in that genre.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot arguably got two key things right; it firmly established the Turtles’ different personalities, and delivered on the promised big, yet goofy, ninja fights and action set pieces. It now appears there’s a more secure vision in place for how to handle this franchise moving forward, so the TMNT 2 screenplay by Applebaum and Nemec ought to be more cohesive, story-wise and thematically, than the first movie’s (which did feel hodgepodge as a whole).
Megan Fox and Will Arnett are expected to return as humans April O’Neil and Vernon Fenwick in the TMNT sequel, presumably alongside the four motion-capture performers – Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, and Alan Ritchson – who brought the Turtles to life in the reboot. There should be additional casting announcements for the sequel, but since filming probably won’t begin until closer to mid-2015, those could be a few months away still. We’ll keep you posted, of course.
NEXT: TMNT Filmmakers on Aliens & Dimension X in the Sequel
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 opens in U.S. theaters on June 3rd, 2016.