According to Deadine, Paramount has cast Screen Actors Guild Award nominee (for work in Boston Legal via IMDb) Gary Anthony Williams as the Foot Clan’s piggy henchman Bebop in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Half Shell. Williams will join the likes of Brian Tee, Stephen Amell, Megan Fox, Tyler Perry, and Will Arnett on cast, with David Green directing, Josh Appelbaum teaming up with André Nemec to write the script, and Michael Bay as the film’s top producer.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) received some poor reviews; a 6/10 from IMDb, a 31% on Metacritic, a 21% on Rotten Tomatoes. Their camp hopes to create a much better summer blockbuster next June by bringing in strong antagonists. Any TMNT fan understands that TMNT 2 cannot have a Bebop without a Rocksteady, and his casting should be breaking very soon. The world should expect to see much more characterization of the villain Shredder in TMNT 2 compared to the 2014 film, with Brain Tee taking over the salient role. Tyler Perry has also been cast as Baxter Stockman, an evil scientist and engineer.
Created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, TMNT has gained a huge fan base since its original release in March 1984. Mentalfloss’s Rob Lammie reports that Eastman and Laird raised roughly $2,000 (from bank accounts, tax returns, and borrowed money) to print 3,000 copies under their new company, Mirage Studios, and put up an ad for the comics in Comic Buyer’s Guide Magazine. The turtles, from then on, could not be stopped—thus far spawning three animated TV series and five films from 1990 to 2014.
With four Turtles in deep need of characterization and an entire universe to pick from, this writer feels that it may be Paramount’s TMNT that could give the Marvel Universe a run for its money (if done correctly). Shredder, Bebop, Rocksteady, and Baxter Stockman are just the tip of the villain iceberg for TMNT, with evildoers like Krang, Slash, the Rat King, and Monsterex (a fusion of Dracula, Wolfman, the Mummy, Frankenstein’s monster, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon). Appelbaum and Nemec have a lot of great material to build a strong franchise. (Maybe not Monsterex so much…)
As for Gary Anthony Williams, the beloved voice actor of Uncle Ruckus on The Boondocks, he possesses the voice power to make Bebop come alive with flavor and attitude. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Half Shell certainly appears to have much more promise than its predecessor, but what do you think? Do you think TNMT‘s universe could compete with Marvel? Share your thoughts in the comments below.