The newest film in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise has been revealed! What is known about this upcoming film?
Paramount-loaded Mutant Mayhem with big names, though not for the titular ninja turtles. This time around, teenage actors still early in their careers are playing the Ninja Turtles. Michelangelo’s actor, Shamon Brown Jr., has only appeared in one role before donning the mask of the turtles. Shamon Brown Jr. was an actor in the series The Chi. Micah Abbey, the voice of Donatello, has been an actor in several Nickelodeon sitcoms, such as Cousins for Life.
Brady Noon, the voice of Raphael, has recently played Greg Heffley in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Disney+ films. Brady Noon was also one of the leads in the 2019 film Good Boys and was a regular in Boardwalk Empire. The last Ninja Turtle Voice actor Nicolas Cantu has a comparatively larger career. Nicolas Cantu was a voice actor for the titular Gumball in the Amazing World of Gumball. Nicolas Cantu was also a voice actor in the Dragons Rescue Riders series and had a prolific YouTube career.
The Villains Voices
Many big names make up the voice cast for the Ninja Turtles’ rogues gallery of villains. Seth Rogen and John Cena play the villains Bebop and Rocksteady, respectively. Hannibal Buress, of Eric Andre Show fame, plays the role of Genghis Frog. Rapper and Law and Order alumni Ice Cube is playing Superfly.
Paul Rudd, most known for his role in Ant-Man, plays the role of Mondo Gecko. Musician Post Malone voices the character Ray Fillet. Maya Rudolph appears as Cynthia Utrom. Natasia Demetriou from What We do in the Shadows plays the role of Wingnut. Rounding out the villains is Giancarlo Esposito from the Mandalorian and Breaking Bad as Baxter Stockman. This film has a large cast of villains with an even bigger cast of names.
April O’Neil and Master Splinter
Lastly, the voices of the allies of the Ninja Turtles. Jackie Chan is playing the role of Master Splinter. Playing the role of April O’Neil is the actress and writer Ayo Edebiri. April O’Neil’s character design has invited backlash from some parts of the Ninja Turtles community. This time around, April O’Niel’s character design is that of a plus-size African American woman. Many claim that April’s new design is the series going “woke.” April being a POC woman is nothing new, however. April has been a POC in many series incarnations, ranging from the comics to the recent Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.
The premise of the upcoming film remains a mystery, aside from being a retread of the origin of the Ninja Turtles. What is known is that this film is set to focus more on the ‘teenage’ element of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Oddly enough, this is shown by the turtles being voiced by teenagers for the first time in the series history. A quote from the film’s producer Seth Rogan reveals he hoped to hone in on the Teenage aspect of the turtles.
“As a lifelong fan of Ninja Turtles, weirdly, the ‘Teenage’ part of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was always the part that stuck out to me the most. And as someone who loves teenage movies, and who’s made a lot of teenage movies, and who literally got their start in their entire profession by writing a teenage movie, the idea of kind of honing in on that element was really exciting to us. I mean, not disregarding the rest, but really using that as kind of a jumping off point for the film.”Seth Rogen
Release Date and the Future
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem will release theatrically on August 4th, 2023. Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies are making the film. The movie was revealed to be the first installment in a potential new Ninja Turtles franchise.
This film is hot off the tail of the recent Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, so it seems odd for a new series to start so soon after the last. However, the gap between TMNT franchises has never been too long. Rise started only one year after the Nickelodeon TMNT series ended in 2017. The turtles do not rest for long.