‘100 Times Scarier Than Superfly’: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Director Talks Making Shredder More Intimidating For the Sequel

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Written By Maya Cantina

The 2023 movie release Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem saw these versions of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael clashing with Superfly and his gang of fellow mutants for their first official superhero outing. Ultimately the quartet persuaded the other mutants to switch sides and help defeat Ice Cube’s character, but a greater threat now lies on the horizon. Mutant Mayhem’s ending teased the arrival of Shredder, and director Jeff Rowe opened up about how he wants to make the Turtles’ arch-nemesis “100 times scarier than Superfly.”

Shredder has been part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mythology since the very beginning, with multiple depictions of the man originally known as Oroku Saki existing across comics, movies, TV shows and video games. He’s basically The Joker to the Turtles’ Batman, but Rowe shared with Empire that Mutant Mayhem took inspiration from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy by not using Shredder as the main villain right away, just like how Joker was saved for The Dark Knight rather than included in Batman Begins. The director then said:

The one thing I can say without spoiling anything is, [Shredder] needs to be 100 times scarier than Superfly – who is a credible villain, he’s dangerous, he’s strong, he seems like he could mess the Turtles up. Shredder needs to be that, just significantly more.

Superfly was certainly a formidable adversary in Mutant Mayhem, albiet one who also rested nicely on the comedic side of things, but Jeff Rowe is already gearing up for Shredder to be even more intimidating. Additionally, the director is contemplating how a fight between this character and the Turtles could possibly end with the latter heroes being defeated by the former, who leads the Foot Clan. Rowe continued:

It’ll be really interesting to see these fun-loving characters go up against something that maybe they can’t stop.

Shredder was brought into play at the end of Mutant Mayhem by Maya Rudolph’s Cynthia Utrom, the executive from Techno Cosmic Research Institute who ordered Baxter Stockman hunted down years earlier, and thus was indirectly responsible for the creation of Superfly. By the time the story was wrapped up, Cynthia had the de-mutated Superfly in her possession, and with Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael having escaped her custody after mutagen was extracted from their bodies, she realized she’d need additional help to recapture them. 

As such, she’s now recruited Shredder to accomplish this task, though knowing the baddie, he will likely be plotting his own scheme separate from what Cynthia is demanding of him. When we’ll learn if this is the case, as well as specifically see how Shredder is “100 times scarier than Superfly,” remains to be seen, because Mutant Mayhem 2, although officially greenlit, doesn’t have a release date yet. However, in addition to the sequel, a 2D, tie-in TV show called Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is also on the way, so we’ll be getting plenty from the Mutant Mayhem universe in the coming years.

For now, just know you can stream Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem with a Paramount+ subscription, and that platform will also be home to Tales. For all your non-Turtles cinematic queries, get the lay of next year’s cinematic land with our 2024 movies schedule. 

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