The heroes in a half-shell are back.
The first trailer for Paramount Pictures’ and Seth Rogen’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” reboot has been released. It’s the latest iteration of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello after several TV shows and film runs, and this is the second fully animated version to hit the big screen. This version of “TMNT” has a distinctly colorful, comic-book animation style, reminiscent of 2018’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
Revealed on Saturday, the voice cast includes Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr., Nicolas Cantu and Brady Noon as the roles of Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael, respectively. The A-list cast has Jackie Chan as Master Splinter, Ayo Edebiri as April O’Neil, Rogen as Bebop, John Cena as Rocksteady, Hannibal Buress as Genghis Frog, Rose Byrne as Leatherhead, Ice Cube as Superfly, Natasia Demetriou as Wingnut, Giancarlo Esposito as Baxter Stockman, Post Malone as Ray Fillet, Paul Rudd as Mondo Gecko and Maya Rudolph as Cynthia Utrom.
The trailer gives a first look at these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who put the emphasis on “teenage” in this iteration. The young heroes goof around and film videos of themselves slicing watermelons with swords and ninja stars, with Donatello at one point getting one of Raphael’s sais stuck in his leg. They also explain their origin story to April O’Neil, but spend most of the time clarifying they were once regular turtles born from toxic ooze, not “goo,” as she puts it.
The “TMNT” characters are the creations of comic book artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, who first introduced the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” to the world in 1984 as a comic book through Mirage Studios. Producers Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver of Point Grey Pictures are overseeing the movie with director Jeff Rowe. The last “TMNT” film to hit theaters was 2016’s live-action “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” produced by Michael Bay, and before that an animated film by Kevin Munroe released in 2007.
Development on the film began in 2020, with Rogen’s production company attached in collaboration with Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies. Rowe directed the film on a screenplay from Brendan O’Brien, who previously co-wrote Rogen’s 2014 college comedy “Neighbors.” The film’s 2D-style computer-generated animation was worked on by animation companies Mikros Image and Cinesite.
The film is set to hit theaters on August 4, 2023. Check out the trailer below.