×

Nickelodeon’s ‘Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Gets Annecy First Look

For the past thirty years each generation has had their own version of the turtles, with the next is ready to burst from the sewers this fall

Co-executive producers Andy Suriano and Ant Ward were in Annecy for their first time this year to give an in-depth, behind the scenes look at their forthcoming series, “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Held at the Salle Pierre Lamy, the two showed artwork, explained the development process which led to the series, and even screened a two-minute clip from the show, which will be launched by Nickelodeon this fall.

All of the work on the series is being handled by Nickelodeon in Los Angeles, apart from animation which is being done at Australia’s Flying Bark. “They are killing it!” said Ward.

As one might except from the title, Nickelodeon’s “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” won’t be picking up where previous iterations of the IP have dropped off, but rather a fresh retelling of the stories behind Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and Leonardo, with other TMNT staples to feature. Confirmed so far are a Splinter and April O’Neil.

In Nickelodeon’s new series, the turtles and April will be younger, and the brothers are not yet the martial arts masters that fans might expect. April is no longer the red-headed reporter in a yellow trench, but a mixed-race badass that can hold her own with the boys, and the four turtles are now each different species. Splinter is still a rat, but has a look that will likely catch audiences off guard. Based on its reaction, the audience was.

Additionally, slight changes were made to the weapons of choice for the turtles.

As for the villains, fans will be happy to see that an updated and stylized Foot Clan will still be harassing the turtles. But that’s where the bad-guy similarities end. A roster of new villains was unveiled, including the John Cena-voiced Draxum. Others announced were Meat Sweats, Hypno-Potamus, Warren Stone and Albearto.

The new crew of baddies won’t just be fodder for the turtles either.

“With Nick we said these are TMNT like we haven’t seen them before,” Suriano explained, “This is the beginning of their careers, we don’t want them to win. We want them to get their butts kicked once in a while.”

Another step in a different direction will be how New York City is represented in the show. According to Suriano and Ward, this New York City will be modern, bright and with a secret underbelly influenced by the film “Big Trouble in Little China.”

“Modern New York is a melting pot,” Ward said at the presentation, “We thought: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we found a way to explore that melting pot of mythological creatures and fables of all New York? What if it was also Big Trouble in Little Italy, or Big Trouble in Little India?’”

And just like in “Big Trouble in Little China,” those worlds exist underneath the city. Landscapes with distinct cultural indicators were shown in the presentation, often accompanied by very large heads, which Ward explained are some of Suriano’s favorite features to include in set design.

Also announced was the all-star cast that will voice the series characters: Josh Brener (“Silicon Valley”); Donatello, played by Ben Schwartz (“Parks and Recreation”); Leonardo, Omar Benson Miller (“Ballers”); Raphael, Brandon Mychal Smith (“Dirty Grandpa”); Michelangelo, and Kat Graham (“The Vampire Diaries”). April O’Neil, joined the aforementioned John Cena in the sound booth.

Nickelodeon

More Film

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Proposal for New Film-TV Contract

    The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved proposals for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television — a key step in the upcoming negotiations cycle with companies. The board approved the package Saturday with the performers union declining to reveal any specifics — its usual policy. The board established the wages [...]

  • Cameron Crowe, David Crosby, A.J. Eaton.

    Cameron Crowe on Why He Loved Leaving David Crosby Doc on a CSNY Question Mark

    David Crosby may or may not have stuck a joint in Cameron Crowe’s mouth the first time he ever met the future filmmaker, when Crosby was peaking with Crosby Stills Nash & Young and his interviewer was a precocious 15-year-old Rolling Stone correspondent. As Crowe said to Jimmy Kimmel the other night, “I remember it [...]

  • Mokalik

    Nigeria’s Kunle Afolayan: African Audiences Shouldn’t Be ‘Second-Class’

    DURBAN–A young boy from a middle-class home gets an unconventional schooling in the ways of the world when he’s forced to apprentice at a mechanic’s workshop in a rough-and-tumble section of Lagos. “Mokalik” is the latest feature from Kunle Afolayan, a leading figure in the wave of filmmakers revitalizing the Nigerian film industry. The film [...]

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

  • The Lion King

    Box Office: 'The Lion King' Roars Overseas With Mighty $269 Million

    Disney’s “The Lion King” certainly felt the love this weekend, generating $269 million at the international box office. Director Jon Favreau’s remake of the classic Disney cartoon now holds the eighth-biggest debut of all time overseas, and that’s not including the film’s early opening in China last weekend. Combined with a stellar $185 million start [...]

  • Scarlett JohanssonMarvel Studios panel, Comic-Con International,

    Scarlett Johansson Reveals What We'll Learn About Black Widow in Stand-Alone Movie

    Scarlett Johansson can finally talk about her upcoming “Black Widow” movie. While she can’t divulge spoilers, she let out a big sigh of relief after the film was officially announced on Saturday during the Marvel Studios presentation at Comic-Con. “I feel like a weight has been lifted,” the Oscar nominee told Variety. “Black Widow” is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content