The saga of the martial artist turtles Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael continue with the highly-anticipated animated movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. While the franchise’s first live-action films are cult classics, none of their 21st-century releases have made much of a mark. In 2007, the CGI-animated feature TMNT drew mixed reviews. This was followed by 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, which disappointed with its inconsistent blend of humor and drama and poor characterization.
Starting with their first cartoon in 1987, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had a popular run on television with various acclaimed series, including several 2000s-era reboots. Unfortunately, their movies haven’t consistently fared as well. Could the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie break the curse? Scheduled to release in the summer of 2023, Paramount Pictures’ coming-of-age adventure film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem certainly has potential — with a new animation style for the franchise and a star-studded voice cast, a lot will be riding on this latest venture.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Latest News
The most recent update about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is the release of the teaser trailer that revealed several crucial details such as Canadian comedian-actor Seth Rogen not only joining the lead ensemble but also producing the animated movie. He will be joined by longtime creative partner Evan Goldberg, making it one of the many movies that Rogen and Goldberg have produced together. However, the duo who frequently also write screenplays together will have no part in the writing, as Neighbors scribe Brendan O’Brien is credited as the sole screenwriter. Similar to other movies in the TMNT franchise, Mutant Mayhem will also be produced by Nickelodeon Movies.
While Paramount Pictures is handling distribution, the movie’s direction rests on Jeff Rowe’s shoulders. Rowe has proven his artistic talents on several animated properties before, including a stint as a writer on several episodes of both Gravity Falls and Disenchantment. Sharing writing duties — and even an uncredited co-director role — with fellow Gravity Falls alumnus Mike Rianda, Rowe was also involved in the making of Netflix’s The Mitchells vs the Machines. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem will be a litmus test for Rowe’s filmmaking career as it will mark his first instance serving as the sole director of an animated project.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Confirmed
The earliest confirmation of the Mutant Mayhem project came in June 2020 when Nickelodeon Animation Studio announced that a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated feature was in the works. The computer-animated reboot also got Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg as producers at that time with the duo’s production company, Point Grey Pictures, assisting Nickelodeon. Calling it a “next-level reinvention of the property,” Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins promised the upcoming reboot to be a perfect blend of action and humor. Audiences already began speculating how the new TMNT movie can improve the series’ legacy with a self-professed fan like Rowe also roped in as director from the earliest confirmation.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Release Date
As stated in the film’s teaser trailer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is eyeing a late-summer release date, opening on August 4, 2023. The animated feature will be one of the first major August releases, with it clashing against Meg 2: The Trench at the box office. The subsequent few weeks of August will see the release of other highly anticipated competitors, such as the live-action adaptation of PlayStation’s Gran Turismo and DC’s superhero movie Blue Beetle. Given that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot follows a few weeks after July’s box-office battle between Barbie and Oppenheimer, Mutant Mayhem will get considerable time to stand out on its own.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Cast
While Seth Rogen and Jackie Chan have been dominating the headlines around Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, the cast also includes some rising talents. Given that the titular turtles are teenagers, they will be voiced by young actors Nicolas Cantu (Leonardo), Shamon Brown Jr (Michelangelo), Micah Abbey (Donatello), and Brady Noon (Raphael). While these actors are all newcomers with fairly few screen credits so far, they will be united under the iconic Master Splinter voiced by Jackie Chan. As Jackie Chan’s iconic action movies prove, he is the perfect choice for a martial arts teacher like Splinter.
Other iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters will appear, including the team’s regular ally April O’Neil, who will be voiced by Ayo Edebiri, the actress best known for her supporting roles on Big Mouth and The Bear. The comedic villainous mutant duo Bebop and Rocksteady will also be featured, voiced by Seth Rogen and John Cena, respectively. Other big names include rapper Post Malone, comedian Hannibal Buress, rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube, and X-Men franchise actress Rose Byrne, all of whom will be voicing mutated animals much like the eponymous turtles. Additionally, Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito will be voicing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem’s main villain, the antagonistic scientist Baxter Stockman.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Story Details
With Seth Rogen keen on exploring more of the teenage side of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mutant Mayhem will play out as a coming-of-age story, perhaps along similar lines as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. As usual, the Turtles will still be battling crime in New York City, although the movie will touch upon their initial learning experiences, too. So, audiences can expect mischievous adolescent behavior from the Turtles before they set out to fight the city’s criminal elements. April O’Neill will end up being the Turtles’ loyal ally as expected, and it’s clear that Baxter Stockman will harbor some ambitiously evil plans that will change the city’s fate.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Trailer
The upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie reboot promises to be exciting mainly because of the first teaser released by Paramount Pictures in March 2023. Introducing the four turtles and even name-dropping “the Ooze,” the clip is set against A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?” and introduces Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem’s vibrantly splendid visual style. Blending 2D and 3D animation together with a scribbled, hand-drawn feel to it, the art is highly influenced by Rowe’s own sketches of the Turtles in his high-school days. With the trailer being so lively in its playful voice acting and bright colors, there’s a lot to look forward to.
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