When Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles somersaulted onto cinema screens in 2014, many didn’t expect the reboot of the popular franchise to make that much of an impact. After all, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a brand had been struggling along for many years in the cinematic medium, with the previous two movies — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III in 1993, and TMNT in 2007 — being poorly received. The reasons for the failings were many depending on the critic you ask, but 2014’s effort pushed the reset button in a big way, bringing in a huge chunk of change to the tune of $493.3 million. With a successful box-office, and a reinvigorated audience, a sequel was green-lit immediately.
Sequels are always bigger and better, so it was only a matter of time before fans were clamouring for more of their favourite characters. Despite the outpouring of negative reviews for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it got one major thing right — it portrayed the Turtles correctly, and it managed to secure a hefty audience in doing so. Some modern tweaks enabled a younger audience to enjoy the film alongside the older fans, but the major talking point for the sequel was the additional characters. We have the Turtles, Splinter, April O’Neil and Shredder, and we’re familiar with them — so who’s next? One of the most popular characters from the TV show, Krang, was rumoured to be in the film last year, and this week, much to the joy of the fans, Michael Bay confirmed his inclusion in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
In a profile with Rolling Stone, Michael Bay was shown an image of the cinematic Krang by visual-effects supervisor Pablo Helman. This version of the character was described as a “disembodied brain inside a giant robot.” Helman would then advise Bay that they did away with Krang’s iconic tentacles for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, and asked if the creature looked “too monstrous” as a result. Bay would simply respond.
“He could have some tentacles. I just don’t want them coming out of the side. He looks like a stupid octopus.”
Does this confirm his inclusion? Very likely. Krang won’t be alone in the sequel, though. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows will introduce us to several other famous characters from the franchise’s hefty back catalogue. Casey Jones makes his return to the big screen — he was featured in the 1990 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III — and will be played by Arrow star Stephen Amell. Arch-nemesis Shredder will be making a return with his daughter Karai, and fans will finally see his bumbling henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady appear on screen, after their genetic mutation at the hands of none other than Baxter Stockman. This incarnation of Stockman is thought to be based on the Mirage comic book series, where he has a sociopathic bone to pick with April. It’s worth noting that, at one point in the comics, Stockman also places his brain into a robot body to become a cyborg, similar to that of Krang. It’s possible that this storyline might bring about the introduction of everyone’s favourite evil brain.
Krang, Bebop & Rocksteady in unused Concept Art for 'TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES'! pic.twitter.com/6BNuLaG9CX
— Superhero Feed (@SuperheroFeed) January 3, 2015
Regardless of the introduction, it appears Krang will be getting a major revamp for his live action debut. Loss of tentacles is just one change being mooted for this appearance. Its also possible that Krang will lose his eyes and mouth for the movie, instead communicating either telepathically or through some kind of speaker system, or not at all. His alien origin might also come into question, and with Stockman on hand, he could become a scientific experiment instead. Also, don’t discount the above theory with Stockman’s brain — the two could be linked. A robot body seems likely with Bay’s request to not have anything coming out of the side, and unused concept art revealed by Superhero Feed on their Twitter feed suggests that a robot body seems to be involved in the process.
In the original series, Krang hailed from Dimension X. The trailers did hint at some extra-terrestrial activity so watch this space in regards to that. With such a packed cast already, there’s a chance that Krang could merely pay a bit part in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, before making a major appearance as the primary antagonist in the third movie. Whatever his appearance, fans will be excited to finally see one of their favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters make his big screen bow. Let’s just hope he doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows will hit theatres on June 3, 2016.
[Image via Group W Productions]