'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2' News: New Characters and Krang Appearance

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half Shell" started production in April for its mid-2016 release, and reports of new characters have already started to emerge.

Paramount Pictures' sequel to their 2014 "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" sci-fi comedy film is shaping up to be bigger than the original with news of a stellar cast of characters and rumors iconic supervillain Krang is expected to make an appearance.

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The sequel, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Half Shell, will be taking place in New York City, and is expected to be released next summer. Dave Green, who helmed 2014 sci-fi adventure drama, "Earth to Echo," will be directing the live-action flick, with Michael Bay producing.

Among the cast in the sequel, Megan Fox is returning as the overly curious reporter April O'Neil, together with her cameraman Vern (Will Arnett), and the first film's villain, Eric Sacks (William Fichtner).

Splinter (Tony Shalhoub) will be reprising his role, as well, headlined by the iconic half-shell heroes voiced by Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Johnny Knoxville, and Jeremy Howard.

New faces will be introduced to the sequel's cast, including the two bumbling villains from the cartoons version, Bebop and Rocksteady, played by Gary Anthony Williams, and Stephen "Sheamus" Farrelly, respectively. Stills from the sequel have already emerged showing them looking the part.

Stephen Amell, from The CW series "Arrow," will also be making his debut as the baseball bat-wielding vigilante, Casey Jones. He will be joined by "Madea" creator Tyler Perry, who will play "TMNT's" rat-killing mad scientist, Baxter Stockman, and Brian Tee of "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," who will be taking over as the new Shredder. Academy Award nominee and two-time Golden Globe winner, Laura Linney, will also be joining the "TMNT" sequel in an as-yet-unannounced role.

The highlight of the film's promotion lies in rumors that supervillain Krang will be appearing in the sequel. In the comics and cartoons versions, Krang is a war criminal who has had his brain transferred to a robot exo-suit and escapes his Dimension X prison to reunite with his buddy Shredder in their attempt to take over the world.

Paramount has been pulling concept art featuring Krang from several sites, strengthening the rumor the iconic villain really will appear in "Half Shell."

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Half Shell" is expected to premiere in US theaters on June 3, 2016.

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