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When it hits theaters next summer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, also known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half Shell, is going to bring some major changes to the screen. There’s a brand new director taking over, and there will be a bunch of new characters added to the mix. One face we’ll be seeing more of is going to be particularly interesting, as Shredder’s daughter is going to make an appearance.
According to Deadline, 34-year-old actress Brittany Ishibashi has joined the party for TMNT 2, the follow up to last summer’s hit reboot of the beloved franchise. She will reportedly be playing the character Karai, who just so happens to be the only daughter of the Turtle’s nemesis Shredder (played by Brian Tee this time). Ishibashi will be replacing Minae Noji, who portrayed the character in the first film. Ishibashi has recently appeared on a variety of TV shows, including Bones, Castle, and Grade and Frankie.
At least Karai is Shredder’s daughter in the film, their relationship is more complex than that elsewhere. Though she usually is depicted as having some kind of familial bond with Shredder, it varies from version to version. In some she is his adopted daughter, while in others he is Karai’s paternal grandfather. However, in the Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s comics, where she first appeared in 1992, she has no actual relation to the villain, though she is a high-ranking member of his Foot Clan. Last time out there was little to no indication that they had anything beyond a boss-employee relationship.
Shredder isn’t the only one Karai has a dicey relationship with. Throughout various incarnations, where she is sometimes an ally, sometimes and enemy of the Turtles, Karai and Leonardo, the leader of the group, have a…on again off again thing. Calling it a relationship is hard, as there’s a lot of mistrust, deception, and shady motivations involved, but they certainly have a connection. And if the film keeps to that, it will definitely bring a different element to the new movie.
Even though Karai shows up in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and her role is relegated to generally silent kicker of ass, it sounds like she could wind up playing a more integral role this time around. Though she’s not 100% a new addition, Karai joins a bunch of newcomers taking up screen time, a list that includes Tyler Perry playing scientist Baxter Stockman, Arrow’s Stephen Amell as hockey mask-wearing vigilante Casey Jones, and Gary Anthony Williams as mutant warthog Bebop (no word on who will play his mutant rhino partner in crime Rocksteady). There are even reports that angry alien brain-in-a-jar Krang could also make his live-action debut.
Dave Green, who directed the younger-skewing found footage sci-fi flick Earth to Echo takes over the directing duties from Jonathan Liebesman this time out. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is filming now and is scheduled to hit theaters on June 3, 2017.